Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Hey, what happened to the weather?! For a week we had sunny skies and warm temperatures (76F/24C) so I was wearing shorts, T-shirt, and sandals but today was cloudy, wet, and chilly (59F/15C).

On a day like this I remember the warm days in Morocco a few months ago. :-) I travelled around there for 3 1/2 weeks. Started in Marrakech and ended there too. My plan was to meet up with some other people to travel around the country with, but I arrived a couple of days early so I had some time to myself and it was a good chance to get a bit familiar with the place. Got some photos too. I had planned to stay at the Hotel Ali, which is just steps from the World Heritage Site Djemaa el-Fna in the middle of Marrakech, so a very convenient location. The hotel didn't have any rooms available so I ended up in a dorm room with 7 other young guys from various countries. Turns out that was just fine with me though because I made some new friends. I do recall we had one guy that kept muttering to himself as he slept. I wasn't quite sure if it was English or not, but either way I couldn't figure out what he was going on and on about all night. :-) He sure seemed quite rested the next morning though so he must have got it out of his system.

One morning I went walking with my camera through the labyrinth of narrow alleys and walkways fully expecting to just get lost and then later find my way out. It wasn't long before a man named Mohammed started walking beside me trying to convince me that it would be so much more enjoyable if I would hire him to be my guide. I wasn't interested at first but we talked for awhile and we had fun joking around with each other so I employed him for a couple of hours. I'm really glad he convinced me to! Although I would have wandered around and gotten some good photos he took me into some of the workshops in out of the way places, introduced me to some of his friends, and really made the whole morning much more enjoyable. As we were making our way down a narrow little alleyway, which is typical in the souks, we came across these men sitting on the ground and drinking tea. I greeted them with salaam and they motioned for me to sit down and join them. Together we drank very sweet mint tea and, with Mohammed acting as our interpretor, we talked a bit about family, life in Marrakech and life in the U.S.. I asked if it would be okay for me to take a photo and they all readily agreed, but just as I was about to take the photo the second man from the left hid his face. I guess a change of heart! :-)

By the way, I made a lot of progress on the new website today so it is getting close!

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