Monday, June 29, 2009

Travel Log, June 4-5, 2009

June 4, 2009
The Moroccans are such generous people. It is amazing how much they give us out of how little they have. One group was offered a lunch of rabbit today--they were admiring the family of rabbits, when the woman of the house picked one up to show them. The volunteers said "aaawwweee", when all of a sudden, she made a move to wring its neck. They screamed "WHOA WAIT WHAT?" Trying to explain they were just about to eat lunch, they frantically called Joey and had him inform them in Arabic. The rabbit was (probably temporarily) saved!

We get tea and bread every day, sometimes twice or thrice a day:
Gotta love mint tea and Familia
Amy loves chobbes

Most of the AZ team went off to whitewash today (and get offered adorable lunch), while my team, Rick, and Sarah returned to the foundation we were laying.

(Story continued on June 5, 2009)

We have to move lots of rocks today---some from the hill at first, but then just made our assembly line and moved river rocks from the pile to the site where T was building the foundation walls. He, S, and Rick used the hose filled with water to level the walls again.

Layers of rocks and cement

To mix cement, S shoveled sand, gravel, and cement powder into a pile and stirred in water (with a shovel). We had two barrels of it, but ran out. So, we gals took turns using the two buckets and walking down hill to the creek, filling them up, and returning to fill the barrels.

Mixin' cement
Carrying water from the river before we got Donkey

Beth and I met Charlotte on one trip. Charlotte is a LARGE spider.
From my journal:
Charlotte in doodle form
Actual picture of the one and only Charlotte:

We hate her.

Later, Sarah and Beth saw two of Charlotte's friends. They moved to a new watering hole.

The brother of the women for whom we are building noticed our slow process and lent us their DONKEY. (Hmar.) We filled two big jugs with water, loaded them on Donkey (I was just informed that Moroccans do NOT name donkeys), and led him (it was definitely a him) up to the site. He was a good boy [ohohoho just you wait], but occasionally brayed at the top of his lungs. When we were done, S let Amy ride him back, side-saddle. She was so pleased. :)

Rashida and Hanan with Donkey:
Rashida, Hanan, and Donkey
The girls and donkey

S is so mischievous. When we were depleting the river rock pile, we found another Charlotte (this would be #4). He told us that she would bite and make our arms swell up, so we screamed. He put on gloves, grabbed her by a leg, and chased us. Ha. Then Anna squished her. Whew.

(First day, we saw a scorpion. The men tore off its tail, and it died.)

After work, Melodie drove down from the village with B and S's two kids (Elias 3 and Titi 2) and W's young sisters (12 and 11). Beth, Sarah, and I piled into the truck with them and we drove to THE BEACH!!! Yes, we swam in the Mediterranean!! The sand was kind of "dirty", but the water temperature was perfect and view fantastic--of brown cliffs and sandbars, and blue sky and waves. There were (of course) mostly men on the beach, but there were a few women. They were all SO modest--in scarves, at least knee length capris, and dress on top of those. We wore big shirts over our suits out of respect (and I still kind of felt like a slut). W's sisters had only been to the beach a few times, and were scared but eager to go into the waves. Mel, Beth, and I had fun dragging them in! Joey brought a whole family who had never been to the beach (despite living within 45 minutes of it), and we all had a blast pulling them in, too.

Most modest I have ever been at a beach
Titi and Elias--sooo cute
Beth, Melodie, and Sarah!
My feet in Mediterranean sand

I napped for a while, and burned my neck and one ear. That takes talent.

That night, H came over to share his testimony (through M). He has an amazing one--he was a hashish dealer and druggie until a car accident that should have killed everyone in the car, but no one was too badly injured. Now his life has completely turned around and he is living for God.

I love listening to prayers in Arabic. It is such a beautiful language. I would love to learn it, man. We are picking up words in it and Rifi slowly!

June 5th, 2009

This morning, Beth and Callie went visiting with Melodie, and witnessed a riot in the marketplace! Mel. thinks it's due to the elections, which are next week.

Russ and my team (minus Beth) whitewashed, while the rest returned to the foundation house. First, we ran errands with Joey.

(written on June 7, 2009)

Errands like...picking up wood, dropping it off, picking up cement, dropping it off, etc. Then, we WHITEWASHED. We had been warned to wear crummy clothes. Good thing. Painting the lime-water mixture on the walls wasn't so bad, but CEILINGS! We were all so nicely dribbled. We put the second coat on every inside wall (this house had four rooms, bathroom, and kitchen) and got most of the outside done. I got to paint the outside walls by laying on the roof and painting top down. SWEET.

Beeb and Russ paint paint paint
I love painting on the roof!

FOR houses are all whitewashed (for light and to keep it cool) with bright cobalt blue window shutters and door frames. So pretty. We were thrilled to be served coffee with fresh milk rather than the usual toothpaste-flavored syrup. This family was so nice. The dad and three boys helped and taught us more Rifi/Arabic. They were so cute--about 5-12 years old--and played marbles with Anna.

My buds

(note the excited woman on the roof)
White and Blue

This is their old house, which was destroyed in the 2004 earthquake:
Rubble from the 2004 earthquake

Joey picked us up and drove off to get B and H. As we drove up, we saw them running and swatting the air. OH NO! They were swarmed by BEES. They jumped into the van and brought a few with'm. The guys swatted with hats and girls screamed and then they were gone. Whew. B was stung twice on his head. After about ten minutes, he became really dizzy...we stopped and decided to take him to a clinic. We dropped him and Joey off, and continued to lunch at the other site. Poor guys--it was an hour late! Thankfully, B was ok--we picked him up on the way home.


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