Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A rural village

We're still with my husband's parents in Beni Mellal, until we leave for Fez and the north of Morocco on Monday. Today we took a walk through an olive grove and a construction zone in order to reach a small village up on a hill.

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You can see the houses in the distance in this picture, although they blend into the landscape very well. It turned out that I was quite an attraction, as we showed up just when school let the students out for lunch. In Morocco, students still go home to eat with their parents at mid-day.

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A large group of them started following us and talking to us as we walked down the main street. They thought we were both French at first. I'm pretty sure they've never had a foreigner walk through their village before.

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These girls kept saying "bonjour" and wanted another picture.

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The boys talked to Idriss as we walked, but they have never heard of California. An older boy by the side of the road told the kids that "they're giving a bad picture of Morocco" to us, but we liked the kids all right. They were frank and hilarious.

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As we walked by their houses on the main road, the kids peeled off one by one or with their siblings. Just about every house had chickens, donkeys or a pony. Dogs and cats coexist nicely and nap near each other in sun patches.

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A shepherd tends his flock (he's in the top left), speaking to them in Berber, the original language of the area. Many of the kids who walked with us probably speak Berber, too, although Idriss doesn't. His grandfather and father still speak it to each other, though. It's really a lovely village. I hope to go back.

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