l'aventure africaine

our travel journal

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Making Moroccan Tea -- a Tutorial

But first, you have to meet Jack. :)

So, he's not very good yet at posing for the camera. Here's another try...with Mike looking a litte crazy :)

Mike has never been a cat guy. When I volunteered at Feline Rescue, he was glad I had somewhere to get a cat fix, but was always glad there was a reason not to get a cat (landlord rules, leaving for PC, etc.). He, sort of, though, came around when the cat that hung out at our host family's house took a shine to him. All of the sudden, he was a man who wanted a cat. No arguments here, but there isn't really somewhere to just go get a cat here, so we didn't have any plans...

(I should say quick that the decision to get a pet in Peace Corps is kind of a tricky one...from how your community will view American-style pethood, what to do about nuetering and vaccinations in a place where those things are not normally done, but still important, what happens when the volunteer leaves -- does the pet come home, or stay with the host community and adapt to a very different life? We haven't answered these all yet...)

We went to the sbitar (local health clinic where we work) last Monday, and it was quiet. Mike and I were sitting and talking to the doctor and assistant who work there and in the middle of saying something I am startled by a giant meow. because I hadn't even seen the tiny little thing that made it before it talked!

He was oh so skinny and his eyes were a lot crusty and he sort of toppled over when he walked... we asked whose he was and where he came from. They said he had been there with his mom and siblings (who they said were "very pretty, not like this one...") but they'd moved on...so, there he was, little orphan Jack.

I think we were both thinking, gee, we want a cat, and here is one that no one wants... but he is a little, well, sickly looking... but, we're suckers for an underdog...undercat? So, we borrowed a box from the clinic and took him home for a bath and some food.

You can see he's making himself at home. :)

He's been exploring and finding the coolest places in the house to chill, and, I was home alone so I don't have a picture, but I bet it looked hilarious...I was laying forward, leaning on my elbows, watching a movie and he crawled up my back and onto my head. He just sat there for a while, but then started attacking the bun in my hair. :) Needless to say he's keeping us entertained, and me company while Mike is traveling this weekend to P.C. headquarters for the quarterly Volunteer Advisory Council meeting (I think we wrote that our training group elected Mike to represent us -- bringing ideas/issues to Administrative staff?)

So, that is our new baby, Jack. :)

On to tea!

The first thing to say, is that I said this was a "Moroccan" Tea tutorial...which it is, but specifically our area of the country. The love of tea is country-wide, but this particular process, the way I understand it, is sort of a Saharan thing.

Here goes:

First, you heat up your water in the kettle. Most people do it on one of these little buta tanks -- it's good for making tea wherever you happen to be sitting!
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Next, pour the tea into your hand to measure...about a handful.
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Here is what the tea looks like.
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So you pour your tea into the pot, and then add some water from your kettle -- just a little -- and then swish it around to rinse it.
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Oh, forgot we had a picture of that. Here is Mike rinsing...
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We are just getting to the good part and I am so, very, out of time. Sorry, I'll finish next week! Have a good one!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

House continued!

Alright :) More pictures. These are the stairs up to our roof...

Here's a sort of fuzzy shot from the roof. We'll have more of these as life goes on, I'm sure.

Of course :) we have to have a bathroom shot...

Here's the view from one direction in our bedroom, including our bed and the mosquito net all bunched up in the back. If you look too, you can see that our bedside tables are, um, luggage. :) So far we have slept mostly outside in the courtyard though -- it is a lot cooler!

Here is Michael showing off our dresser. :) Michael dreamed it up and ordered it from a shop here in our bigger town. Hooray for finally unpacking out suitcases!!
We'll have some more pictures later, as we settle in and make it look more homey.

We were honored to be mentioned in AIDS Combat Zone's post International Carnival of the Pozitivities, number 2 (to check out what the Int. Carnival of the Poz. is go here). Brad and Faith have a great website, with links to tons of resources. In addition, Brad and his wife Whitney are applying to Peace Corps, and are blogging the experience at Life is Calling.

We'll write more soon!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Pictures of the house

in the entryway...

one view of the courtyard...

a second view...

the kitchen...

okay. so it is hot here. sometimes we get a little crazy :)

An important new purchase last week...we had to search for these fabulous mugs. Worth the wait!

this is our sitting room...

and our Moroccan tea set. time is short at the internet cafe this week, but we will try and show and tell you how it all works soon.

hmmmm...blogger has decided to stop uploading pictures :(

i will put more up next week, along with what we have been up to lately! have a good week!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I forgot to put these pictures up with last week's blog entry from Mike...

The "Survivor" Pigeon

The Pigeon House

Mike in Moroccan gear...he likes having his picture taken, can you tell?

We moved! We settled in for about a day and we are off this weekend to meet up with some other volunteers for an HIV/AIDS mini-training session. We'll post house pictures as soon as we can though!