Blogs from Asilah, Tangier-Tétouan, Morocco, Africa


Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Asilah June 25th 2015

It’s official. Morocco has won me over. The combination of the amazing food (we’ll talk about that in a minute), the stunning architecture and the diverse landscape - all at an affordable price - is truly a traveler’s dream. But what makes it truly unique is the meddling of cultures – the red tiled Andalusian rooftops, the centuries old Arabic Medinas, the historic mellahs (Jewish quarters), and the traditional Berber tribes. Old and new is very visible here. Traditional Berber women descend into the Medinas with straw conical hats, while teenagers chat away on their cell phones, wearing Western shorts and tees. The size is also a huge plus - we have only been here a week and already we have seen a bustling seaside city, a small sleepy port, and now a small backpacker’s hub ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Asilah October 26th 2014

Asilah Asilah sieht aus wie Chefchauen und Essaouira. Damit man es von diesen beiden Städten unterscheiden kann, hat man Zeichnungen auf die Wände gemalt.... read more

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Asilah October 22nd 2014

The Medina walls are home to thousands of birds. Fist-sized nests pock the masonry from top to bottom. When the nestlings try out their wings they fly in short, drooping lines from hole to hole. Small Moroccan children make a game of grabbing them up in their little cupped paws. Fluttering wings tickle small palms until the the hands open with an abrupt giggle and the game begins again. We flew into Casablanca from Tunisia. Passport control was slow and testing. Customs officers would arbitrarily open and close lines on a whim. A Moroccan man in a Yankees cap was in front of me. When he reached the window the officials went over his paperwork with a magnifying glass, had him take off his hat and answer a slew of questions. When it was my turn ... read more
Green Door
The Main Drag
Home In The Old City

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Asilah May 19th 2014

We ended 2013 with more diversity... After celebrating a true “American Thanksgiving,” in grand style, in Ksar el Kebir, we added a little bit more to our giant bucket of diversity before the end of 2013. First, since it was now really cold outside, Clay decided to try some grilling INSIDE. He set up a hibachi in the kitchen and Ann was mortified. All said and done, we had a completely smoke-filled house and our little Peace Corps issued smoke detector went off. On the bright side, the food was, in fact, delicious. We could also say that we had done something we had never done before (and probably won’t again). What’s life without a little excitement? Before we left Morocco for our Christmas-time vacation, we started hanging out on our now-covered roof in the mornings. ... read more
OK, I will admit that this was not my finest idea... but it worked nonetheless.
Miriam-Annipoo-Africanus:  An omnivore and prolific imbiber of adult beverages, shown here in her natural habitat.
Another view of the Miriam-Annipoo-Africanus habitat.

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Asilah May 16th 2014

After spending a grueling summer of sweltering heat from the African sunshine, we made the decision to add a covering to part of our roof. The reasons for having a covered patio are numerous, but the main reasons here are sunshine (smeesha) that during summer can be downright painful, rain (shtah) which happens almost every day in the winter, and the ability to enjoy the roof at will. When we first contacted someone regarding our wants, he was taken aback and absolutely did not understand why anyone would want such a thing on his roof. Yea, yea, yea… we know, it’s not normal here in Morocco… but we are “Meerican” (American) and those rules don’t apply to us. So, build it he did! Please note that all materials were hoisted up 3 flights of stairs with ... read more
Clay's best friend, Achraf, prepping the grill!
Miriam enjoying Thanksgiving dinner!
Yes, it is upside down... it is the only way it would fit in the pan!!!

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Asilah December 10th 2013

Halloween came to Ksar el Kebir, Morocco... and it was BOOtiful!!!! A local teacher, who started out as our student but now has become a friend, told us the other day, over tea and sweets at his family’s home, that in Morocco, you must have patience or you will lose your mind. Truer words may never have been spoken. We have learned this lesson time and time again during our ongoing journey in Morocco. This attribute is tested daily, in almost everything we do; from setting a simple meeting, to hiring a plumber, to communicating an idea which has never been considered before. One of the great challenges of transitioning from a busy, calendar dependent lawyer in the United States to a newcomer in this starkly different land, complete with a new language and culture, is ... read more
Club Ksar representing!!!!
Victory (and a very large mouth) is MINE!!!
This picture really captures the mood of the day!

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Asilah October 27th 2013

Eid Kebir is a Muslim holiday which celebrates the memory of Abraham’s sacrifice of a ram to God.** Islam, like other religions, incorporates the Old Testament into its faith. It is most common for a ram (male sheep) to be sacrificed, but a cow, goat or camel may be sacrificed as well depending on the size of the family. The sacrifice is intended to praise God and must be done cleanly and without torture to the animal (the jugular is sliced quickly and the blood must drain completely). Many Moroccan homes have hooks in an inner courtyard and the courtyard has a drain. This is specifically to facilitate the slaughter, hanging up of the animal and draining of the blood for this holy occasion. A slaughter is required under Islam for people who have the money ... read more
Miriam with our very dear friends on their farm... BEFORE Eid!
Sheep are everywhere before the big day... EVERYWHERE!!!
Just out for a nice drive... yea... this won't end well.

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Asilah October 18th 2013

Girl Power! Peace Corps Morocco is divided into 8 regions. We happen to be in the north, but our region spreads across the entire country towards the east, all the way to the Algerian border. That covers a huge land area and travel from one side to the other is complicated and would take more than a day. But there is regional spirit within our group, nonetheless. When I (Ann) was approached by some of the female PCVs in my region to participate in a regional girl’s camp, I was excited. But also, I must admit that I pictured bratty little kids, snotty and whiny, giggling, loud and obnoxious, roasting marshmallows and being sneaky. Most, but not all of this turned out to be false. Peace Corps volunteers can apply for a money grant to hold ... read more
Well, howdy!
The awesome "senior" class.  I'm just a freshman until January.

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Asilah October 16th 2013

Moulay Boussleham – a long name, a beautiful beach The hot summer sun in North Africa is unforgiving… That statement is a fact. Foregoing the consumption of water to better experience Ramadan, coupled with 110+ degree daily temps, makes a cold dip in the sea sound extremely inviting! However, even those extreme circumstances were not enough to get us into the insanely cold Atlantic Ocean. Yes, even in July, the water was freezing at our beautiful African beach! The Beach at Moulay Boussleham reminds us so much of our now faraway Florida home. The sound of the waves crashing into the shore and the smell of salt and sea brought much nostalgia. So many miles from our family and friends in the US, this trip to Moulay, led us to finally talk about how much our ... read more
Exquisite view!
Kid engaging in some serious fishing!
Reminds us of Florida, so much!

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Asilah August 1st 2013

For those of you who have been with us as we have navigated the wonderful world of local artisans here in Ksar El Kebir, today is a great day!!! We were told that our hand crafted furniture was ready for delivery. Now, what that means, is that you find some guy with a rickety cart and hope he can make it through the crowded streets to your house without the newly acquired and completely awesome furniture falling off of said cart. To our pleasant surprise, it all made it unscratched and absolutely beautiful!!! Just look!!! Just so you know, it was far cheaper to have the furniture custom built for us than it was to purchase prefabricated cam-locking press-board furniture. The only down side, was of course the amount of time it took to get it. ... read more
One of the workers cutting out the design in our wood by hand!
Can you believe that each little piece is done individually!?!?!
He takes a paper stencil and draws it directly onto the wood...

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