Monday, July 23, 2007

New House

So I'm finally moving off on my own. I spent today shopping for all those wonderful things you need in a new house like, well, you know... stuff. Pots, pans, stove, blah blah blah...

... I hate shopping. However, shopping here means that I'm finally getting my own space which I am REALLY excited about. The other thing it means though is lots of bartering... the horror. It's ok. I've got most of what I need for my kitchen except for the fridge. I'm lucky enough to have electricity so I can get one of those. I don't have running water, but the source of water is only like 20 meters away from my house.

I would upload pictures but I don't have any yet because my batteries have died and I keep forgetting to get new ones. Lame excuse I know, but true none the less. Getting anything here takes so much time and I sometimes forget what I came into town for.

So here's a little description of the house. I've got three rooms which means it's huge. I have a little turkish toilet hidden under the stairs to the roof. I have my own roof which is awesome. I have a kitchen and a little room for bathing. It's right on the main road and I'm not that far from my souq (market) town.

Because I have three rooms this means that you should all come and visit me because I have room to house you. Seriously... come visit me

Change of address

Ok, so now that I'm moving I have a new souq town and am going to have to get a new Post Office Box. So for those of you who know my address, put a hold on whatever wonderful surprises you were about to send my way and wait until I've gotten the new PO Box. I can still receive at the other one, I just won't be in that town often anymore. I'll get the new address out as soon I get it.

Thanks for all those who have sent letters and books. I miss you guys.

Stupid Sheep

So let me ask you a question, and then I'm going to answer it for you since of course this isn't really a conversation. Would you say sheep are hopelessly stupid or insanely intelligent?

Your answer of course is that they are one of the dumbest creatures on the face of the planet. In fact they are practically a synonym for stupid.

Why would you say they are dumb?

Because they follow each other around and would follow each other off of a cliff it that's where they were led. I've seen them repeatedly walk into a fence to try to get to the other side when the door is 3 feet away. Not the brightest animal in God's creation.

Now I live with a bunch of farmers and shepherds here in Morroco and I've had the same conversation and answered much the same way that you did... that sheep were dumb... and you would have thought that I had just spit on their mother. They insisted that sheep were incredibly intelligent and when I asked why enough times for them to give me an actual explanation they gave me the same exact reasons you gave for them being dumb. They follow the leader and don't deviate from the group. All you have to do is lead one and the rest follow.

The sheep here are the same sheep in the rest of the world, the only difference is what the people deem praiseworthy. I'm going to let you draw your own conclusions about what that says about our cultural differences.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

All Wet

I went camping last weekend with a bunch of environment volunteers. It was quite an amazing weekend actually. we had two guitar players, a mandolin player and some great singers all around a campfire. So pretty much paradise for me.

Before leaving for this weekend of camping however I took a look at what I was bringing and saw my rain jacket but thought to myself... it hasn't rained here in months, why on earth would I bring that?

Several hours later there were nine of us huddled in a tent built for 3 shivering, and trying to eat the food we had that had been soaked through with the rain. It was actually quite a spectacular storm. The wind almost blew our tents away and the lightning and thunder lasted all night.

The moral of the story is that it only rains in Morroco when you plan on sleeping outside.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Building a Well

The landscape...

My friend going down to dig...

Stayin out of the sun...

Work site...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Water Systems

There are some of you who have a reference for the pictures I'm about to show you. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, contact the right people and you'll figure it out.

This is the source of water provided for a town by the local mine. The water here is pumped from 800m below ground where the water table is.

It is then pumped up the hill about a half a kilometer or more to this Chateau where it probably should be treated. From here it goes in two directions. Some of the water is pumped in the direction of a far away village, and the rest is pumped back underground where it flows down the other side of the hill.

And this is the well where it comes out and where more than 200 people get their drinking water.