Another Thanksgiving. November 19-December 5, 2019 (part 2 of 3)
I made it through my second Thanksgiving in Morocco, without tears this year. I had four Thanksgivings. I already told you about the wonderful turkey lunch with my boss and his family. On the real day, I showed the kids pictures of traditional Thanksgiving dinners, taught a few words related to things we are thankful for. Then, we made the requisite hand turkeys. That evening, I received several nice texts from home, and even a phone call from my neighbors. I also received a Thanksgiving/Christmas package from my Aunt, including all my favorite things. I felt like Oprah! I won’t tell all, but there were polar fleece socks, Sees candy and Starbucks coffee. There was a Thanksgiving card and a Christmas card, a tiny Christmas ornament and a fabulous family photo collage. I feel guilty for her extravagance, but happy none-the-less.
Third, was a wonderful visit from friends. Actually, the daughter of my friends in Las Vegas (former Napa Valley), and her husband. I had not seen her since she was young, but I would have known her anywhere, she looks so much like her mom (and her picture is on my “wall of love”). Her husband was really great also. We spent a day in Fes. I wish there had been more time, but a short visit was better than none. We did all the favorite sites I have described before, the medieval charm of the old medina, a tannery, an ancient school, street food, the long garden promenade of Hassan II, and one new thing. We stopped in front of the Royal Palace (the King has one in every city) and next to it is the Mellah, or Jewish quarter. We managed to shoo away the first “friend”, but somehow found ourselves following a guy, that said “you’re looking for the cemetery and Synagogue? It’s right there”. Well, “right there” and 30 minutes later we are following this guy in circles. I said I am sorry, but we need to leave, more than once. He takes us to a dark dead-end and wants to know what we are going to pay him. Ha! I would have tipped the guy, but not after that. Which I explained to him. He threw a fit, but too bad. We left, more circles, but it was not too difficult. We are warned against the unlicensed guides, but I fell into it. If they get caught, they go to jail. A fabulous day, even with our unpleasant “friend”. My friends brought me brown sugar, a commodity that does not exist in Morocco. Which leads me to Thanksgiving number 4.
Everyone from our Region was told to report to Fes, for a flu shot. I tried to weasel out of it, but was ignored. While there, I received an invitation to have Thanksgiving with the other PCVs from our Region, at one of the homes. I like the couple that was hosting, and it was a nice gathering. I brought candied sweet potatoes (thanks to the brown sugar, and a previous gift of Amaretto) and artichoke hearts. Rotisserie chickens substituted for turkey. There were mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, pumpkin pie, chocolate pecan pie. Yum. There were adorable decorations and Thanksgiving napkins, from the US. They even had a tiny Christmas tree, with classic looking tiny ornaments. There were 7 of us, 7 of the 9 left in our region from our Staj. We started with 13, so I guess we are doing ok. The new group was just sworn in this past week, bringing 15 newbies to our region.
I could write an entire blog entry on the renewal of my Carte de Sejour (Green card), the PC Safety and Security, the Belladia in Fes, and the Police station in Sefrou, but the short version is that I got that done. While at the Police station in Sefrou, one of the Gendarmerie from my town came in. Though I did not recognize him, he knew me, where I had spent the night, with whom, including all the other PCVs. For my safety.