Busy is as Busy Does

I feel like I've been posting about our last trip for weeks because nothing has been going on.  Wait! That's not true, it's because everything has been going on lately!  A short list of goings on are as follows:

1.  I started my new job at the consulate and I am loving it.  Capital L.  It's a bit of library, a bit of public affairs, a bit of social media, a bit of programming, a lot of wonderful people, a bit of French, a bit of Arabic, a bit of.... you get the idea.  I feel really blessed.

2.  A few of my new colleges have been helping me learn a some Arabic and it has been awesome.  I think they get a real kick out of my 'look-what-I-can-do' silliness, but they are gracious when I mispronounce something as simple as good morning and that means the world to me.  

3.  It's Ramadan!  I'll post more about the holy month of fasting later, but it changes the pace of life drastically in this part of the world.  Shops are closed and the streets look like ghost towns until about 10:30 p.m. when things really pick up and go well into the night.  It's been a much different experience than in Jerusalem and we have learned a lot.

4.  I pulled something gnarly in my back whilst working it out to a Denise Austin exercise video.  No matter, I've started a regiment of physical therapy including what feels like a mild form of electro-shock therapy.  Adventures in health care indeed.  

5.  I've started driving.  You heard right, driving!   Remember the left turn I told you about where everyone lines up 10 cars across (instead of behind one another) and then races to funnel into the single lane that T's with intersection?  I have made several such left turns and so far so good.  It occurred to me that going from being and American driver to a Moroccan driver would have been really stressful, but going from being an American walker (without a car) to a Moroccan driver makes total sense.  You just have to behave like you are not driving a several ton machine full of gasoline but a regular person who can squeeze through tight spaces, back up at will, go in the wrong direction, and park on sidewalks (which I've done on several occasions).  

6. My youngest brother moved to Hawaii to play soccer as a college Freshman and I'm so proud I could burst.  Even though I'm thousands of miles away from him I feel like I have personally sent him off to school all by himself and Max has had to talk me down from my worry several times.  In my most extreme moments of anxiety I will cry out  "How do parents do this?!  How can we ever do this?!"  I'm ridiculous.  

7.  I signed up for French class through the Foreign Service Institute, gulp, in the intermediate class.  I may have lost my brain.  We'll see how it goes.

8.  You've been watching the news, right?  Lots of stuff has been going on around these parts and further east.  My heart has been heavy for those who have and are experiencing very hard time these days.

I'll leave you with a few pictures of the last leg of our trip to Marrakesh from the Atlas Mountains.  We took a day trip up and around several windy bends to the Berber town of Imlil.  We ate an amazing Berber tagine in the shadow of the highest mountain in North Africa, Jebel Toubkal, and watched the local children play in the rivers that trickle out of the mountains.  The perfect getaway from our getaway.  So postmodern.

Small villages in the Atlas Mountains


  1. I'm so glad you're loving the job. I wish that I got to work with you longer than 2 days!

  2. So proud of you for doing EVERYTHING! You are amazing the way you live your life. Is it hard to learn two languages at once? French and Arabic? Does your brain mix them up? How much do people mix them together when speaking? Love all the beautiful pictures.

  3. I am so glad that you like your job. That is fabulous. Awesome that you are driving, that is a big step.

    It sounds like things are pretty good in your world.

  4. Rin... I guess when I say "a little Arabic" I mean the barest amount. I'm up to "Hello, Goodbye, God is Good,I like books" But I guess what else do you need, right? People weave in and out of the languages quite a bit. I can understand ok because of the French I took in DC, but producing is a different story :) Take Care

  5. Liz - I wish it was longer than two days too! But maybe in Istanbul, right?

    Say hello to Ian and Clara for us.