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About rakisradresources

teacher mother of 3 wife

Decisions, decisions, decisions

In November, our family came to the realization that living in Morocco wasn’t working out for us and we were ready for the next move.  Of course that meant we had to know what the next move was.  Hmmmm………………

We bounced around a ton, and I do mean a ton, of possibilities.  We looked into the possibility of a foreign hire position in another country, thought about going back to the United States, thought about moving to another city in Morocco.  There were a lot of discussions and “discussions” and lists, and decisions, and then changing our decisions!  Let’s just say it’s been a long, complicated process.

In January, we thought we had it figured out, and we had a piece – we were going back to the United States.  At that point, we thought we were going to Oregon to settle down for awhile.  However, we soon realized that all of Raki’s school work had been done with the premise of getting a teacher’s certification from GA, so if he was to student teach in the US, then he had to student teach in GA. 

This opened up a ton of new decisions to make.  Student teaching is only one semester long – from August – December.  Should Raki go to GA while the boys and I were in OR?  Should we all go to GA for a school year?  And there were more things to consider:

– Where would the boys go to school?  How would we maintain the base in Arabic and French they have built over the last 3 years?  Will they have time to do this work after school?  Will they miss out on friends or activities, or begin to dislike Arabic and French if it is something “extra”?

– Would I be able to get a job?  The job market for teachers is tough right now.  If I do get a job, do I want to be public or private?  Where do I want to teach?  Where will I be able to find a job?

– Then again, did I want to get a job?  I am currently struggling to balance teaching, my teacher resource business and being a mom and wife.  What if I decided to stay at home and just focus on my business?  Can we afford that? 

– What would we do after Raki was done with student teaching?  Did we want to stay in GA?  Go to OR?  Try for an international position?

Another thing to consider became health issues.  I have recently had my second hernia surgery this school year.  My doctor is on me to exercise daily, and while I have added in ab exercise most mornings, there has been little to no time to add in the bicycling and swimming he wants me doing in order to prevent further hernias.  In addition, Raki has had chest pains and he doctor has recommended better exercise and time for rest – which hasn’t been easy to fit in between school, work and kids.

So, about a month ago, we finally made a few big decisions.  We haven’t got it all figured out yet, but here is what we have decided:

1.  I am not going to teach next year.  I will stay at home and work on my business, as well as home school the boys.  Since Sam can’t go to “school” in the US yet anyways, this saves us the cost of daycare and allows me to work full time on my business – Raki’s Rad Resources, and spend some real time each day exercising and meditating, and improving my overall health.

2.  Home schooling.  By home schooling the boys, they can spend equal time on English, French and Arabic, giving them the same amount of afternoon time off for friends and activities as if they were going to public school.  This way, they can maintain their language, and hopefully the love of these languages that they have formed, while still having time to be kids.  (Since the mass of homework they are doing now is one of the reasons we are finding Morocco disagreeable, the kids are excited to homeschooling.) 

3.  Raki will student teach in GA and we will be in GA with him for the duration of his student teaching.  We decided that separating our family was not a good idea for anyone, although he will return to the US a month early to take his certification test, but 4 weeks is a lot easier to bear than 24 weeks.

4.  The RV.  To reduce costs and make this more feasible, and to help us gain one of our other dreams, we will buy an RV (or convert a school bus into an RV) and use it as our place of residence.  This will also give us the opportunity to continue traveling – which is a family passion.  One possibility for life after Raki is done student teaching is to travel full time in our RV.

So, that is where we are at right now.  Raki will return to the US in June, the boys and I will return in July.  There are so many more decisions to make, but right now we are trying hard to take it one step at a time.  Raki is busily finishing up his Master’s work, packing up what little we are shipping, and selling all of the rest of our stuff.  I am recovering from hernia surgery and trying to balance my classroom and my business and my family for just a bit longer.

I will continue to blog about the experience here until July – and then you can expect to find a new blog-adventure to follow as we change continents and shift gears.

Okay, that was a lot of writing!  Here are a few pictures from our recent trip up north to Tetouan, Cueta and Chef Chouan as a treat for those of you who made it through it all. 

Cueta - light house - Spain in Morocco - Heidi Raki   Cueta - garden - Spain in Morocco - Heidi Raki

Cueta - statue - Spain in Morocco - Heidi Raki     Chef Chouan Morocco - Heidi Raki

Cueta - fortress - Spain in Morocco - Heidi Raki Cueta - the view from the top- Spain in Morocco - Heidi Raki     Chef Chouan Morocco - kasbah - Heidi Raki Chef Chouan Morocco - kasbah - Heidi Raki

Chef Chouan Morocco - kasbah - Heidi Raki Chef Chouan Morocco - kasbah - Heidi Raki    

 

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Food Costs – USA vs. Morocco

We have just recently returned from a 2 month trip to the US.  This was our first trip back to the US since leaving to move to Morocco two years ago.  It was an amazing trip and a great adventure, but it brought a lot of things into perspective for me as well.  In the next few weeks, I will be posting a series of posts about things I learned or thought about during the trip, as well as some cool pictures from the journey.

Today, I am going to talk about food.  When we left for the US, we were so excited to be getting a taste of the foods we have been missing for the past two years – tortillas, thick crust pizza, sour cream and onion chips, berries, cottage cheese etc.  While in the US, we definitely took part in lots of these great luxuries and enjoyed them.  We ate tacos A LOT, and splurged on all of our favorite junk food.  However, we found that there were an equal amount of foods from Morocco that we missed while we were in the US – fresh baked bread and, fresh vegetables and fruits with flavor being two of the key things we missed.  This highlighted, for me, the differences between foods in the US and Morocco.  In the US, the food is often based around what smells good, looks good and stays good forever (I completely forgot how many preservatives can be in food).  In Morocco, the food is based around what tastes good, and is good for you.  Now this is not to say that there is no junk food in Morocco – I can attest that there is plenty!  However, the overall prevalence of it is less – with the distinct distinction being French Fries, which can be found EVERYWHERE!

The other key difference in food between the US and Morocco is cost.  I know that the cost of living is higher in the US, but the cost of food is SO much higher in the US.  In the US, I spent approximately 35% of my monthly budget on food.  In Morocco, I spend approximately 19% of my monthly budget on food.  This is a HUGE difference.  To illustrate my point, here is what we picked up today at the souk:

What $16 will buy you at a souk in Morocco - a cost comparison of food in Morocco to food in the USA at Journey to Morocco from Raki's Rad Resources.

This lot of fruit, vegetables, pasta, cookies and rice cost us 130DH, which is $15.59.  It will last me for the entire week.  We will eat meals off of it, but also snacks, and make smoothies each day with the fruit.  All of the food was grown by local farmers, who send their food to Bouskoura – near Casablanca, on Tuesdays.  Each town in this area has a day when this “Farmer’s Souk” comes to the area and provides fresh food and other goods for those who don’t have transportation into the city and the larger souks that lie there.

If I were to buy this same amount of food in the US, it would cost about 3 times the amount, especially because the majority of it is fruits and vegetables, which we found to be the most expensive items to buy in the US.  In a country where obesity is an issue, the US has cheap grains, processed foods and other junk, but expensive fruits, vegetables and quality meat (the kind that doesn’t eat corn and antibiotics as their main meal).  Ask for your fruits and vegetables not to be covered in pesticides (you know – grown organically) and you up your price even more.  If you are on a budget in the US – and we completely were traveling on a budget – you end up buying cheaper, less quality foods, so that you can buy enough to keep your family full.

Now, let’s talk about packaging.  I forgot how many items come pre-packaged for individual servings, something that is rare here in Morocco – unless you’re buying cookies.  In one supermarket, I found applesauce in a jar, applesauce in a cup and applesauce that could be squeezed out of little tubes.  I know that applesauce in a cup can be convenient, but how hard is it really, to pour it into a small bowl?  At least with applesauce in a cup, you can re-use the cup later for snacks or arts and crafts, or you can recycle it.  With applesauce in a tube, what are you doing with that extra packaging, except throwing it away?  I know they’re charging you for it, because it’s definitely more expensive that the one large jar of applesauce.  I was glad to see how many recycling programs there were in the US, especially out west, but the idea of pre-packaging everything seems to defeat the purpose.

I know that the Moroccan food system is not perfect.  In fact, many Moroccans are trying to mimic the US food system, which has brought the advent of things like individual serving cookies and snacks.  I just find it easier to buy the food I enjoy eating, in packaging that makes me more comfortable, at a price I can afford.  And after a trip to the US, I will still crave sour cream and tortillas, but I know that I am content to have those as luxuries when we travel, so that we can live on a steady diet of affordable fruits and vegetables.

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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Moroccan Food

 

USA Trip Itinerary

Wow, I knew I was behind, but I didn’t realize I hadn’t posted on here since August!  Well, if you’re clueless what I’ve been up to since then, please stop by my other two blogs – Raki’s Rad Resources and Global Teacher Connect, which get updated more regularly.  I promise to try and post a few things here in the next few weeks that will catch everyone up.  However, today, I am here to officially announce our itinerary for this summer. 

For those of you who haven’t heard, my husband is currently going to Grand Canyon University online, working on his Master’s Degree in Secondary Education.  In August, he will take his certification test, so we have decided to spend the entire summer in the United States.  Once we are there, we will purchase a van and travel quite extensively, visiting family and monuments of interest to my children.

If you look at the Google Map above, you will see our destinations.  Each blue pin is an anticipated stop, if you click on the pin, you will see the anticipated dates and activities.

I will be back soon to report on what is going on here in Morocco, but right now, I’m off to work on planning this extensive trip.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Travel

 

Chore Checkbook

printable chore checkbook - help kids earn money and keep track of it - freeLast year, we were lucky enough to have a “femme de menage” come out and help us out with chores around the house.  However, this year we have a big goal – we want to spend all of next summer (or as much as we can afford) traveling & camping in Europe.  With this goal in mind, we are economizing and doing without any household help for the year.  However, we are lucky enough to have two children old enough to be quite helpful, and we plan to put them to work!   Lucky for them, we are willing to compensate them, since it will also be a great way to teach them about budgeting and work on a bunch of math skills.  We sat down as a family and created a chore list, assigning a price to each chore, and I’ve made the boys checkbooks to help them keep track of the money they earn and spend, so that I don’t have to constantly find dirhams to pay them with.  The boys are super excited about this – especially because I have offered to exchange their dirhams to dollars (more math lessons!) and allow them to download games, books and music to their “devices”.  Anyways, while I was making the checkbook, I realized that it is something I might use in my classroom too, so I decided to put it into Google Docs, just in case anyone else wanted to use it – for inspiration or printing!  If any other parents out there want to share their chore payment ideas – I’m always open minded to options!!

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Homeschooling

 

Vacation’s Finished

For the last 2 years, our family has been pretty much in high gear movement mode (with a few long weekends thrown in for sanity).  Before deciding to move to Morocco, I was finishing my Master’s Degree (which took it’s toll on EVERYONE in the family) and then I got pregnant with our youngest son, Sam (which also took it’s toll on EVERYONE in the family).  While pregnant, we decided to do an international move – here to Morocco, and life has been in high speed since, packing, moving, setting up house, starting the Raki’s Rad Resources Blog and Website, getting 2 kids settled into school in two new languages, have wonderful family come to visit, moving house again, tutoring, etc. etc.  We have been one BUSY family.  So, we decided to take 2 weeks in the south of Morocco to recharge our batteries before the new school year starts and we begin running again!

Here are some pictures of what we did for the last two weeks:

Camping in Agadir, Morocco   Camping in Agadir, Morocco  Camping in Agadir, Morocco

At our campsite

Waterfall Near Agadir, Morocco     Waterfall Near Agadir, Morocco   Waterfall Near Agadir, Morocco

At the waterfall

Agadir, Morocco   Agadir, Morocco    Agadir, Morocco

Amazing Scenery

Beach in Agadir, Morocco   Beach in Agadir, Morocco  Beach in Agadir, Morocco

At the Beach

Swimming in Agadir, Morocco   Swimming in Agadir, Morocco  Swimming in Agadir, Morocco

At the Pool & Aquatic Park

Historical sites near Agaidr, Morocco  Historical sites near Agaidr, Morocco  Historical sites near Agaidr, Morocco

At the Historic Sites

Animals of Agadir, Morocco     Animals of Agadir, MoroccoAnimals of Agadir, Morocco

The Animals

Right before we left, we talked as a family about what our favorite part of vacation was and here were the responses:

Sam – collecting rocks (okay, he can’t talk, but we spoke for him)

Zaiyd – finding lots of different places to swim

Kal – going to the waterfall

Mom (Heidi) – the beautiful scenery

Dad (Khalil) – the great neighbors we met from France

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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Pictures of Morocco, Travel

 

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I survived……

the first day of Ramadan!  This is the first time I have every tried to fast during Ramadan, so surviving Day 1 is super exciting to me!  Millions of Muslims around the world fast every day for an entire month, denying themselves food and water from sunrise to sunset.  This year for Ramadan, I decided I wanted to experience this with them.  Now, don’t jump to any conclusions, I am not converting to Islam. I am lucky enough to be married to a Muslim man who believes that I can and should believe anything I wish, and while I am enjoying exploring the religion, I do not feel any need to convert. However, I do want to experience life from other people’s point of view.  My reasons for wanting to try this are: 

1. to prove to myself that I can do it 

2.  to better appreciate the goodies and treats that are used to celebrate making it through a day of fasting 

3. to experience for myself the appreciation of having food on a regular basis that comes as part of fasting for Ramadan

4.  to share the experience with my 8 year old who is “trying” Ramadan for the first time and with my husband who has been doing Ramadan for the last 26 years

I don’t know if this will be the only Ramadan I participate in, or if I will even make it through the whole month, but I will check in periodically to let you know how it is going.  Here are my reflections from the first day, and some pictures of our Iftar feast.

I woke up at 3 a.m. the night before the fast to eat Suhoor, a meal of sustenance to help you through your fast.  I had oatmeal, with apples and carrots mixed in (loading up on the fiber!) and a smoothie made of avocado, milk and banana, as well as a bunch of water.  Then, back to sleep, and up with the baby around 7 a.m.  The overall fasting wasn’t bad, but there were silly things, like remembering not to like my fingers after feeding the baby something from my hands.  The smells and aromas of all foods were definitely amplified when I fed Zaiyd and Sam and when I began preparing for “Iftar” – the meal when you break your fast.  (I know people who fast and work in food service, and I can’t imagine how difficult this must be!)  We knew we would break our fast at 7:39 p.m., and by 4:00 p.m., we were in the kitchen beginning preparations.  My husband made the Haraia, the lentil soup that is full of protein and vitamins.  The boys helped me to make Zucchini bread (not traditionally Moroccan, but much loved in my household, and another way to get vegetables in).  I boiled eggs, and made a cheese ball recipe from my cookbook.  I am trying out one new recipe a day for Ramadan.  I made flan and warmed up M’smen (a Moroccan flat bread that we buy in bulk and freeze) and a Baguette.  At the last minute, we made coffee, and put out dates, chebekeah (the most delicious cookies that basically consist of deep fried dough coated in honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds), a bowl of fruit and some juice for the boys.  Our Iftar is not always traditionally Moroccan, but is like our family – a mixture of American and Moroccan that fits best for our family. 

We were so anxious to eat that the table was set about 10 minutes before it was time to eat.  I used this time to take pictures for this post, and we watched a little tv.  Then, we heard the call for prayer and we began to eat.  I expected the first bite to be a big deal, but then I forgot that I have small kids who need to be helped out first, lol!  My first bite was actually a part of a banana I was serving to Sam.  I enjoyed all of the treats, but found that the chebekeah that I devoured in mounds last year (when I wasn’t fasting) was actually too sweat to eat more than one.  I also decided the coffee was too sweat right then, and opted for some leftover smoothie from Suhoor instead.  The haraia was amazing and the eggs tasted perfect.  My body craved the proteins and that is what I ate.  The whole process really makes me think about what my body NEEDS rather than what it wants.  When we were done eating, we sat around chit chatting and I had a great feeling of appreciation for the life that I have and the ability to have this experience.  We then went out and walked and enjoyed the night air.  After we returned home (and had to put Zaiyd through the window b/c we had forgotten a key, lol!)  We put the kiddos to bed and I enjoyed some rice and beans before heading to bed. 

It is now officially Day 2 and just writing this for you is making my stomach grumble, but I know that I can make it through.  That is part of what Ramadan is doing for me, building confidence in myself.  Now, here are some pictures of our Iftar table from yesterday:

Ramadan iftar meal

The Whole Table of Goodies

chebekeah - Ramadan iftar meal

Chebekeah – the cookie of the gods!

haraiah - Ramadan iftar meal

Haraiah – Ramadan soup with lentils

cheese balls - Ramadan iftar meal

Cheese Balls – Ramadan Recipe of Day 1

zuchini bread - Ramadan iftar meal

Zucchini Bread – a Family Favorite

Ramadan Kareem to those celebrating!

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources and Journey to Morocco

 

 

The Language Learning Process

We’ve  been in Morocco a little over a year now, and the 4 of us who didn’t speak Arabic or French when we arrived have all increased our knowledge of these two languages.  However, as I stopped to reflect, I realized we also all represent different types of language learners, and thereby we have achieved different levels of success with Arabic and French.  Here’s where we currently are as language learners:

DSCF2731Samir – Sam is a baby and so knew nothing when we arrived.  He was only 3 months old after all.  However, now at 16 months old, he completely understand when you speak to him in Arabic, just the same as you had spoken to him in English.  He doesn’t have much spoken vocabulary yet, but his receptive vocabulary is very high in both Arabic and English.  He has had very little exposure to French, as he has spent his days with me (in English) or my husband and/or the nanny (in Arabic), but I can tell by how he responds to the Arabic that if he continues to be in this type of environment, he will view Arabic as a mother tongue.  He will be my truly “native speaker”.

DSCF2668Zaiyd – Zaiyd was 3 1/2 when we came to Morocco.  He knew how to speak very well in English, and was beginning to learn to read in English.  In Arabic, he knew the letters and a few key words and phrases.  In French, he knew nothing.  He began school in a program where 1/2 of his day is spent in French and 1/2 of his day is spent in Arabic.  Although his day was quite long, it was more focused on coloring, singing and vocabulary.  He amassed a huge vocabulary in both Arabic and French quite quickly.  However, due to his personality, he chooses not to speak in French or Arabic as often as he can get away with, to the point of hearing and understanding the French sentence, and then responding directly in English, showing he understands, but does not want to take the time to work on the spoken piece if he can be understood in English.  Zaiyd also took a preference for French over Arabic and so his French vocabulary started to surpass his Arabic vocabulary.  There are certain concepts that he learned in school (in French and/or Arabic) before we worked on them at home in English.  For example, Zaiyd is much more comfortable with the days of the week in French than he is in English.  While French and Arabic will never be Zaiyd’s mother tounge, it seems that if he continues to be in this type of environment, he will definitely be fluent in both shortly.

DSCF2567Khalil – Kal was 7 when we came to Morocco.  He attended Prek – 1st grade in a Georgia Public School in the US.  He could read and write well in English.  In Arabic, he knew the letters, his body parts, and a few key words and phrases.  In French. he knew nothing.  He began school in a program where 1/2 of his day is spent in French and 1/2 of his day is spent in Arabic.  Instead of going to second grade, he completed first grade again.  He learned to read and write again, both in French and in Arabic.  He learned grammar, memorized poems and Koran verses, and learned to write in pen.  He had some difficulty with the differences in the school systems, but he thoroughly enjoyed school.  Kal loves to learn and he threw himself into conquering these two languages.  Kal took a preference for Arabic and really enjoyed reading the street signs to us and reciting the Koran verses he had memorized via rote (even if he didn’t completely understand them yet.)  He was able to use his base in English to understand new concepts, and still translates his learning from Arabic (or French) into English in order to understand it completely.  Like Zaiyd, Kal will be fluent if he continues to be in this type of environment, in fact he already communicates quite well in both languages.  However, most of the concepts Kal learns in English and then his brain does a lot of translating between languages.

headshotMe – I was 28 when we came to Morocco.  I was (and still am) a teacher, who is used to helping kids learn English, but I never mastered a language myself.  I learned quite a bit of Spanish in high school, but was never immersed into the language and have never felt that I am fluent there – although I am quite comfortable with the language.  I took one semester of French in college, so I had a small base of French.  I visited Morocco 6 years ago, and have lived with a Moroccan (my wonderful husband) for almost 10 years, so I knew some key phrases in Arabic, lots of food names, animal names, body parts etc., but I was far from fluent, and barely comfortable, in Arabic.  Unlike the kids, I don’t get to spend my days immersed in the language.  Instead, I teach English all day, and am in English speaking environments about 80% to 90% of the time.  I did take Arabic classes (twice a week for an hour at a time), and I’ve been in plenty of situations where no one speaks English.  However, after a year here, I’m still so very far from capable.  I can get through the pleasantries of polite conversations.  I can get my basic needs met.  I can understand the gist of a conversation, and I know how much the merchants are asking for when I buy something.  However, there is so much I would like to say, and understand in French and Arabic, that I don’t.  I have had to make myself understand that my boys will ALWAYS speak better French and Arabic than I do.  I have had to make myself understand that I’m doing the best that I can.  I’ve had to remind myself that I am speaking and understanding much more than I was last year.  I have to remind myself that it doesn’t happen overnight.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be fluent in French or Arabic, but I know I’ll keep trying and learning.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources and Journey to Morocco   

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Arabic, French, Language Learning

 

Neighbourhood Walk Around the World–Casablanca, Morocco

neighbourhood-walk-badge

Jo Ebisjum of JoJebi Designs is doing a “neighbourhood walk around the world”.  I thought this was a great idea, and wanted to share a look at our neighborhood here in Casablanca, Morocco.  After you check out our pictures, please feel free to click on the badge to find all the other neighborhoods around the world.

1.  A mail box – We don’t really have a mailbox, but this is where we get our mail – these are our electric meters.  If you have anything really important, like a package, they leave you a note and you have to go to the post office and pick it up.

Electric Meters in Morocco

2.  A local store – called a Hanut, they have a little bit of everything!

Local store, or hanut in Morocco

3.  A manhole cover

Man Hole Cover in Morocco

4.  A park/play area – these are so far and few between, that we don’t have any in our area.  Here’s the “jardin” where my kids play.  It’s in the center of the apartment buildings, and it gets loud in the afternoons with rousing games of soccer!

Garden (Jardin) play area in Morocco

5.  A View of the Street – We have a café right where the apartments meet the road.  When there is a soccer game, the café fills up with people and we can hear them cheer all the way back in our apartment.

View of a Street in Morocco

6.  A Local Form of Transport – Since moving to Boskura, my kids love that you can catch a horse taxi so close by.

Local Transportation in Morocco - Horse Taxi

7. A Local Animal – In addition to wild cats, donkeys are the animal you see most often in the streets here.  They pull everything from fruit to wood to garbage.  You can find a donkey on every streets and my kids can even differentiate the sound between a donkey and a horse now!

Local Animals in Morocco - Donkey Transportation

8. A Picture of a Local Shopping Center – These are the stores you can find in the Marjane shopping center.

Stores and Shopping Centers in Morocco

9.  Buildings Under Constructions – There are so many buildings being build in and around Casablanca.  It’s amazing to me to see the sticks that are used to hold up levels while they fill in the cement blocks.  After the building is built with cement, it is covered with cement or plaster.

Buildings Under Construction in Morocco

10. A Street Sign – This is the sign you see when you are getting on the highway.

Street Sign in Morocco - Marrakech and El Jadida

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources and Journey to Morocco

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Pictures of Morocco

 

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Another Move

This weekend, we made another move.  Luckily, this move wasn’t an international one, but still, it has been a “fun” week, trying to get packed, moved, unpacked, settled in, etc.  We moved from a half a villa in Oasis, Casablanca – pretty close to the downtown “centreville” area, out to Boskura – a small area on the outskirts of Casablanca.  It’s not very far – it only takes us 15 minutes tJourney to Morocco - Raki's Rad Resourceso get from one place to the other, but it feels like a word of difference.  It’s much more “rural” and so we see sheep and cows really close by.  Instead of just donkeys and horses in the street, it’s not strange to see some sheep or cows grazing on the side of the road.  There are beautiful farms to see on the drive between the two, and if you want to, you can grab a horse drawn taxi here as well.  (There are also grand taxis – large and white, but only go along one route, and we see blue petite taxis from Mohamadia and Rabat.  The petite taxis are red in Casablanca.) 

Most of the time, this is a really quiet area, although there are many people moving here to “escape the city” and so there is a lot of construction noises going on around us.  Down the road is a huge souk, which is only open on Tuesdays, but draws huge crowds.  We didn’t make it this week, but we hope to go next week.  I can’t wait to walk around!  On Friday, the two huge mosques fill up with people from all around.  People come to pray and to shop afterwards – as all of the fruit and vegetable vendors (and some other vendors too) will be sitting outside the mosque when prayer time is over.

Our new place has two bedrooms, a salon/dining area, a bathroom and a kitchen.  It’s not much smaller than the last place, although it doesn’t have a balcony.  We are on the ground floor, which is good and bad.  It’s good because the boys can take their bikes right outside to the garden area to ride and play with friends.  It’s bad because the laundry lines are 4 floors up, so when the washing machine is done, I have to walk up 4 floors to hang the clothes.  It’s okay, though, there is an elevator which should be working soon – in’challah!  (In’challah is Arabic for “If God Wills It”, but is often used in place of “hopefully”.)

Here are a few pictures of our new place – please excuse the boxes that are all over the place!  I’ll be back in a few days with pictures of the neighborhood.

Journey to Morocco - Raki's Rad Resources    Journey to Morocco - Raki's Rad Resources    Journey to Morocco - Raki's Rad Resources    Journey to Morocco - Raki's Rad Resources

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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Living Among History

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Not long ago, we took a trip to Fes, one of the oldest cities in Morocco.  We walked around the medina, the 100_6989city walls, and an Islamic school that were all built around the year 825 A.D.  It was amazing to see, but the most amazing part was that there were people living right there in the middle of this amazing, historical place.  There were kids kicking a soccer ball, ladies shopping, men drinking coffee, just like every other city I’ve been to in Morocco. 

100_5206We don’t live in quite as historic of a setting, but we still live in a city where donkeys pull carts down the street, meat hangs outside of butcher shops and vegetables are sold by farmers more often than by supermarkets.  This type of setting is amazing for my children.  I love the fact that they can recognize city walls, they know that meat comes from cows (and sheep and chickens) and that everything and anything can be bought at the souk – including a live chicken that will not be live when you leave!  They know that the man saying “eeep” outside is looking for something to buy and the sound of a man calling “Allah Akbar” over a loud speaker means it is time for prayers.  Since we moved here, we have seen ruins and plazas and other amazing things that they wouldn’t have gotten to see otherwise.  Having this kind of background knowledge will be an asset for my children. 

 

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Posted by on April 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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