Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Tree!

Don't worry, we don't think our kid is the next Picasso! But, he did paint a tree, right-side up, with the correct colors, and even a blue sky and ground below. And we thought that was pretty cool, considering Liam usually just makes creative little scribbles.

Insert proud parent moment here. It is pretty fun to watch your kids grow up before your very eyes. Just not too fast, we hope.

Public Health Gone Bad

Corey and I both have Masters degrees in Public Health from Texas A&M University Rural School of Public Health. We will just say that knowing what we know about health and living in Morocco keeps things...interesting.

Yesterday, for instance, we took Norah to the doctor to get immunized. While waiting in the office we saw this.

Sorry for the dark picture. If you will look at the top of the fish tank (that has no fish inside) you will see a coffee cup. During our visit, we saw two different moms walk up, put water in the cup, and give their child a drink.

Imagine that, a communal water cup available to the entire office full of sick (and healthy) children waiting to see their friendly physician. Either this doctor has figured out a great way to keep his business running or there is a bit of a disconnect happening here in this country.

(The communal cup exists everywhere in Morocco, especially in the medina, a large market square where literally thousands of Moroccans and tourists shop daily. For the great bargain of only 10 cents you can get your thirst quenched and maybe pick up a few free communicable diseases while you are at it!)

Getting your hands dirty...

I've been trying to give the kids opportunities to be outside more.  This is quite challenging though, since we live in an apartment.  There's a "park" right in our neighborhood, but it's nothing like parks in America.  There are trees and dirt and such, but there is no playground equipment and you have to watch out for broken glass on the ground.

But, there's this nice spot that is pretty cleaned out, under a canopy of shade trees, and Liam and Norah love sitting and playing in the dirt.  I've really enjoyed sitting and watching them play.  And they love getting their hands dirty (and faces, and feet, and mommy's clothes too).

We really, really want to move to a place with a yard though.  They are harder to come by and we've been searching for several months.  I want the kids to be able to play outside often, at impromptu times.  And I want to be able to play outside with them and be silly, and not worry about whether or not the park is too empty or unsafe feeling, or whether me sitting in the dirt playing looks completely inappropriate for the culture (because Moroccan moms would NEVER sit and play in the dirt with their kids or chase them around to play hide and seek).   But I love those things, and I love nature, and I want a little place that we call our own where we get to protect the sacred little traditions that makes our family unique.

We are asking God daily to help us find a new home with a yard to play in.  And in the meantime, we will try to enjoy our little shaded spot under the canopy of trees and be thankful for what we do have.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Honey, there's a far in our dar!

A few nights ago I walked into our bedroom and thought I saw a little shadow dart from behind the dresser towards the bed.  I thought it was my old arch-nemesis, a cockroach (oil-thief in Darija).  Startled, I did a double take and realized it was a little bigger, and a little furrier than my enemy. I jumped up on the bed and yelled for Corey to come quickly.

Indeed, we had a late-night visitor, a mouse (far).  After about an hour and a half of our feeble attempts to catch the little guy who thought he could make our house (dar) his new home, we decided to shut the bedroom door and sleep in our salon.  Early the next morning, Corey worked his husband magic and caught the mouse and threw him out (alive) through our sixth floor window.  Corey watched him hit the ground.  At first he only twitched a little, and then he got up and quickly ran off, afraid of becoming the neighbor's cat's next meal.  Poor mouse.

It was a really funny experience and I decided that I could start a new children's book series called "There's a Far in my Dar."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A visit from Sommer's family

Sommer's parents and little brother came to visit us for nine days.  We had so much fun spending time with them.  We showed them around our city, visited Volubilis, the Roman ruins, shopped the spiraling Fes Medina, and spent a few nights in the mountain city of Ifrane.  Liam and Norah had a great time playing with their grandparents and uncle.  We celebrated Sommer's 30th birthday, fed peanuts to wild monkeys, ate camel burgers, and enjoyed a concert from a rooftop terrace at the medina square.

Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Cole feeds a monkey

Grandma "Ancy" and Norah

Big PaPa and Liam
At the Roman ruins