Thursday 20 March 2014

The Return to Morocco: What is, IS.

Good morning everyone  I will preface this article by asking for your indulgence to deal with what will most likely be horrible typing, lol.  I am currently using Nick's computer/laptop.... and his keyboard doesn't like me much. I"m also sitting outside and the brightness is making it very difficult to see the screen, so more than likely this will not be the neatest article I've ever written, lol.

(ps: Nick's spacebar also doesn't like me but I'll try my best to not make too many runon words!!)

As you probably know by now, my family and I have just returned to Morocco a few days ago and we're getting settled in.... sorta, lol. By this weekend we should be settled into an apartment up on the hill with many of "the gang", which means that I won't have to sit at the farthest corner of the front yard to get internet, and will be able to use my own computer again (which has no battery and therefore is basically a folding desktop as it must remain plugged in at all times, lol), and will have room for the kids to play so that mommy can work.

Unlike our last family traveling experience, this time our 36 hour travel time was completely uneventful and smooth sailing, or smooth flying I should say.  As a side note to those coming to Morocco:  Europe is Extremely expensive for many of the cheep things that North American's take for granted.  We had to over night in Madrid and the cost of just getting dinner for the 6 of us was enough to make me look for the hidden gold in my fries, because that is the only plausible explanation for what we paid for them, lol.

When we arrived in Morocco we had a 1hr 45 minute drive to the village where the community is blossoming.  Once we made our way from Tangier to Tetouan, knowing that we were on the final leg of the journey, I was able to lean back and breath in the energy of relaxation and allow any lingering stress to just completely drain away.   All of our other journeys back and forth from Tetouan and Tangier have been done in the evening and night, so Sunday's drive was really the first time I had a chance to fully experience the spectacular vista of the incredible landscape that carried us forward to our new home.  Even the most jaded world traveler would find the journey to be one of breathtaking beauty.  Lush green countryside and bright blue skys, with roads winding through the Rift Mountains, many times overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, through small villages of bright white stucco houses with their terracotta tiled roofs that dot the landscape all around the twisting and turning roads and up the mountain sides.....  There is literally a sense of peace and tranquility that settles itself around your shoulders like a soft warm blanket of contentment.  I smiled for so long that my cheeks ached.

What can  I say about meeting "the gang"?  Hugging Lisa and Bob and Brian created a time warp where the past 9 months completely disappeared and conversations literally picked up exactly where they left off, as if only a blink and a breath had been between us. Hugging Justin and Julian for the first time was exactly like seeing my brothers that I hadn't seen for a couple of weeks.  Meeting everyone here was much like seeing old friends after a long absence..... except that these were friends I hadn't met before that moment of now.  Conversations flowed, hugs were given over and over, and laughs were counted by the thousands.

... There is something truly magical about meeting people and settling into deep conversations without any worry of "judgement" or people not understanding you or thinking that you are crazy when you talk about the energetics, or following the energetic trail, or "BEing & DOing"-  Being with people who "get it", and most importantly being with people who accept you for WHO YOU ARE, without question, without judgement, and for the most part without expectation.  THIS  is COMMUNITY.

Monday night, I jumped onto the Radio show with Lisa and Bob and Brian for a few minutes- DOing a radio show at 9pm at night is a heck of a lot easier than 1am, let me tell you!!  They gave a few updates on What is going on here in Morocco, and I wanted to expand on some of that information today.

There are a lot of people coming to Morocco and many many more who are seriously considering it.  Some people have traveled abroad before and have experience and an understanding of "new cultures" whereas others have not.  I would like to talk very openly and transparently about this topic, because there needs to be clarity and understanding from all levels.

This village where we are is a small and beautiful neighborhood. So far all the people we have met have been friendly and open. It is truly a lovely place.

Having said that, it is also a very different culture than North America, or Europe or Australia. It is a Culture full of traditions and social "norms" that are intrinsic to the people here and their way of life.  Many of these traditions are based on aspects of the Muslim religion but have developed into a way of life that is beyond the confines of religious belief and have become social traditions.  As we are living withIN this community, it is very important that we respect the culture of the people around us, regardless of our own religious, spiritual or philosophical beliefs.  As Lisa talked about on Monday's show, certain things are not acceptable in public- such as kissing, or overly affectionate displays between couples.  Everyone here hugs and kisses cheeks when meeting- hand shakes are actually very rare- but there are strong taboos about couples showing affection and love in public...... kinda takes the expression "get a room" to a new level of understanding.

One of the other important aspects to culturally "fitting in" is mode of dress and fashions for women.  While it is certainly not expected for foreign women to dress in traditional Moroccan djellabas with their heads covered with a scarf, it IS expected that a certain amount of decorum is respected.  Short shorts, mini skirts, cropped shirts that bare the belly, halter tops and boob tubes are NOT acceptable wear in public.  I will give the example of how I dress in public while I'm here.  For the most part, if I am going out- such as to the market or shops or to a restaurant- I will wear a long skirt or pants, if the pants are tight fitting (such as skinny jeans or leggings) I will usually wear a longer top that covers my butt and upper thighs.  I do wear T-shirts, but rarely wear tank tops in public without having a scarf over my shoulders- I also do not wear deep V necks or shirts that show a lot of cleavage.  Many times when I'm away from home I take a long scarf with me, just in case I end up going out.  For example, yesterday was a bit cool, so I had on a long Tshirt with sweater over top, but because the sweater is quite low cut, I wore a scarf when I went into the local shops.  This is just MY opinion and my own personal example of how I dress here.  Everyone is always free to DO as they choose.

When we get closer to Ramadan I will write more info on that topic, as there are traditions and social expectations during that time.

This is a small village that is very involved in farming.  Farm animals are everywhere and not just allocated to a pasture on the edge of the village.  Every where you go you will see goats, chickens, donkeys, sheep, cows and even the occasional horse, not to mention stray dogs and cats. Right beside our current apartment there is a "barn" with a cow and large family of goats, and chickens running every where- the roosters start crowing at dawn,  and the kidds bleat outside our window while they wait for mama to be milked- and occasionally the cow joins in the chorus too, just for fun, lol.  The smell is an earthy mix of manure, wet clay soil, flowers and herbs and greenery, the salty tang  of brine when the wind is coming from the Sea, and occasionally a whiff of burning garbage. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I love it!

The Village is small so there isn't an extensive amount of shops to get groceries and selection is very limited.  The largest shop has started carrying a couple of things that we have requested- such as fresh milk and a few fruits and veggies- but most of our shopping is done in Oed Laow for small things, or in Tetouan for major shopping.  Even though Tetouan is a pretty large city, there are some things that you just cannot get here, which leads me to my next topic....

.... if you are addicted to Oreos, you are going to have to bring them with you, lol!!  I will be compiling a list of things that we can't get here (or at least, can't get here without difficulty, lol) and will post it later on.  But basically, if you have a favorite tea, favorite chocolate bar, favorite brand of ketchup... bring it with you!   I have a wish list for a few cooking necessities for the community myself and I was joking last night that we should institute a "visiting the community tax" for everyone coming, payable in coconut oil, maple syrup and oreos, hahahahahahah!!!  I had votes to add bacon to the list, but that's a bit difficult to put in a suitcase, lol!

One of the other things that is difficult to come by is decent pots and pans and good quality knives.  I am longing for my cast iron pans and my Henkles, which are on my "to be shipped from Canada list", lol.  If you have a favorite cooking implement- like a carrot peeler, or can opener, or whisk, or spatula, or a favorite gadget or game- you might want to toss it into your suitcase. ..... I had to have my friend Nicole bring me a potato masher last summer when they came as I couldn't find one here anywhere!  If you have any questions on things like this though, you can always ask someone who's here whether or not it's available.

At this moment we are still in the early set up stages of the community.  Finding places for people, setting up the new community "club house", sourcing out all the things we need like furniture and blankets and the ever elusive pots and pans.  Our daily plans change hourly and occasionally even faster than that, lol.   We are each following our energetic trail  to where it leads, moment to moment.  Some days/hours/moments there is a flurry of typing fingers on computers as we work on sourcing parts for the QEG and building materials and investigate shipping and government importation rules, or writing articles, or doing radio shows and recording interviews.... and some moments there are groups of people gathered in deep conversation on practical logistics, quantum physics, healing harmonics or even just discussing how to cook the eggplants for dinner tonight.  Sometimes everyone is all together.... sometimes they are scattered to the wind, each on their own energetic trail of the moment....

.... and every moment changes according to the energy of the group(s) as they flow by.

I think my biggest advice to anyone who wants to come to Morocco is to release all expectations and to not set limits or boundaries on what IS.  What is, IS, and it will continue to flow and change and inspire and create ALL things along the way.

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