La Vida Normal
In the meantime, here, in what may be the last post on this blog, are a couple of shots of the Africa trip. I'll direct you to my brother's blog for the narrative (www.redecho.org). I was pretty sick through most of the trip and couldn't muster the energy to check in here. (Sick eventually developed into sinusitis, bronchitis and some sort of digestive malady, but thanks to powerful American drugs, I'm finally getting the upper hand.)
Thankfully, being under the weather did not prevent a pretty amazing trip. Though we spent some time in Fez and Marrakesh--vibrant, bustling cities whose Medina districts layered nearly medieval ways of living with modern ones--the highlight was the time we spent in the Sahara.
We serendipitously came upon a couple of Berber brothers, Brahim and Omar, who treated us more like guests than tourists, spending a full week showing us around the shifting sentient sand dunes with nomadic hide-outs in their folds, feeding us warm hearty tajines and smuggled wine, telling stories in a wild but surprisingly comprehensible mix of Spanish, English and Berber, and putting our fingers to the pulse of their small frontier town, Merzouga.
Everything here was supremely different: Our friends wore thick camel-wool robes and turbans. Women were heavily veiled and tucked out of sight, still baking bread crouched around communal stone ovens in tiny mud rooms. Merzouga had only had electricity for a couple of years, and our "hotel" was a small mud-brick affair with barely existent hot water--and it was one of the only hotels left after a freak flood washed the others away last May.
And yet despite all of the stark otherness, this desert town felt the warmest and most home-like of any on this whole four month adventure. I could have gotten lost there, with those people, in the bewitching pastels of sunset across the dunes.
But that was the end. Back to real life. New job, new bar, new place, new season, new outlook. Thanks for following along.