Final moments in Morocco...
We drove into the Atlas Mountains this morning. The mountains are
visible from the streets of Marrakech, where 70% of the people are
of Berber descent, though certainly not living the traditional lifestyle.
We drove through many smaller towns that reminded me very much of
the level of technological development found in Ngoung, Cameroon
(where I taught English this past summer): electricity, water from
a stream or pump, houses with some cement, others just mud. I didn’t
see as many donkeys there, rather people carrying the heavy loads
up the steep hillsides. There is a lot of pottery for sale on the
roadside, but none of it is the coil technique used by Berber women.
Men make all the handicrafts for sale. We stopped at the base of
the mountains, just outside the city, where there was a group of
camels. So, we all got to ride a camel, though only briefly, but
it was wonderful! I hope the picture turns out.
Tomorrow morning we're leaving. Returning home is always exciting,
but it seems you just start to understand and grasp a culture when
you have to leave it behind. We have seen, tasted, smelled, touched,
and explored both Spain and
Morocco, yet I cannot help but feel that it's not enough. The two
regions have so many historical and cultural layers that
two-and-a-half weeks and all of our preparation fall short of true
comprehension. But this is what travel is all about: the recognition
of similarities and differences and the realization of your own
ignorance despite years of education. The Sufis were right when
they called themselves “idiots.” The world is too rich
and complex to ever be understood completely.