25 05 2010

I recently went to Morocco with another friend from ECM. We caught the ferry across from Algeciras – and it just so happened to be the first day they opened the new port on the other side,  having not yet worked how to disembark the passengers, leading to a half hour wait.

On the ferry filling in the documentation we were a bit stumped by ‘date of delivery’ but we managed to complete the document; what we didn’t manage was to hear the announcement that police were processing papers on board (in English or Spanish)– so when everyone else disembarked we got left behind to wait for the police to return.

On the way out of the boat through the bowels of the garage we stopped to help a Moroccan woman with her mountain of bags. We’d been told we could catch a train from just by the side of the port, which in theory would have been really helpful had the opening of the railway coincided with the opening of the wharf. We ended up on her bus with a group of Moroccans – leaving the crew on the Terry Hills Golf Club tour (Hi guys!) to catch their own bus.

After the bus dropped us off at the train station we noticed that the woman really had too much for just her and the 2 other with whom she now seemed to be travelling – so we offered to help again. By the time we got into the station lounge we had been adopted and fed OJs, croissants and chicken pasties by this ragtag bunch of Moroccans who had only met each other on the train… They negotiated our tickets – a second class berth for us all on the train. The train ride was really a 5hr battle with hay fever. The offending blind was vital to keep the sun out of our eyes and the heat out of the cabin but I doubted that it had been cleaned since they first put the train on the tracks. The two of us sneezed and snuffled for 5 straight hours. – And I’d been excited to leave hay fever behind in Spain!

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The people we were initially going to stay with further to the west got a visit the week before and he was given 2 days to leave the country. She has a few months to pack up their life after 10 years, and their kids… Instead, we visited a single girl working in another city who had room for us to stay with her. That was really great because we did less sight seeing but we spent a day at the place she works with kids with significant disabilities and got to have lunch with a group of the other girls who also work there.

We sat in the back yard of the director of the centre and listened to him share his insight on the state of Morocco and some more interesting theories. A man who is not afraid to sit in his back yard and talk at the top of his voice in a neighborhood of police, lawyers and professionals in a country that is throwing out workers at every turn i.e. ether incredibly brave or as mad as a hatter – jury is still out 🙂

The best was going to the home of a family who attend the centre for a meal. It was fantastic experiencing their hospitality being welcomed into a home. The father didn’t eat with us, but he’s the Imam of the mosque and they live almost in the wall of the mosque in a flat.

What was really full on though was that their son was really sick. His injury occurred 7 years earlier and the day we were there, he way breathing through a fair bit of fluid, propped up, but only his head, so his chest was flat and when we arrived he was so hot that one of the girls asked if she could sponge bath him and change his clothes. I was itching the whole time to change his positioning or give him water, clear out his mouth – but knowing you aren’t there to change their thinking, and doing anything might make today better, but tomorrow will be the same. It was hard to watch and left me with a lot of food for thought.

The most impacting thing though was that we emailed the friend to say thanks, and she let us know that the next day, he passed away. And who knows if that family will have any further contact with people that could be the only ones bringing the Light in their lives…



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