We’re on our way out of Morocco today, and we celebrated by having a fantastic last meal in Marrakech with a few of our closest PCV friends. The meal pictured is called rafissa, and it’s made with shredded fried dough topped with spiced chicken and lentils and doused in a delicious soupy sauce. It’s a difficult dish to prepare, and so is usually saved for special occasions, which makes it fitting for today :-). Morocco, we’ll miss you, and we’ll see you again in the future, inchallah.
-Matt and Cori
The perfect example of Moroccan hospitality: today, while hiking outside Azilal, a family saw us walking past their home. Despite never having met us before, they immediately asked us to join them for lunch. After we accepted, they led us inside and told us to relax while they prepared the meal.
We just got home from our holiday trip to Budapest, Pécs, and Bergamo so I wanted to share a couple thoughts and some photos.
The delicious Hungarian food
Ice-skating on a beautiful Christmas day in Budapest’s City Park
Soaking in the Lukacs Thermal Baths for more than 3 hours (also on Christmas Day)
Exploring the bars in Budapest and Pécs
Seeing La bohème in the Hungarian State Opera House
Wandering the cities, especially in the fresh snowfall after our night at the opera
Enjoying the fireworks and atmosphere of New Years Eve in a jam-packed square in Bergamo’s old city
This is deliciously cooked pork smothered in some sort of incredible mushroom sauce and served with mashed potatoes – only one of the great meals we had in Hungary.
Cori and the Hungarian State Opera House with fresh snow falling. This was probably one of the best nights of the trip.
It’s never easy to spend the holidays away from family and friends but it’s certainly better when you can at least enjoy them in a place where the locals celebrate with you. Still, we missed you all a lot this past week. Next year, we won’t have to worry about all this!
Last week I had the opportunity to join a group of 22 PCVs and Moroccan health professionals on a 7-day backpacking and health education trip. The route followed the 100 kilometers (62 miles) of Atlantic coastline between Essaouira and Imsouane. The trek took us along pristine beaches and incredible ocean-side cliffs and through unique and beautiful Moroccan villages.
In four of the villages we stopped to lead health education activities. Along with several of the Moroccan health professionals, the other PCVs and I took charge of the youth while the other Moroccans led women’s health workshops. With the kids, we played games and led interactive discussions and demonstrations covering a bunch of different topics including healthy eating, mental health, and good hand-washing and tooth-brushing practices.
After hiking and teaching we relaxed, talked, shared stories, and sang while we cooked dinner around the campfire. It was great to better get know my fellow PCVs and to meet so many new Moroccans. All in all, it was an incredible experience and one that I’ll remember long after we leave Morocco.
We also made national news here in Morocco. Check out the broadcast here!