Random Thoughts from Morocco

Here is a hodgepodge of random observations from my trip last summer to Morocco.

  • Mint tea is really good. I wish it was America’s national drink and not Budweiser.
  • Morocco is a microcosm of what progressive Islam could look like in other countries. Part of the country is very traditional. Part of it is somewhat mystic. And part of it is very modern and urban. How these worldviews collide and interact will be interesting in the next ten years.
  • Just like there are many different demonimations of Christians, there are lots of different branches of Islam. Many of the Muslims we met were more secular than religious. Evidently, being a lukewarm believer is not just a problem for Christians.
  • Moroccan architecture focuses on open spaces for fellowship and entertaining. American architecture has become more about private entertainment and cocooning. was very neat. I liked the open spaces in the homes. This was achieved by having sofas that line the sides of the wall in the room, creating more spaces to sit and opening up the center of the room.
  • The smog in Casablanca was bad. The city was nothing like the movie. I actually said at one point, “Thank God for the EPA.” That’s hard to expect coming from a Republican who works in the forest products industry. 🙂
  • You haven’t lived until you have gone to a Suk out in the middle of nowhere. Think Wal*Mart meets neighborhood bazaar circa 1900.
  • Our team went into some remote areas of the country. We stopped at a little store that did not have water. But this little mountain hut had Coca-Cola. Evidently, it gets shipped in on the back of a mule.  
  • The Medina in Fez was huge. You could literally get lost in it and never find your way out. Be careful stopping too long at any one shop unless you want to buy something. I had one shop owner try to sell me his daughter when he found out that I was an American.
  • Cork comes from the bark of trees. And Morocco is one of the largest exporters of cork in the world.
  • I experienced the greatest generosity in my life from a Berber family in a small mountain town. They don’t have much, and they treated our team to a great big meal. I felt so unworthy of it all. I will never forget how they blessed us. We were able to take a love offering to repay them. But I don’t think I could ever really repay them if I emptied out my bank account. Their generosity put me to shame.
  • Our team worked at an orphanage based on a family model. It was the best model that I have seen so far. A husband and wife team agrees to come raise 8-12 kids from birth until they reach 18 years old. Most of the kids come in a two year window. That means the couple must make a 20 year commitment to raise 8-12 children that are not their own kids. Many of these couples come from all over the world. I met a man from California named Eddie who was getting ready to take the plunge with his wife. Eddie’s commitment and sense of call really touched me. I tend to think that giving a one year commitment to something can be a stretch. These people offer a huge chunk of their life and think nothing of it. I was humbled and convicted even more of my own selfishness.
  • God opened my heart to Muslims on my trip last summer. I used to dismiss them as all crazy extremists. But that is far from reality even though I happen to believe that their religion is based on lies and not the truth.
  • If you want hot, go to Fez in the middle of the summer. I almost melted away twice.

One response to “Random Thoughts from Morocco

  1. Pingback: Caffeinated Thoughts - » Twenty Items of Interest (v.6)

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