For those of you following this blog, you are all well aware that I haven't written anything about my activities since Friday. Since I am incapable of coherently writing down my experiences of the past six days in this post, I decided to only write about Saturday, September 1st (which is the most interesting of the six).
The first interesting experience of that day started when my host mother handed me a white envelope and told me that it was filled with pictures of my host sister's birth. Curious, I opened the envelope and gingerly took out the first photo. It was a picture of a a sheep with a cut throat. I also saw my host father standing over the sheep with a bloody knife clutched in his hand. After recovering from the shock, I turned to my host mother and asked her if it was customary for people "to kill a sheep" after a successful birth. Before answering my question with an affirmative, she lectured me about the difference between "killing" and "throat-slitting". "Killing" was crass and ruthless as opposed to "throat-slitting", which was only done after the word "bismillah" (praise be to god) was uttered. She also assured me that all sheep that undergo this process definitely go to heaven. I am glad we had that conversation for it was very insightful.
At around 6:00 p.m., my host mother brought me to the family reunion which was in her mother's house. After introducing myself to all my family members the french way (which is called "faire la bise"), I sat down next to my host mother's fifteen-year old niece, Najua, and struck up a conversation. After having eaten some delicious almond paste-filled pasteries and sipped some overly-sweetened mint tea (Moroccans love sugar), Najua brought me to her nearby house and gave me a bracelet as a gift which was quite sweet of her. As she showed me around the house, I noticed that there were onrnate carvings on the sides and corners of the ceiling (which made me realize how dull most American ceilings are) and that the living room was lavishly decorated (the pictures I took were pretty bad so I'll post pictures later on). I have only seen two Moroccan houses since most Moroccans don't own any houses (which is made apparent by the apartments lining the streets as far as the eye can see) so I can't confirm whether these traits are common in them.
I haven't mentioned that Najua showed me what a hamam was since she wasn't profficient enough in French to explain to me what it was. It's basically a public Turkish bath house (more details in later post). I heard that they were really relaxing and I look forward to trying one out.
Although this may not seem to be a particularly exciting day to most people, I think it is (so far) the most rewarding day I had in Morocco.
Going to bed now. Bye!