A taste of summer to come in Marrakech...93F, 34 C and sunny...Reminiscent of days passed...In constant motion...

An out of the way alley.
Yesterday, we make our way through the souks to the Big Square of the Medina to the petit taxi stands. Although too far to walk, each week we've traveled to the nearby new city of Marrakesch, as opposed to the old Marrakech of the medina. 

For the first time in over a month it felt warm. The sun was shining, the sky was a pristine blue with nary a cloud in sight, as we were introduced to the likes of summer in Morocco...hot and dry.  The temperature although a high of 93F, 34C, it was by no means unbearable.
Typically on Mondays the souk owners restock their wares after a busy weekend.  We've found Mondays are good days to go out with fewer crowds.
The short periods of walking in the bright sun in the Big Square, the intensity of its heat reminded me of the morning heat in Marloth Park when I'd drop pellets along the long walk from the house to the main road, dropping pellets in a fashion one would recall from a childhood story, Hansel and Gretel, hoping that "they" would come.  And they did.
Another quiet alleyway.
With the intent of drawing the attention of wildlife to the house, I made this fly-pestering trek, day after day, during the five weeks we lived in the Hornbill house until we moved to Khaya Umdani and later, African Reunion.  And they came, a memory deeply entrenched in our memories and daily, in my thoughts.
Yesterday, we walked toward the main entrance to the Medina to grab a taxi.  As shown there are less crowds than usual, Mondays being a quieter day that picks up at night.  We opted to go to a late lunch as opposed to dinner.  Most nicer restaurants outside the Medina, don't open for dinner until 7:30 pm. 
I've tried not to carry on about missing Marloth Park too much here.  After all, we're in a different place, one to embrace. And as we so often proclaim, during which time, we attempt to "live in the moment."  Which, overall, we do. 

In Windows 8.1 on my laptop, scrolling on a tile on my home screen several times each day, our photos appear of the visitors that came to call.  Each time I see a kudu, giraffe, zebra or warthog, my heart flips in my chest, longing, remembering.  It's a happy memory.
Motorbikes dangerously dart in and out of traffic, whether traffic is sparse such as in this location or when it's bumper to bumper.
Last night, awakened during the night, I heard a sound on the roof.  For a moment, my mind went back, wondering which of Mother Nature's treasures had come to call at this late hour, quickly remembering we are in Marrakech, not Marloth Park.  Most likely, it was a cat, as cats are revered in Morocco and roam freely day and night...their home, the entire Medina.
The petit taxi ride  to the newer part of Marrakech, gives us an opportunity to see some of the hotels in the area.
Knowing that someday we'll return to Marloth Park brings me great comfort.  I'll leave it alone, letting it rest, relishing in the memories, the friends who still stay in touch, the crisp memory of the constant sounds in the bush of the birds and the wildlife rustling through the low lying trees and shrubs as they made their way to us, in each of the three homes in which we lived over the three month period.

And now? The dramatic contrast from wildlife to culture?  Interesting? Sure. Morocco is unlike any place we've traveled.  The smells of the Moroccan spices, the sights as we've shown in our many photos, the sounds of the flutes of the cobra charmers scattered about the Big Square and the smoke from the cooking meats attracting hungry visitors from all over the world.  It's all enchanting.
Madame Zahra continues to make fabulous meals for us every other day.  We dine out on the other days.  Of course, I don't eat the bread or potatoes.  See the photo below for the description of the items on my plate.

In two days, we're leaving for a three day outing to the Sahara desert and Atlas Mountains. Our lives are in constant motion, as today we continue to book more of the flights for our 13 family members to meet us in Hawaii in a mere eight months. We're more than halfway through. 

Soon, we'll book our flight and rental car for Madeira, Portugal, leaving here in a mere 37 days. Today, we'll again go to an ATM to get more cash to pay for the upcoming trip, cash required in advance paid to Samir, our reliable house man, paid in advance to those who will serve our needs during the trip.
With smaller portions of meat typically served in Morocco at each meal, side dishes are a huge factor in rounding out a meal. Unable to have bread, potatoes couscous, rice or other grains, Madame makes a variety of vegetables to ensure I get enough to eat.  Without prompting from me, she's figured out that egg dipping slices of aubergine (eggplant) and cauliflower sauteed in olive oil, helps round out an otherwise less filling meal. 
It's all good.  We're accomplishing exactly what we wanted to accomplish in our worldwide travels; to explore, to discover, to learn, to laugh, to love and to challenge ourselves. 

And even after we've left behind the sources of many of the discoveries we made in new environments, we're left with the glorious memories and photos we can draw upon at any time, taking us back, as we continue to move forward. 

 Photo from one year ago today, April 8, 2013:
The morning on the day before we left Belize. It, too, was hard to leave. 
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