Saturday, April 28, 2012

Faire du Sport au Maroc

Literal translation: To make sports in the Morocco
Means: Working out/playing sports in Morocco

(Just one more reason I am not  a huge fan of French)

SO, I have had to make some adjustments to my workout routine in the past few months.  At home I would just step outside my door and go for a run around the neighborhood.  This is not advised around here, but thankfully we have a big city park down the road that suits just fine.

It is almost entirely shaded and has a loop that is roughly 2.2 kilometers.  However, there are some sacrifices to be made: dirty looks (even when almost fully covered), unabashed leering, and dirty running shoes.  I didn't realize I was so vain about my running shoes until I ran exclusively in dirt. Anyhow, more Moroccans run/walk than I expected.  The younger men wear shorts and T-shirts as runners do in the states.  But the older gentlemen wear full sweat suits- in the old-school sweat material- no wicking or jeans.  I get hot just looking at them.  The women wear the sweat suits or normal everyday attire, plus their head covering and then a baseball cap perched awkwardly on top.  Many, MANY of them run in casual loafers and such.  I don't think it is because they can't afford them, because the poor don't have the time to run around in the park in the middle of the day.  And you should see some of the bizarre stretches/aerobic moves they do.   It is straight out of a 1970s work out video.  I truly wonder where they get these ideas.  If I were braver, I would take pictures for ya'll.

Even in the park you have to be cautious.  There are always stories about attacks, even in this park. And I have to run with music, which makes me even more wary of someone sneaking up on me.  So as I run, my head is in a constant 180 degree rotation to see who is around me.  Kind of uncomfortable, but maybe my neck is becoming more flexible??  And I'm always just a little on edge, even though there are lots of other people at the park.  Truly, if of my friends came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder they would probably get decked.

I should also mention that I'm not really doing long runs anymore.  Joe and I have been converted to the belief in high intensity intervals and we both have been doing Peak/Sprint 8.  Ya'll, it is HARD.  Every time I feel like my heart is going to explode.  But it's good. In a painful way.

The other change is that I'm lifting weights.  I haven't really lifted since we lived in South Carolina, so that's pretty unacceptable.  Recently, one of our Embassy Marines gave Joe a book called Body by Science.  The basic premise is that you can effectively work out every major muscle group in just 12 minutes a week.  Of course we are quite skeptical, but definitely willing to give it a try with that little of a time commitment!  We are allowed to use the small weight room at the Marine House for free and the Marine that first introduced us to the book is helping me get started!  He is working on his Associates degree to become a personal trainer and fitness is his passion. He is such a huge help and I am already mourning that he leaves post in July.

So there you have it.  Thankful to at least have a park and a weight room and be in a country where people work out.

And now I have to get back to Hulu.  Last week's Grey's is calling my name.  Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Few Words Wednesday, Vol. 4

So desperate for him to eat that if he wants to eat in a box, he gets to eat in a box.  
 Who would've thought I would find this scene in a house of six 20 yr. old guys?!  (Marines)

This in an all too often occurence: curtains not only on the back and REAR windows, preventing the driver from a visual out the back, but also curtains on the front windows, passenger and driver side.  I will NOT be shocked the day I see a curtain across the windshield. (Don't worry, I'm not adding to the driving mayhem.  I took this at a stoplight.)

First day in a cute summer outfit.  Be still my heart.
I did NOT tell him this is a pool.  After I stripped him down because his clothes were soaked, he took it upon himself to take a dip.

We're working on this again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Few Words Wednesday, Vol. 3

Ya'll, I just can't do it.  Posting random pictures without captions is eating me alive.  So I am changing "Wordless Wednesdays" to "A Few Words Wednesday".

Effective now.

A little backyard egg hunt for the littles.  (Joey and Emily- he LOVES the shirt!)

Um, Andy, the hunt started 30 seconds ago.  Are you already eating the candy from the eggs?

Hold this for me real quick, k?
Already having a sugar meltdown, G?  And p.s., that rail standing to the right of my son is Joe.  He has lost so much weight and is having trouble putting it back on. You can see that his clothes don't even fit him anymore.  I'm sorry, sweetie.  One cheesecake coming up.
Classic G and J right now.
I am so ashamed that this is quickly becoming a habit.  It is Spring and I want to wear sandals but my feet still get too cold inside the house to be without socks.... 

This happened getting ready for bed the other night.  He was so proud that he looked "like Dija!"
Barek is the only person he can convince to take him out on the sidewalk, on his tricycle, with the water hose, while still in his jammies.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Living in Africa, and especially with a house and yard so large, one must have helpers.  Before arrival, Joe and I were both nervous about hiring people to work with us, mainly because we had never done it before.  We wanted to be able to have a good relationship with them, and bless them as they bless us.  From other families that had gone before us we knew that depending on culture and personalities it can be a very difficult thing.

But oh dear me.  We hit the jackpot.

And the boys?  Well, they have found their new BFFs.

I present to you, Khadija and M'Barek.

Khadija runs our house oh so smoothly.  She spoils us to no end.  My sheets have never been changed so often and my dresser drawers so neat.

Barek makes our garden beautiful, keeps the cars clean and the trash at bay.

J is Khadija's baby.

And Barek, well, he has daughters, but not a son.

Khadija is here 3 days a week, but on Wednesdays and Fridays they are both here.  And oh happy day!  At 9 am when that doorbell rings, little boys run and crawl towards the front gate with huge smiles and one of them shouting, "Dija! Barek! Dija! Barek!"

J follows Khadija from room to room "helping" and I swear, he responds to her Arabic commands better than my English ones.  When he is in a grumpy mood she straps him to her back and oh boy, he is really proud of himself up there.

G spends the days outside with Barek running, laughing, playing and otherwise wrapping him around his little finger.  Barek takes him on walks around the neighborhood, lets him help wash the cars and brings him to the back door for cookies when G asks for them.  And he gets them depending on who happens to be in the kitchen.

Truly, Khadija and Barek have made our time here so much easier.  It would be pretty ugly around this house if at the end of a day fighting demanding jobs, learning French, crazy driving and grocery shopping we had to try to tame a huge yard and house.  And of course they do it so much better than we ever could in the first place.  

Although it's a year and a half away, I am already dreading saying good-bye.  Not because of the help, though it is nice, but because they have become family.   

We are lucky indeed.  

(And come visit and meet them yourself!)

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Well ya'll, I can't say that I have ever been a part of anything "Sunrise".  I am not the early bird and I do not get the worm.  So it will come as a shock to many of you who know me well that Joe and I attended our church's Easter Sunrise Service this morning.  I got up at 4:45 (!). Heretofore I didn't even know what 4:45 looked like.
The tall building is the neighborhood mosque.

But I picked a great event to break the streak.  It was held on a hillside outside of the Rabat Chellah overlooking the river valley.  The Chellah is a complex of Roman ruins that are located right across the street from the Embassy. It was a beautiful, peaceful time of singing, scripture, and reflection.  And the view was amazing.

And even though it was cold and I couldn't feel my bottom once we stood back up, it was totally worth it.

Our pastor and the worship leader.

Entrance to the Chellah

Swallowing my pride and showing you a picture with no make-up.
We had left the kids at home snug in their beds.  The End.

Just kidding.  Khadija (our helper) and her kids had spent the night with us so we could go to the service.  

I should also mention that I didn't even go back to bed once we got home at 6:30. (!)

Anyhow, once the kids got up we celebrated with Easter baskets.  (Thanks Gran for the supplies!!)

The basket in the middle was for Khadija's kids.  

Later in the morning we hosted a brunch for a few families.  I'll probably post pics of that later.  But I had to show this one to you now:

This is the amazingly creative fruit bunny that my friend Jamie brought .  (Local friends, I know none of you are surprised by this information.) And to quote our friend James, "Well played, Jamie.  Well played."

And then we tried to get a family picture.  This is BY FAR the best one, so you can tell how that went.  

After naps (everyone) we went to a potluck dinner with people from our church. Our time was spent chasing toddlers while everyone else sat and sipped wine, ate, and talked.  Such is the life right now.  And at least we now know that G can really go for a backyard hammock.  

We haven't actually done our Easter egg hunt yet because G was under the weather most of the weekend.  So hopefully that action and more pictures of the boys in their darn cute outfits will happen later this week. 

But all in all, a great Easter for Team D.  

He is risen!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

There are a couple of problems with this post:

1. It's actually Thursday, but I want to start doing a pictures-only post every week and saw the "Wordless Wednesday" idea hopefully next week it will appear on the correct day.

2. This week it's obviously not wordless.  Ahem.

3. I am starting on Thursday this week because I am desperate to get a post up because it's been a few weeks.  Does it count that I have started writing posts without finishing them?  

Anyhow, cue "wordless":

Until next Wednesday...