We Can See Clearly Now, the Rain is Gone, but It May be Back Tomorrow
After a delicious breakfast of malawi and cookies, we walked through the medina to the Tetouan Artisan School. The Artisan School educates high school-aged kids from difficult situations in traditional crafts and techniques, such as wood carving, embroidery (the only female trade at the school), brass work, plaster carving, and more. The school also reduces the time of apprenticeship from seven years to four, and instructs the kids in math and language as well as other typical subjects. While tiptoeing through the cemetery, we had a grand panorama of the Mediterranean Sea, the city of Tetouan, and the Rif mountains. Adding a few spots of color to a rather dismal place were the fauxlij (fake zellij tilework) which decorated couch and bathtub-esque gravestones, each with a garden. For lunch we went to our favorite restaurant, and this time they had harira. In the afternoon we met up with Romeo, a recently arrived Fulbrighter and Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology. He brought along his homestay brother Yassin and explained to us what he is planning to study. The discussion took many turns, touching on various aspects of music in Morocco, particularly his topic, taktim jebeli ("music of the mountain"). Afterward, we went to dinner next to our favorite restaurant, at a place that served falafel and Syrian specialty pizza. We finished our lovely day with desert at a patisserie, one of many which far outnumber actual restaurants here in Tetouan. After a quick bite of breakfast, we declined to go to a nearby beach due to inclement weather, and, after a free morning, walked into the medina to eat lunch at a palace. This meal, our last couscous Friday, was bittersweet, but delicious. :( We were unable to shuffle off to our usual post-couscous hibernation, and instead went to a hammam, our nicest yet. We were offered facemask mud from the family next to us. Friends! Post-hammam, we shared a bite of falafel (This was not our decision, but fate brought us to the hotspot of Tetouan.) with Fulbrigher Matt Strieb, who discussed his research on political activists in Morocco. He focused on seven separate groups: feminism in Tetouan, free speech in Casablanca, Marxism in Khenitra, gay rights in Rabat, the Amazigh movement in Agadir, hip-hop in Fes, and Islamism in Sale. Someday we will all be able to read his book. It was nice to have this culminatory talk bringing together many discussions we had throughout the trip. He also brought his friend Bree, an American currently teaching English here in Tetouan, who afterward invited us to guest star in her class at the American Language Center. We had a final meal at our favorite restaurant, and turned in for the night. Tomorrow morning we head to Tangier.