Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Saturday, 6 May 2006

Shoofshowen

In other news, two trips recently. The first was a retreat to Shoofshowen (Chefchaouen for those doing Google searches using French transliteration), that beautiful blue city I mentioned in the previous post. This was the first retreat I've ever organized, and did so with some trepidation, but I'm glad it worked out. With 6 hour drives there and back (as our car could only do 110 km/hour, slower than the speed limit), it took a while- which gave a great deal of time to get to know those in my car better- Autumn, Mary, Tasha, and Scot. We played a game going up, using only the questions from the Ungame (which is far better than using the board, imho), that allowed us to get to know each other a lot better. And the countryside is incredibly beautiful along the way.

At the entrance to the town is a doorway to Narnia, but of course, it's usually locked. In town, we booked the same hotel that Mary, Tasha, and I had stayed at previously, Hotel Yasmina, but this time with 15 people, and only 16 beds in the hotel, we were able to book out the entire hotel! We had some great times singing, reading, and sharing, in near complete privacy, though the hotel managers at times came to listen.

The town is painted a very soothing blue all around, which lends to a calming atmosphere. Even though there were many more tourists than last time, it still wasn't oppressive, nor the shop owners too aggressive. Had a good time getting to know those on the trip too, including Mary's eccentricities. The souq has the most beautiful blankets I've seen in all of Morocco, and evidently, a collection of Lot's wives.

Lot's WivesGot some more exercise in, hiking with friends up to the "Christian Mosque", so called because it was built by the Spanish for the indigenous population, who rejected it and never used it because it was built by invaders. This was probably the most interesting part of the trip, though you can tell from the pic that I was obviously severely confused at times.

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Some Americans had decided to try repelling off the side of the mosque.

Turn the computer screen to the right. Or turn your head. Come to think of it, the latter might be easier.

And a child had found some fun scorpions to play with. He had six of them, of a different variety than in my classroom, which he would take out of the plastic bottle and pile on top of each other, to see what cannabalistic predators do to eachother.

The final morning was incredibly beautiful. I had some good times of prayer there, and then looked out over the valley, to see the mist rising up to engulf the old Christian mosque.

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