I've had the pleasure of having 7 Friends visit, one of whom I know, Bruce Bishop, on his third foray into Morocco. They are up in Rabat at the moment as we finish up the school year. Though they will be unable to visit the school, they will spend 3 days here, and then visit Fes and Tanja. Yesterday was a long day for them, as they arrived early that morning, around 640. Well, the plane landed at 700, and then they finally got cleared through at 820. Minus one. Nate wasn't able to make it because of passport difficulties, and had to come in this morning on a later flight. Evidently he brought in the passport under one of his assumed identities...
When we got back to the Wazis train station, I had my worst ever experience with a taxi driver. They have the right to request 150% for luggage, but they rarely do that. Bruce had a very large piano with him that he had brought over for Jeanine coming to this school next year. The taxi driver wanted 300% for the luggage. I told him "No," it would be only the 150% required by law. He didn't talk with me anymore, just got angry and told us to get another taxi. Which we did, but they also wanted more- 250%. They however explained that it was because it was oversized. That made sense, so I agreed to it. At which point the first taxi driver came up ready to start a fight with the other taxi drivers for taking his business, I believe. I stepped up to let him know we were in a hurry, as we had to get to church, but it was awhile before he calmed down. Then we got in 3 separate taxis, and as we're driving away they stop all three, to complain that we are not paying 250% for all three taxis. I told them, "No," again, it's what the meter says (as is required by law). They indicated that there was luggage on top, so I said, "Fine, 150%," plus the 250% for one taxi already agreed to, for the oversize. Which they still didn't like. But they did take my name and phone number down so I could witness against the other taxi driver who had tried to attack them.
Yesterday was service in the morning, with a pretty good message- how we are blessed if we are Christians- not if we grew up in the church, or were christened in the church, but if we are Christians- and we are blessed for a singular purpose- to bless others. And that means we need to have a deep well in Christ in order to be able to bless others, or else it is only dry water we are dispersing. (I'm free-versing off the sermon.) Then it was off to Souq Biladiya for camel meat- nice and tender. The visiting Friends enjoyed it, though the butcher told me to get far too much, at 2 1/2 kilos for the 7 of us. We have some left over in the fridge.
Then we stopped off at the souq, where a couple bought jallabas, and Bruce slept- something many of us were eager to do, but Bruce the only smart one in our midst. (Though not flying all day, I had gotten up at 520 to pick them up from the airport.) And then on to a small group study of James, and how it if someone wanders from the Truth and starts to sin by not having hope, we should encourage them back and cover over a multitude of sins, having hope, just as Elisha most obviously did. In this way, he was a human just like us- he had struggles, and he had hope, and did spectacular things- as we can, if we only Hope.
Today they're on their own, as I have End-of-Year parties I must attend, and a full day of school. Tomorrow will be exciting- they go to the Hassan II Mosque (2nd largest in the world, after Mecca, and officially after Medina too, but not actually), as well as the Haboos, a sort of Disneyland artificial medina the French made 100 years ago. Then I will meet up with them for their first hammam experience (public bathhouse), as well as a gathering at a very swank coffeehouse with some of the single teachers in the evening. And secretly, I'm planning on introducing them to baboosh tomorrrow- the Wonderful World of Snails. Don't tell them. I want it to be a surprise.