Keyboard; french and arabic mixed. Punctuation: limited
Favourite quote of the days so far: but really, can you actually plant a roasted cashew? (Aaron Gabriel)
Well, Ive made it as far as Morocco without much misadventure or accident save the perpetual fear that I completely misunderstood the woman at Heathrow who told me that my bags were checked through to Pointe Noire and that Ive abandonded most of my next 30 days supplies at Casablanca airport... That and the pressing suspicion that any so called plans that have been made may or may not come to pass and that that is just that. Oh, and the enormous potential for miscommunication when working in two and sometimes more languages. ENORMOUS - apparently. Dont ask. Its been resolved. we think...
Oh well, Aaron and Jeanne managed to find me with only one one-hour pit stop at the wrong hotel, and we have so far only instigated one enormous argument between a taxi driver and A and Js hotel manager - dont worry, theyre sitting together right now drinking tea. Aparently tempers are high and nerves are frayed because when its Ramadan nobody can smoke during the day. And as far as I can gather, everyone here is tobacco crazy. And therefore non-tobacco crazy. It makes for some lively debates.
The enormous new mosque was debate free, however. It is overwhelmingly impressive and the labour and money required of the Moroccan people to build it is anxiety inducing. It is majesterial and immense and sits on a promontary into the sea so it converges with the waves and the sky and seems somehow in spite of its height to be falling perpetually backwards into blue. It was serene and empty when we were there but later today 20000 people will descend upon it to pray. I cant imagine the impact of that many people filling that space in body and sound. We were all remarking on the peace and tranquility when we got back to the taxi. Which was of course blaring out Katy Perrys I kissed a girl and I liked it. Yes.
In eleven hours time i will be in Pointe Noire. Just a thought that crossed my mind.
So gang, Congo beckons. Im going to try to update this as often as I can but I make no promises on regularity, quality or length. The next month is truly as a blank page to me so watch this space...
In the meantime, I have the most fabulous camera to indulge my new passion of stills photography, and a fabulous Kindle to indulge my old passion of just plain old reading. Yesterday I started Into Africa; a biography of Livigstone and Stanley and its fabulous. Livingstone is a great benchmark for this trip. He crossed Africa when it was uncharted in the 1850s, delighting in its wildernesses, its energy, its luscious diversity. Hopefully we too will find that some of that remains.