This sunrise was our reward for an early start on a big day. We were staying near Gibraltar, and taking the ferry over to Tangier in Morocco to spend the day. It was our first time ever in Africa, and we were a little nervous to step through that door.
Our driver Rashid was very helpful. Rashid was a good son, who lived with and cared for his elderly mother. His English was difficult to understand, so he and the kids communicated in Spanish. If I had a question, I could make myself understood in my rusty French, but his replies came too quickly for me. We worked out a system in which Rashid would reply to my French questions in Spanish, which the kids would then translate into English for me.
We were typical tourists. We went to the market and did what most day trippers do.
We felt grateful for a quick peek into another world.
A glimpse down a dark alley could shed light on another way of life.
We walked past little shops and businesses. People work so hard to put bread in the mouths of their children.
Amizagh women sold vegetables in the market. They are called Berbers by the Arabs and most of the world now. Descended from prehistoric dwellers of the land, they are now a minority, but they retain the language and traditions of their ancestors.
I saw this cat in a narrow passageway, and it occurred to me that cats all over the world speak the same language. I wondered what would happen if people did too. Something would be gained, but much would be lost as well.
In Tangier we were given a taste of new flavors, colors, music, and customs.
It was time to cross back over the Straits. The kids will never let me live down the fact that I accidentally bought a rug, my only souvenir of that trip. I wanted to bring home some of the vivid colors of a world so very different, and yet so much the same as ours.
Sunrise to sunset, long after the threads on my rug have faded, that day will stay with me.
All words and images Copyright Naomi Baltuck
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