Three days to go.

It has been a really busy week at home with all the end-of-school-year activities, me packing and organizing summer activities for the boys. Brian should have been my guest blogger as he was representing us this weekend in traveling around the US (2 graduations in 2 states). So I had a quiet weekend with the kids, just enjoying the weather outside.

I started doing some research for our project. Since we will be working around the old medina in Tangier, I was researching the life in medinas, other cities and the organizations that are similar to our client. I have found a few in Tunis, Algeria and even in some middle Eastern cities  – so getting up to speed.

You may ask – what’s a “medina” – according to Wikipedia, it is a distinct city section found in many North African cities. The medina is typically walled, contains many narrow and maze-like streets. The word “medina” (Arabic: مدينةmadīnah) itself simply means “city” or “town” in modern day Arabic.

I have also realized how challenging it will be working in a predominantly French speaking country. Our client has no website (yet – because that is part of our deliverable!) and all other mentions of their activities are in French. Interviewing will be key data collection for our project and even when I worked in Asia – there was at least 1 person who spoke English – so this may be a place where all my “languages” do nothing for me – which is fine. We haven’t been able to connect with the client prior to our departure but will meet them about this time next week ! Really excited to meet the team !

So now to something digestible… food. Yesterday, while browsing through the channels, I caught Bourdain’s Parts Unknown on CNN which was on Tangier, Morocco. How timely! The food was beyond fabulous looking, lots of olive oil, garlic, cilantro, nuts, honey, lemon – just what I love and always have plenty of in my fridge. I scribbled a few very local restaurant suggestions and made a note to visit.

where Anthony Bourdain wants us to go
where Anthony Bourdain wants us to go

We will be staying in the Continental hotel which sounds like a true Tangier historical landmark. I am resisting to create an image of Tangier in my mind – but it is impossible with all the documentaries, reading and stories I have perused. Right now, I am envisioning a historic Euro-Arab city with very mysterious vibe; narrow streets with donkeys carrying spices, vibrant colors of clothes, food and walls/tiles; cafes full of people looking for that feel of Tangier in 30-60’s of partying expats, international spies, struggling artists and wandering travelers.

In 4 days, I will find out….#ibmcsc