Today, we hired a guide, Ali, who drove us in his Fiat van to Tetouan and Assilah, two very different towns. Tetouan, with beautiful and very rustic medina, very fresh market, royal summer palace and almost no tourists. Assilah, a summer beach town on Atlantic with almost Greek looking architecture. Take a look…

Tetouan

boys selling those painted chicks as pets
boys selling those painted chicks as pets
fresh & local food has a whole new definition after seeing the cow's head
fresh & local food has a whole new definition after seeing the cow’s head
fresh fish anyone?
fresh fish anyone?
very fresh chicken, you pick the one you want
very fresh chicken, you pick the one you want
Laura and I in front of the medina
Laura and I in front of the medina

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Assilah

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Today was also Lucas’s 7th birthday – so a big day for my little guy. While this is the first birthday that I couldn’t be there for, thanks to technology we were able to send videos, talk and send messages back and forth – and I found this special place in Tetouan just for him (the first word says Lukhash)

Mia, Lucas (7), Max
Mia, Lucas (7), Max

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Our cultural explorations continue. We learned that polygamy is difficult in Morocco, yet not so uncommon. You just need a permission of wife #1 – but if she doesn’t agree, you go to a different city and marry #2 anyway. It is allowed by islam and is more of a religious practice than social norm, yet it is widely discussed. Ali had no problem sharing that he has two wives, two different houses and just takes turns every night. We were a little taken back by the honesty and openness of the topic – but 13 kids later (!!) it seems to be working for him. We later met wife #2 as he ended  our tour in his house, with some mint tea. The discussion continued and we learned that there may have been a wife #3 but there may have also been a divorce? We just couldn’t follow and things were getting complicated as we were mixing German, Spanish, French, Arabic, English in sentences – which is the norm here. It is rather amazing that our group of 9 can pretty much communicate with anyone. The cultural exchange continued as Ali considered China and Japan to be the same thing, Yan Kai shared that in a certain region of China women can have more than one husband, Rikard broke a vase in Ali’s house (no big deal according to wife #2 but he was so embarrassed) and the Arabic TV behind us started showing soap opera and ads with half-dressed women…. to our amazement. Who is the TV targeting exactly?

Anyway, quite the day, we learned and saw a lot…. work week continues tomorrow. #ibmcsc