…and now I’m in Berberville. (For some reason, that nickname keeps making me think of the Barber of Seville, which is not an allusion I’d make deliberately. Oh, well.) Sitting on my back stoop, watching the trees in my courtyard sway in the breeze. For the record, the sound of leaves in the wind is just fantastic. There are sfsaf (poplar), tfaH (apple), khokh (peach), plus some of the famous lwrd (roses) of Kelaat MaGouna.
My host families are very dissimilar in obvious ways – this one is very wealthy, the dad lives at home, the house is enormous – but both are warm and inviting, and both have made me feel welcome despite my repeated failures to communicate. My host dad is a mountain guide for tourists, and he’s off in the mountains this week, so I won’t get to meet him until after I swear in (inshallah).
My language skills are nowhere near sufficient, but lHumdullah they’re light-years ahead of where they were when I went to RiverVillage for the first time. My conversations are short, choppy, and ungrammatical, but I can have conversations, which counts for a lot.