Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps


3/12/09 Snapshot: Family Lunch

A quiet hour in the life of a (OK, my) Moroccan family:

Baba sits by the fire, alternately watching the news and admiring his latest work-related acquisition.

Ama is nowhere to be seen - she went off to the hammam an hour ago. My little sister - 7 years old and growing fast - didn't want to go, so Ama went alone, which is something of an oddity.

Said little sister is lounging between Baba and me. She plays with my ring, asks her dad a question, shows off what she learned at school, launches short-lived tickle-fights, and generally enjoys having our attention.

My little brothers are equally idle, in this interlude between school and lunch. They play with their newest toys - cell phones - and sporadically jump up, go out, wander around for a while, then return.

My baby cousin sleeps under two blankets, though the spring sun is warm. He wakes up eventually - inevitably - and quickly attracts fans, who play with him, tickle him, goo-goo at him, and generally make sure he knows he's the center of the universe. My favorite game to watch is when my little brother lies the baby flat on his back, then tickles his tiny tummy. The baby's legs and arms fly upwards, pulling in, looking for all the world like a rolly-polly bug that got poked. A moment later, the tickling forgotten, he flattens his limbs back to the ground...and then my brother tickles his belly again, and all limbs constrict upwards. :)

Xalti is out of sight, but not earshot; she's in the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on the couscous. Her daughter, my cousin, runs back and forth between the kitchen and living room, preparing everything. She brings out a kettle of warm water so that we can all wash our hands. She brings out a fistful of spoons, to eat the couscous with. (Some folks - even some of my family members - eat couscous with their hands, shaping it into small balls that they pop into their mouths. For most, though, this is the only traditional meal eaten with utensils.) She brings out the table, which we all arrange ourselves around.

And then Xalti carries in the couscous dish, Baba says the Bismillah, and it's lunchtime! :D

No comments:

Post a Comment

Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps