Zak’s Family

Zakaria, our trip leader, was born and grew up in Marrakech. Yesterday, we drove over the High Atlas mountains, hours on a winding mountain road in a huge bus on a narrow road, back into Morocco’s green zone, finally arriving in Marrakech.

We are staying in another Riad, an old home built around a courtyard. Tile, fountains, high ceilings. In the late afternoon, we walked to the Djemma el Fna, Marrakech’s famous square full of hustlers, snake charmers, musicians, street food vendors and tourists. Crazy, chaotic place.

Zak’s mother invited the group to dinner. His brother, some sisters, a brother-in-law, some nieces and nephews all joined us. Zak is the baby in the family, by far, his closest sibling is 8 years older, the brother that was there last night is 23 years older. Zak’s oldest niece is a year older than he is.

It was a typical Moroccan dinner, lamb, cooked salads, dates with milk, fruit for dessert. Many spoke English, so we were able to converse and share Zak stories, much to his chagrin and delight.

It was a very special, fun evening.

Ramadan started last night, so Zak was packing it in like a 24 year old boy who is going to fast all day. Starting this morning, everyone will be fasting, no food or water from first light until an hour after sunset. As soon as they hear the first word from the day’s final call to prayer, they can eat. This will go on for the next month.

Marrakech is hot, it’ll be in the 90s today.