We are now eight months into our assignment in Casablanca. Our apartment is well set up, although we had to get rid of some things as we didn’t have the space for them. We have some plants growing on our balcony, we also set up our fountain from Harare there and Gene has been waging a war on the pigeons who like to hang out nearby.
My boss, the Consul General just completed her three year tour here so changes are happening. The next CG arrives in August so this seemed like a good time for us to take our R&R. I need to have cataract surgery on my right eye and Gene’s daughter Andrea is getting married in June so all of this came together for our trip. We had to wait until early May to make arrangements for our tickets though because the Continuing Resolution under which the government was operating expired on April 28 so the State Dept. wasn’t authorizing any new expenses after that date until the budget was extended through the rest of the fiscal year. This added to our stress since I had to schedule my surgery in advance. Welcome to life in the State Dept.
We have done a bit more exploring in the area visiting Fez in February on what I believe was their coldest weekend of the year. Then in early April we took a driving trip to Tangier and then onto the ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to Spain where we visited Cadiz, Seville, the Algarve Coast in Portugal, and parts in between. It was nice to be able to drive there in our own vehicle and getting into Spain was a breeze. On the way back though one of the ferries was canceled because of high winds so everyone had to go to the larger ferry which was overwhelmed. Customs on the Morocco side for the return was very slow and a mess; long lines of cars, no movement, confusion as to what anyone was supposed to be doing. I hope this isn’t the typical experience.
We are looking forward to being back in California soon and seeing family there.
Habbous Market, Casablanca.