Baby Kitties of Tangier

April 6, 2014, one comment

Ready for their close-ups.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop being excited at spotting cats out and about, which makes Morocco a very good place to live. As previously promised, here are the baby kitties of Tangier:

Love those little rascals.

xo, jill

Kiva Loan: March

April 5, 2014, no comments

3 down, 9 to go!

March’s Kiva loan went to Maria in El Salvador. She’s requesting a loan to buy more stock for her store so she can take advantage of the school season. This is Maria’s second loan. The first she used to add more product variety to her shop and offer lower prices to her customers.

The last I checked, Maria’s loan was only 41% funded with only four days left. If you’re looking to make a Kiva loan in the next day or two, consider Maria. Click here to go to her Kiva page.

After taking a quick look at my Kiva portfolio this evening, I saw that about 80% of the loans I’ve funded have been repaid. The rest are either too recent to begin repayments or are working on it. Pretty neat.

xo, jill

Tangier part 2

March 15, 2014, 4 comments

Admiring the view.

Later in the afternoon we were able to check in to our hotel. We were greeted warmly and served tea up on the roof. I did not want to leave that roof. The view was amazing. I highly recommend staying at La Tangerina if you ever find yourself in Tangier. In addition to the amazing view, the atmosphere of La Tangerina is just perfect. The white interior is decorated with vintage radios playing jazz or classical music* depending on the hour. The giant bowl of tangerines in the atrium was the finishing touch. I was very grateful to my student’s parents who recommended it.

The rest of our time in Tangier was spent wandering back through the medina, eating dinner overlooking the water, and seeking out literary sights. The next day we were off to Tetouan.

xo, jill

*We asked about the music. Turns out it was two Swiss radio stations (jazz and classique) that you can stream online. I’ve been listening to them in my classroom ever since.

Tangier part 1

March 13, 2014, 5 comments

Home of the tangerine.

Back in November, Mike and I did a little tour of northern Morocco. We started the journey with an overnight train to Tangier. This was my second overnighter to Tangier having done so a month earlier when my mom visited. I must say, I think two is plenty. The trouble with arriving somewhere at 7am having slept in your clothing is that you don’t feel very fresh. Mike and I weren’t able to check into our hotel room until later in the day and therefore were left to wander around Tangier feeling a bit daggy.

When I started looking through and whittling down photos from our time in Tangier, I noticed that about half of my photos were of cats. No big surprise there. Don’t worry, a baby kitty post will be on its way shortly. Here are a few cat-free photos from the first part of our brief stay in Tangier:

The street our hotel is on. We had to bang on the door multiply times to get someone to let us in at 8am.

This woman walked her three chickens from the medina on leashes so they could graze at the park.

Ok, so those photos weren’t quite cat-free. Did you catch the beautiful black cat that snuck in there?

xo, jill

A few updates from Marrakech

March 11, 2014, one comment

It is busy, busy, busy these days.

Here’s a little update on what’s happening over here:

1. This video has been bouncing around the internet over the past few weeks. I think it successfully shows Marrakech’s charming side. Plus, those cute little faces at 1:01 and 3:02 are friends of mine.

2. This past weekend my school took another outreach trip. This time we visited some boarding houses run by Education For All, a Moroccan NGO. The group builds boarding houses near secondary schools so that girls living in remote communities have the opportunity to further their education. My school came out to lead fun activities for the girls to participate in. My role was to lead yoga on the roof. It was a very giggly afternoon spent under the Atlas Mountains with a lovely group of motivated young women.

3. In a little less than a week a very special guest arrives. I’m looking forward to showing my sister around Marrakech.

xo, jill

Pancake Party

February 28, 2014, 4 comments

Greeting 29 with a smile.

In honor of my 29th birthday, Mike and I invited our friends and my colleagues over for a pancake party. I wanted to do something inclusive that everyone would enjoy, even my new 3 year old friends! I knew I wanted to have a breakfast party but couldn’t quite decide on the food. Then, Mike piped up with a suggestion: Why not serve pancakes?

A few days later I became a co-owner of a pancake maker with my friend Katie. We weren’t sure how well it would work…seeing as it was actually labeled “Crap(e) Maker.” Luckily, it performed perfectly!

I tried to cover all the topping bases: butter, syrup, powdered sugar, strawberries, bananas, Nutella, whipped cream, sprinkles, honey, peanut butter, and the list continues. I wanted there to be something for everyone! There was also fresh orange, strawberry, and banana juice.

I feel like it’s safe to say the party was a success! There was even talk of more pancake parties in the future.

Unfortunately, the photos of the day did not turn out well so I’m not posting most of them. Plus, my favorite photos were starring the youngest guests, and I’d rather keep the kiddos off the blog. Just trust me, little ones posing with sprinkled covered pancakes are adorable.

Throwing the pancake party definitely made me miss all those Hump Day parties in Abu Dhabi. Those were the good ol’ party days…

Here’s to 29!

xo, jill

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