Stray cats. Did I mention that Tetouan seems to be the city of stray cats? And they do not seem pitiable in the least. They are well fed, respected guests, sometimes in the hands of a shopkeeper being loved, or sitting in the sun. Of course, many are bedraggled. They are showing up in my little playful art adventures. An easy way to play while I learn my way around here.
Moroccan Arabic = Derija
First (2-hour) language lesson (Thursday) in Derija left me able to say “excuse me,” “Jooj” (two—useful for choosing cookies at the local patisserie) and “donnia hennia” (no worries—literally world calm). Also, I can now ask if there is milk in something, and order coffee without milk. I have a million other words, but they don’t all stick. Tomorrow, Sapi (in the red apron below) and I plan to find coffee. She is a resident artist from South Korea and America and for us, finding cookies was plenty for today.
Time seems to have expanded to allow for an impossible amount of adventures. How did I take over 100 photographs today? The Artisan school is full of eager students, often not eager in regular classes, who are doing work of incredible detail and craft. Some photos below. The teachers were incredibly wonderful hosts for us, took time and shared so much of the crafts. The painting teacher had begun making brushes—a photo of one is below.
Friday is the day of prayer here, so shops close doors and Green Olive Arts hosts people for Couscous. This consists of a massive amount of couscous topped with vegetables, chick peas (with carmelized onion, cinnamon, ginger, and other wonderful spices) and chicken. Soooooo good. But after the Artisan tour, the careful and consistent attention at each classroom—embroidery, metal work, engraving, carving—and then at the leather workers shop in the Medina (and the myriad other workshops and places we went) I was cooked before we even began. Never-the-less, I met a wonderful woman, Wafae, who very handily supplied dinner for over 20 people, and met those 20 new faces. This included a man named Freaky. He is a wonderful artist whose business card includes a brief impression line drawing of each card recipient.
Below are some photographs--just a few (ha ha) with captions.
Heather Danso is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Method® Practitioner, Restorative Yoga teacher, Awareness Through Movement® facititator.
As an artist, she playfully explores work in Acrylic, printing, and multimedia, creating portraits and abstracts that explore expression, playfulness, identity, and the possible. Her CV is here.