We show up, John meets us and we're taken through a quaint town that's nothing but a maze-work of stairs and switchbacks. We're brought inside his host family's house where he spent weeks first training with Peace Corps to set our stuff down and meet some of his host brothers and sisters. They know very little English and we rely on John to do some translating, but desperately wanted to speak ourselves. Even with the huge communication barrier, it's so easy to see how much of a joy they are to be around and we loved giggling and trying to pick up on what little we could (failing miserably of course).
Then we're shown around town a bit and soon decide on lunch. I told myself small meals only, as Moroccan food seems to surprise you with how ridiculously over-filling it is, but make the mistake of ordering a full meal anyway. I actually ate more than I expected, but it turned out to be a good idea since afterward we were rewarded with two pretty healthy hikes up their somewhat steep hills. The afternoon was spent enjoying the scenery, taking pictures of the town from a good perch, and taking advantage of the good weather and new company.
The evening we were invited to stay the night and were lucky enough to have a supper with John's host-father and the few siblings that wanted to join us. We ate homemade bread that was the most delicious we had with jam and olives and of course, sweet mint tea. Conversation flowed easily enough picking up on various body language and broken English with translations from John where needed. Muhammed, John's host-father, was one of the most enjoyable people to spend time with. He's very intelligent with experience in a lot of different fields. He had a superb sense of humor with his knowledge-base, and smoked hash nonstop the entire night. John helped us with a few key words and phrases to remember for future reference and combined with the siblings few English words, we had a really great time hanging out and exchanging.
We felt so fortunate to take up John's invite and most of all I hope to have many more similar experiences along our trip.