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The Day I Ate Snails in Marrakech

  I love to eat, but the things I like to eat venture on the more “tame” side. I’ve been challenging my tastebuds and my comfort zone a lot this year. There was partridge pate in Spain, smoked reindeer in Finland, and even sheep head here in Morocco. All of which I liked. I’m big on having my kids try at least one bite of new foods so with that in mind I have to set a good example and practice what I preach. MarocBaba and I were out researching some new locations for our “freaky food tour” of Marrakech and the need arose to evaluate snail selling stands. He likes snails, so he was going to be the final judge. I was along to photograph and keep notes. But then he talked me into trying them. I said no but gave in, because why not? It went like this.   There’s two sizes of bowls offered, we had the …

Amanda MouttakiThe Day I Ate Snails in Marrakech
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Making Friends in Morocco

Making friends has never been easy for me. As a young child the friends I had in preschool were largely the same people that complete high school with me. That’s how it is when you live in a small town. When I left the comforts of my hometown, I started to struggle. I was very self conscious and while outspoken in general, when it came to making any serious friendships I struggled. I can say now I really felt that no one would want to seriously be friends with “the fat girl“. I always sat or stood in a way that attempted to physically minimize the space I was taking up. It’s only after losing 100 pounds and catching myself subconsciously engaging in the same behavior that I could even ¬†acknowledge what I had been doing for years – and things began to make sense.¬† As an adult with children, I wanted to have friends. I made a few very …

Amanda MouttakiMaking Friends in Morocco
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Thai Red Curry Rice Bowl

  The weather here has gone from warm to hot in just a matter of a few days. I feel like we’ve bypassed spring completely and are going to have a long, hot summer. Yesterday, the kids went swimming for the first time this year – and probably the earliest time of the year they’ve been in a pool! I don’t know what it is but as soon as it gets hot my appetite takes a dive. I have no desire to spend time in the kitchen over the stove. It’s been wonderful having a wide variety of produce all year long but there’s even more the warmer it gets. Most vegetables here are eaten cooked but I’ve always preferred them raw – so this creation combines a little bit of everything. If you have leftover rice preparing it will be even easier.   Ingredients 1 package Saffron Road Thai Red Curry Simmer Sauce 1 lb beef or veal filet …

Amanda MouttakiThai Red Curry Rice Bowl
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Handling Medical Emergencies and Healthcare in Morocco

What’s your worst travel fear? For most people it’s getting sick or having a medical emergency far from home. But, when you choose to make your home in a foreign country understanding and using the medical care system can be even more intimidating and frightening. In October of last year I had a medical situation that had me returning to the United States for surgery. We had only been in Morocco for a month when I started getting sick. After arguing about going to the doctor for weeks, MarocBaba finally took me in – and we discovered I had a lot of small gallstones. Because of my previous gastro-surgery and because we still had insurance coverage in the US, I went back to have surgery. Just a few weeks ago our youngest son was ill for a week and not getting any better. After taking him to the doctor we learned he needed to have his appendix removed. We were …

Amanda MouttakiHandling Medical Emergencies and Healthcare in Morocco
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Telling Time in Darija

  Time for another language installment! Today I’m sharing some basic vocabulary that relates to numbers and telling time. Learning numbers was one of the best and most important things I learned. It makes bartering in the markets and generally understanding prices and transactions so much easier. I also found being able to ask and know what time it was to be helpful. It might not seem like an issue when everyone has a phone with digital time on it but you’ll be surprised how often this comes in handy. In the downloadable pack you’ll find several pages with vocabulary and practice activities. When telling time every 5 minutes has a specific term attached for it. You can of course say 1:05 (wahada o khamsa) but wahada o qsem is how you would say 5 after 1. Another note, time is given in the present hour until the 40 minute mark of the hour when the remaining time increments are …

Amanda MouttakiTelling Time in Darija

Touring Fez, Morocco with Kids

  This is the last post in my series on our visit to Fez, Morocco with our kids. We spent 4 days in northern Morocco last month, driving from Marrakech. When we were visiting, a spent several hours one afternoon sitting on the roof of Riad Anata, writing and capturing my thoughts on our visit. I had been to Fez 10 years earlier, before MarocBaba, before kids – it was the first Moroccan city I had seen. Experiencing it now was decidedly different. It was as if I had never been there before. Maybe it’s because memories fade, or maybe I’ve simply acclimated to Moroccan life but the memories I had held onto, just weren’t revived. Sunday was our last day and we had arranged a morning walking tour with Fattah from Journey Beyond Travel (disclaimer I work for JBT as their social media coordinator and blog editor). We wanted to get an early start as we still needed to …

Amanda MouttakiTouring Fez, Morocco with Kids