Saturday, 26 July 2008

Ten things that would make our life in Ouled Mgatel easier

I love my house, and I love to live here. I'm amazed that we managed to build it, and to actually live in it, since all seemed at first a crazy adventure. We made it, with very little money, without an architect, a plumber or an electrician. And it works.

There are a few things though that would make our house a better place.

1. A bigger solar panel. And maybe a small wind turbine. Because we’d like to say that our house is completely green, but this is not the case. We cheat. Every two days or so, we have to bring our battery to the neighbors’ house, where we recharge it – their farm is connected to the power lines.

2. A well. Because, again, we cheat. I explained why in this post. The water we have in our tank is not enough, especially at this time of year. So we plan to dig a well, an operation that is not so expensive, and that would change our lives.

3. And since I’m talking about water… Rainwater tanks, to collect the precious rain. This we absolutely have to build before winter, with a system of gutters. Because, even if a lot of people believe Morocco to be mostly a desert (sorry, this is not the case), it rains a lot during the winter and the spring.

4. A few years. Time to wait for the trees we’ve planted in this wheat field that is now our garden to grow. To get more shade in the courtyard. And hopefully olives and lemons, figs and apricots.

5. A new car. Since it is impossible for us, with our jobs, to live in Ouled Mgatel without a car. We tried – we had no choice – for a while, and it was not fun. Moroccan customs have very strict rules for bringing cars from abroad, and we can’t keep ours. We’ve brought it back to France, and we’re looking for a new one in Morocco. A challenge, given our tight budget –second hand cars are very expensive here.

6. Colors. Everything is just so white in our house. Sure, it’s beautiful, but boring. We still haven’t tried to put colors on the walls. Decoration is not really our thing, but we’ll have to do it. For a few years, pigments we’ve bought in Chefchouen have been sitting in a box, just waiting to be mixed with whitewash and put on our walls.

7. Plastic mats to put on the floors. Not very green, I agree, but necessary. That’s what everybody puts on the floors here, since the earth tends to make a lot of dust. At the beginning, we decided we wouldn’t put plastic mats (plastic !) in the house, and chose beautiful Moroccan rugs instead, but had to accept the fact that there is simple to much dust. We’ll put the rugs on the mats, and hopefully, no more dust under our feet.

8. Real stairs. Because some day I’ll trip on my slippers when climbing the ladder leading to our bedroom. We have the wood, the nails, everything to build the stairs. Just waiting for Fred to have the time !

9. Speaking fluent Moroccan Arabic. This is for me, not for Fred, since he’s already fluent in Arabic. I’ve been living in Morocco for 5 years, but haven’t really bothered to learn the language during my first 3 years, except for a few basic words/expressions. I almost never used verbs, since I didn’t know how to conjugate them. It might sound strange, but it’s very common here for French people, who are accustomed to find French speaking Moroccans… So now I’m progressing, but still struggling with the language.

10. A DSL connection. Ok, this one is pure fantasy, it will never happen, unless some day the outskirts of Fez reach Ouled Mgatel…

1 comment:

luna park said...

Marie, I found your blog through and it is wonderful. I don't know much about Morocco but you have inspired me to visit, and explore the countryside. Best of luck to you! -Noelle