Friday, November 9, 2007

The Start of the Operation Smile Mission in Tetouan!

Greetings from Morocco! I’m in the midst of the Operation Smile medical mission in Tetouan, Morocco, and I can honestly say it’s been an amazing experience. Unfortunately, I’m also sick as a dog, so that’s limiting what I can do at this point, but hopefully I’ll feel better soon. I started feeling sick on the flight to Casablanca…severe congestion, sore throat, headache, etc. It’s kept getting worse during the first few days here, but I’m finally starting to improve. I’ve still got a horrible hacking cough, but I’m able to breathe again…a big step forward!

Anyway, I arrived in Casablanca very late Tuesday night; actually, more like 1:00AM Wednesday. I spent Wednesday in Casablanca, touring with a couple of my mission colleagues, and then having a fabulous lunch at a very authentic Moroccan restaurant. Before I left for Morocco, Rob was concerned that I wouldn’t find anything to eat. Well, he was very wrong! I bet I’ve gained five pounds on this trip! At least.

Wednesday evening a small group of us took a van to Tetouan, where the mission is occurring. It was about a 6 hour drive. The scenery was probably great, but I couldn’t tell you…it was dark! Plus, I was asleep as soon as we got out of the city.

Thursday morning was the first morning of the mission. I spent the morning with the film crew that is documenting the journey of three children who are seeking operations. We ‘followed’ one boy, a 12-year-old named Mourad, as he went through the initial screening process. It was fascinating to me to see the filming process and what goes on ‘behind-the-scenes’…like occasionally having to re-create a shot! Mourad and his father were very patient with the process, and were excellent at acting ‘normal’…not looking at the camera, etc.

Mourad and his father

Unfortunately, I got sent home before lunch because I was so sick! I really didn’t want to go back to the hotel on the first day, but I have to admit it was the best thing for me. Not just for me, but obviously I shouldn’t be around the kids when I’m so sick either. I went back to my room and slept until dinner time. Hopefully I can get over this quickly!!

1 comment:

Nickolas said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog. I visited Morocco last year. I like traveling to historical places! And Tangiers and Tetouan are full of historical places! May be that's why many people buy in Tetouan property and in Tangiers! Tetouan is famous for its Hispano-Moorish architecture, a fine example of which is the Khalifa Palace, built in the XVIIth century in the reign of Moulay Ismaïl. And Tangiers is beautiful, combining many of the best attributes of other Moroccan cities: it has the rolling hills of Fez, which give most houses stunning views; it has the blue and white color palate of Essaouira, in addition to the Ocean and Sea; and it has a small but interesting medina. In addition, it has a much more varied architecture, with a variety of European influences.