Marhaba bkum

Last weekend we had our first Moroccan house guests.  And I’ve learned an important cultural lesson.  When you tell someone they are welcome to come over, you have to really mean it.  And my American definition of welcome is very far from the definition of welcome here in Morocco.  Anyways, we’ve had friends over for dinner and stuff before, but last weekend we had friends spend the night!

We have remained friends with Cesar’s family (the same beautiful family I wrote about a couple posts before that invited us over for Ftour during Ramadan), and we even went to a wedding with them one evening.  So we decided to invite them to our house to return the favor.  They live about 35 min away, don’t have a car, and public transport is very complicated from where they are.  So on Saturday, Scott stayed home (so I could have 4 empty seats) and I drove to their house to pick up one of Cesar’s sisters, two nieces, and a nephew.  Previously I thought that we were gonna have a ladies beach day (though that isn’t what happened) so Scott had previously made other plans, and I ended up hanging out with everybody by myself.  Regardless they were SO CUTE and insanely stoked to visit our house as well as hang at the beach.  They told me, “We don’t ever go anywhere!” So I was happy too to have them.

Now let me just tell you one thing about Moroccan hospitality. It is insane. I invited them to my house, and they brought with them a chicken and all the fixings to make a delicious tagine at MY HOUSE!  As soon as we got back Cesar’s sister started cooking in the kitchen.  After we ate a delicious lunch, she then washed all the dishes and swept and mopped.  It went on like this for the whole time they were with us.  It is hilarious!  It’s almost as if they are hosting me in my own house.  I talked about it with our language tutor later and he said to just sit back, relax, and enjoy it.

We spent most of Saturday at the beach where the kids played in the waves.



After a couple hours we returned to our house to have tea and a cake that another sister had made and sent with them.  We played uno and dutch blitz, and had a dance party.  Eventually I went into the kitchen to make dinner.  I was cutting an onion and one of the nieces tried to take the onion out of my hand and told me to go sit down and let her do that.  Haha, I said to her, “No!  You guys cooked lunch.  This is my house.  I’m making dinner.  You can stand by the wall and chat with me but I’m cooking!”  She kind of smiled, was surprised, but obliged. :-)

What I didn’t know however, is that 6 other family members had piled into another car and also were on their way to join us! I had told them when we left, “Another time, you guys have to come too.”  Little did I know is that the opportunity presented itself that evening!  So at 10:30pm, 6 others came too and joined the fun.  It was a little impromptu party!  Thankfully I had enough food to go around, and we all laughed and hung out.



I did accept help for cleaning up after that.

By 12:30am, the second car load of people went back home, and we all went to bed.  This has never happened to me before but as I laid in bed trying to sleep, my brain would not turn off.  The whole day was completely in Arabic (as they don’t speak any English) and after my brain working so hard all day, when I finally wanted to rest, it wouldn’t stop working.  Literally I laid there staring at the wall for 2 hours while my brain decided to make up sentences in Arabic.  I guess that is good for my language progression, but it sure did leave me feeling exhausted!

We had something the next morning, so we told them we would have to take them back early.  That plan didn’t go over so well since they were having so much fun and wanted another day to spend at the beach.

When morning came, they called the other family with the car, who agreed to come pick them up a little later.  So we said goodbye to our friends, they went to the beach, and we left to take care of our things for that day.


  1. Susan
    Sep 10, 2013

    How ABsoLUTEly WONDerful, Ash!!!!! You go. girl ! :-) You’re doing it exactly right!! (Just don’t forget to sleep, please!!) I love you!!

  2. Stan
    Sep 11, 2013

    No good deed goes unpunished……Hilarious! Did they bring a live chicken?!? Washed/cleaned/mopped???……tell them they are invited to our house…..but you will have to give them a ride to the airport!

  3. Todd
    Sep 11, 2013

    What a great story! You just can’t this stuff up.

  4. adam
    Oct 4, 2013

    Thats awesome you guys’ Arabic is progressing so well! Amazing!