"Berbers are the Scots of Morocco."

The Berbers are the Scots of Morocco.  Or so a shop owner told me.  According to him, they resemble the Scots because they wear plaid and drink "Berber whiskey" (mint tea).  I'm not sure how well the comparison holds up.  The Berbers are the indigenous peoples of Morocco and most of Northern Africa.  I had the good luck to go to a Berber village two weekends ago when I was in Morocco.

We drove for hours to get out of Marrakech into the mountains.  One thing that surprised be about the city was how green it was.  The mountains that we drove through, on the other hand, looked more like what I had expected - packed dirt from red to brown held together by by scraggly shrubs and trees. 

Our car dropped us off in Imlil, a small village in the Atlas Mountains, and we hiked up to the home where we were having lunch.  As we climbed, the world opened up to us so we could see a rushing stream and the highest peak in North Africa, Jebel Toubkal, in the distance.  For some reason, this place felt more ancient than most.  If it were a person instead of a locale, it would be a gray-braid weraing woman with tanned skin, and a face and hands as deeply cut with wrinkles as the hills are by the river.  She would be a weaver and a singer and a memory-keeper.

When we finally reached this Berber home we ate the most delicious Moroccan food I've ever had : a chicken tagine with potatoes, zucchini, and carrots, a couscous, tea, and oranges.

My friend Sasha said going there made her feel close to God.  It made me feel close to the earth.
Maybe it's the same thing.

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