Ben – Whenever we commented to Ben (our guide, local shopkeeper, laundryman etc etc etc) about anything not working properly, or someone not turning up on time, or the amount of rubbish lying around – Ben would explain with a shrug, in one word, “Africa”. His shrug and the word “Africa” was his regular way of apologising when things did not go as promised.
He told us a joke – how do you put a camel in the fridge in three moves? Open fridge door, put camel in, close door. How do you put a giraffe in the fridge in four moves? Open fridge door, take camel out, put giraffe in and close door! Ben thought it was very funny.
The Berber Surprise – When we were at the Roman ruins of Volubilis we were shown a carved stone stool called the Berber Surprise. We were invited to sit astride the stool before our guide revealed the carving on the seat. It was a large penis. If a woman sat on the seat, she sat astride facing the penis – if it was a man, he would be seated behind the penis. And the Surprise? The size of the penis replied our guide with a grin!
The following morning at 8.30 we visited the village primary school, which Desert Detours helps to support. The children were assembling in the grounds with their teacher and were singing songs (I think) in our honour. As each child arrived they greeted the teacher by kissing his hand and then kissing their own hand. There were about eighty children in the group, aged between five and six. Their clothes were clean and tidy and the children looked well nourished.