Last Glance


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Well, the end of my stint here is approaching. I spent little time in the hospital today in order to get some last minute things done before heading back across the Atlantic. I finally got a chance to see the Medina! The Medina in Fez is the largest in Morocco, comprised of a maze of narrow alleys packed full of small shops, cafes, etc. The most impressive part was the tannery, where leather is processed the old fashioned way into all sorts of attractive merchandise.

I finally got to see the hard working animals that I’ve been helping to treat for the last four weeks in their usual milieu. They are essential for transporting the heaviest of loads through the streets of the Medina, where no autos are allowed or would even fit. Surprisingly, most of the animals I saw on active duty looked pretty well cared for. Alas, the rubber shoes were rampant but actually did seem to prevent the donkeys from slipping on the slick stone walkways, which tend to be sharply inclined. Our visit to the Medina was cut short when the "tourist brigade" stopped Azami (the farrier), asking him what he was doing touring four Americans around the Medina. They are trying to cut down on fake guides who charge tourists too much money to show them around the Medina, engaging in all sorts of shady business. Even after we explained to the officer that Azami was our friend and co-worker, Azami was ordered to leave the Medina. Ridiculous considering that the Medina is where Azami lived for aaep-2006 years. That incident left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

The evening ended on a terrible note. The other students and I returned from dinner to find that someone had left a dying dog propped against the doors of the Fondouk. He was old and in rough shape, and he looked lifeless except for his continued attempts at difficult breathing. We immediately woke up Doc to get the euthanasia solution and put the dog down.

I will be taking the train out of Fez tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be staying overnight in Casablanca because of my early morning flight on Friday. Not much left to do but get packing and reflect on all that I’ve seen and learned here. I’m looking forward to posting the most important lessons and the general impressions I’ve gained. I’m not, however, looking forward to leaving and I have promised the staff at the Fondouk that I will return the next chance I get

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