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Friday, January 28, 2011

~Steve, I have a Feeling We Aren't in California Anymore!~

Haffouz was now our town of residence.
We were fairly well settled and I into the homemaking mode.
Steve was now in teaching mode and I the lady of my new house.
Our home was situated behind the local general store. Mohammad Ali was the owner of the general store as well as our landlord.
Our front door opened on to the main street of the town. The street was compressed decomposed granite. Above the street were strung wires with the National Flag of Tunisia attached for patriotic decoration.
Women were not seen walking and shopping around the town, mainly just the men were out and about.
I remember that when Steve and I would go out together, we would draw a crowd. Once we invited a group of Peace Corps volunteers to our home, as they were coming through our town. When we went out for a walk together, there had gathered such a group of people around our front entrance, I was shocked as I exited. They probably had never seen so many Americans gathered together .
Out our back was a patio and yard area where there was a chicken coup and rabbit area, owned by Mohammad Ali. A bit further past the coup was a little hut that was occupied by a family consisting of a man, woman and little 2 year old boy and a new baby.
Looming close by was the tower of the minaret where the call to prayer would be called five times, starting at 5am. The call was produced not by a man calling in his own voice, but by a nightmarish whining and scratching of a well worn record that was warped. This sound took quite a few months to get used to and be able to sleep through.
Monday was "Souk" day. Open air market, just like our weekly street fair.
I had learned a little Arabic and felt that I could do this, and I did buying our veggies and eggs and spices.
When Steve would return home for our lunch together, he would stop at the local bakery and pick up a fresh loaf of french bread, hot out of the oven. We delighted in using that delicious bread for our many tuna sandwiches or just bread and butter. You could tell the time of day by the aroma of the baking bread wafting through the air, the bakery being just a block or two away.
Our comings and goings were watched and I can only imagine our where abouts being discussed at the local coffee bars, where the men gathered for their small shots of heavily caffeinated thick tea, and conversation before returning to their homes.
We were home and I soon made friends with my neighbor women.
We were known as Monsieur Steve & Madame Milissa~


Anonymous said...

Please, please, please tell me more.

-pap said...

Tunisia, was a peaceful, simi 3rd world country, the people were friendly and the children were happy in bare feet leading a happy life. They gained their independence from France in a peaceful coup led by Hero, Habib Bourguiba Good days for Tunisia! They also loved Americans due to events in WW2 where Gen Patton Defeated the German Desert Fox, Rommel.Pray for peace in Tunisia, They are good people!