Jamie and I had just finished 3 days in Fes, Morocco and it was time to catch the train back to Marrakech which was an 8.5 hour ride from Northern Morocco to the South. Our train like most in Morocco was aged but comfortable. Prior to the train ride to Fes several days earlier my first experience was one of the high speed rails in France in in November 2010 while other adventures Jamie and I had been on. The trains in Morocco differed from France in newness but also in that it was custom if you brought food on the train with you you should share it with others around you. In anticipation of that Jamie and I purchased purchased dried fruit, nuts, and several flavors of what can be best described as taffy.
Our train ride was scheduled to leave late in
the day with our arrival back in Marrakech as late as midnight. For the
first several hours both Jamie and I tried to catch up on some much
needed sleep. On occasion waking to snack and have some water. Anytime
we traveled we tried to bring as little technology with us s we could
so we would not be distracted on our journey. This trip we took my
iPhone (got to love the TomTom app.) and our iPads. I had gotten both
Jamie and my self an iPad as a Christmas gift to us.
My intent was
to learn a bit of programming of iPad applications during “down time”
but the few movies and a couple of games quickly took over. One game
called Angry Birds seemed to capture our attention more then most others
so we took turns trying to advance through the endless levels.
one of the many stops along the way a family got on the train and sat
in the seats across and kiddie corner of the area where Jamie and I
sat. It appeared that the women and a young child sat in the 4 seats
that faced each other and the men a few down from them. The youngster
was very much like any in the US, playful, inquisitive and had an
endless appetite. She would in limited fashion play games with
passengers around her receiving treats and small favors from what seemed
to be complete strangers. The gentleman sitting across from me was
using his laptop to work on and all the while listening to music. In a
gesture to keep this little girl occupied he put his head phones on her
so she could hear the music that he was listening to. She would dance
and try and sing the words she was listing to. Western music it seems
had made its way to this little girl as she knew who the artist was.
a small amount of frustration in my fellow passengers eyes as the girl
continued to dominate his head phones and play with the keys on his
computer I turned on my iPad and started an application called
Penulimate that lets you draw on screen using your finger. Jamie being
bilingual and speaking perfect French told the youngster to look at some
magic. I can’t tell you how important it was for Jamie to speak French
in Morocco, as they speak two languages there Arabic and French.
the youngster worked up enough courage to approach us, Jamie and I were
the only two people in our car that were obviously not from the
country, and it was with a great deal of hesitation that the youngster
eventually approached. I showed her what my finger could do on the iPad
and she stood watching for several moments in awe. Jamie Spoke French
to her, reassuring her it was fine and after several looks back at her
mother she finally warmed up to us enough to give it a try. I held the
iPad while she delighted in using her finger tip to draw squiggly lines
and as she did I would change the color every now and then to her
amazement. After an hour of entertaining the entire car with her
newfound artistic ability she would get board and move down a few seats
and entertain someone else then come back to show us a new treat she had
acquired. At one point Jamie opened up the bag of nuts and dried fruit
we had purchased and as she and I ate a snack for our selves would share
our bounty with the young girl.
When our train arrived in
Marrakech everyone stood up to exit the train and as Jamie and I waited
our turn we waved goodbye to our new found little friend while others
surrounding us told us “welcome to Morocco, your new home.” Jamie and I
smiled at each other thinking the same thing... What a cool way to
I’m not sure if the youngster will remember Jamie or I but she will remember magic drawing on an iPad every time she see’s one.
are the drawings that Jamie and I created while trying to entice her to
use her own finger to draw and the drawings that she created.