Daily Archives: April 1, 2020

Africa

This April, I’ll be participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I’ll write an entry a day centered on my theme of Memoir. I’ll be using  Old Friend from Far Away by Natalie Goldberg as my inspiration for my daily topic. Each post will be a quick write (about 10-20 minutes) to help me notice and remember.

A is for Africa

Tell me about the time you went to Africa.

Entering our riad that night, exhausted from a day of travel and a hectic night of driving in an unfamiliar country, down too-narrow alleyways where I thought for sure we’d scrape the mirrors of the rental car on the walls, I was immediately taken aback by the beauty of it all. The outside revealed nothing of what we would see inside the walls. The vaulted ceilings were illuminated by intricate chandeliers, and the colors, textures, and shapes in the furniture, flooring, and decor were nothing short of breathtaking.

Waking up the next morning, with the sun streaming in from overhead, I was again stunned by the gorgeous surroundings. Following our breakfast on the rooftop, we set off to explore the medina, a series of twists and turns in a never-ending maze of alleyways, at times only wide enough for two people to pass by. As we went deeper into the medina, we found ourselves immersed in the sights and smells of the vendors hawking their wares and the fresh produce and spices for sale. Every turn revealed something new that caught our eye, an old wooden door, barrels of colorful spices, heaped to overflowing, or a storefront with beautifully designed pottery spilling out into the walkway, begging us to come in and take a peek.

But the food. The food is what really got me. From the tagines to the bastilla to the so-sweet-you-instantly-get-a-cavity mint tea, I was in love. Cafe Clock was my favorite find of the trip, an unassuming restaurant tucked away in an alley, with only a small orange sign to alert you to its presence. Upon entering, we immediately headed up, scaling the three flights of stairs to the rooftop terrace, an inviting area with comfortable seating and more plants than you could count. From there, towering above the medina, you could see out for miles. Down in the medina, where we were shielded from the sun, we were cold, but up here, the sun shone down on us and warmed our faces, bringing with it a smile or two. Their version of iced lemon tea, more a slushy than anything else, was frothy goodness, a mix of black tea, tart lemon, sweetness, and cold. Each time we ate there, I tried something new from the menu, but it was always paired with the iced lemon tea.

A to Z Blogging Challenge 2020

Today I’m embarking on yet another blogging challenge, which comes right off the heels of my first blogging challenge of 2020, the Slice of Life Challenge, that ended yesterday. The difference in these two challenges is that the SOL Challenge is one in which I wrote a slice of life story each day for a month about whichever topic I wanted to explore that day, while the A to Z Blogging Challenge is centered on a theme and each day’s topic starts with the next letter of the alphabet.

My theme for this year’s A to Z challenge is Memoir. Memoir is a form of writing dear to my heart. I adore memoirs, both reading them and writing them, however I have never felt like I was very adept at writing in this genre. I think too much and get in my own way, wondering if I’m getting the details right or if I’m going to offend or embarrass anyone else who happens to be in my writing.

One of my fellow slicers, Paula from LitCoachLady, inspired me to write memoir with her slices last month. She used the book Old Friend from Far Away by Natalie Goldberg to get ideas for her slices. I have since downloaded the book myself and will be using the prompts to help guide my daily entries. Each prompt is meant to be written about for 10 minutes, which is what I’ll endeavour to do.

My memoir muscles haven’t been used much lately, but I figured the only way to get better at something is to just do it, right? So here I am, starting a new challenge today, where I’ll stretch myself to become a writer of memoir. Wish me luck, and if you’re so inclined, come along for the ride this month!