Monday, December 03, 2007


I'll start with Marakesh. I find it very amusing how we were always hearing stories about how awful Marakesh was for touts and hassle. Yes, there was some hassle but not very much at all, in my opinion...but then again maybe I'm immune to it after Egypt, India and other places. One of the most annoying things is how people complain about the hassle when they are the exact cause of it all. The best way to encourage begging and hassle is to GIVE away money to people who have done nothing to deserve it. A lady trying to do henna came and grabed my arm and started drawing all over me lightning speed, saying "Gift, gift. Present for you." Meanwhile I was saying "No,no,no; I don't have any money. I don't want it." Once she was done she said "Ok, now present for me. You give ME present." When I told her again that I didn't have anything (which I really didn't) she smeared it all over, leaving me with a big, orange stain on my arm! Great now I'm stuck with an orange arm. I guess it's not so bad, but it's the fact that she did something against my will.
I really like the markets and all the chaos involved. Walking down the streets you can hear dozens of snakecharming horns, loud story tellers, with horse carriage drivers shouting and mopeds honking at you to get out of the way! I nearly got run over... more than once! It's funny seeing lots of pets for sale on the side of the road.
I always love finding the cheapest hole-in-the-wall restaurants because you can really feel the atmosphere best there! I like the chicken kebabs and yogurt the best. I can gaurantee that the snails were...far from the best, haha. It wasn't that bad, more funny than anything.
Ammon's right about the long bus rides being dreadful. That's where my earphones, book, and patience come in most handy! I felt bad for dad since his shoulder is trashed. At least I can give him a good backrub to help. It was really funny when Sky saw some Moroccan soldiers in uniform wearing sandals. He couldn't believe it and said "You've got to be kidding me!! You gotta love how these guys are wearing FLIP-FLOPS in uniform.....So HEINOUS!!!!" haha.
Everyone speaks French here and I'm not as good as the others with it....but I'm sort of getting the hang of things. Sign language and charades work well enough for me. Everyone just laughs because I look like a monkey.
Mauritania is cool. I almost forgot how annoying flies could be! That's where tolerance is helpful. It's back to sand and bare green, hardly any colour in the buildings, cold showers, hand washing laundry (It's nice that they dry fast in the breeze and hot sun), lots of sand in your food, and little kids following you around. I really like the new style of clothing. The women wear lots of colour and the men wear blue or white cape-like gowns.
It's always great fun staying with locals in their homes. We set up our tents for the first time in the backyard which was fun. The stars are amazing.
We went walking just outside of Nouadhibou and found the ship graveyard! Ships are basically taken here to "die" and be left to rust and sink. As terrible as that's a cool effect. I love taking my self-defense and fighting lessons from Sky and dad on the beach even though it draws quite the crowd. It was all women taking pictures and cheering ME on when I practiced throwing Sky from my hip or shoulder to the ground. I'm a machine! Muaahahaaa. Super fun!
I'm excited to keep moving on. I love having the family together to share all of the experiences!!


At 1:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Guys,
Thanks for the great note Breanna and Ammon.
I laughed out loud at Sky's reaction to the uniforms, I remember feeling the same way whenever I saw someone dressed improperly, it will pass, or at least after a bunch more shocks you'll get used to the shocks Sky.
Ammmon, you probably haven't noticed but you are obviously more comfortable, your tone is more relaxed. Sorry to hear your buddy got sick and dropped out, you never know he may catch up again.
Brandon - so try this:
1) off load your pack contents to your kids for a bit at least 10 days,
2) try Ibuprofen 600mg every 6 hrs, and if you can get access to Zantac (ranitidine) take 250mg twice a day while you take the Ibuprophen (Motrin).
3)Warm and cold alternating packs for the flares
4) Check your head position when you sleep. Go for neutral position
5) Take a face clothe and wet it then wring it out, wrap it around your neck, then over that wrap a tea towel and safety pin to place, wear this to bed at night.
6) MAssage, massage, massage, have your kids take turns, but I would watch out for Sky- he actually has muscles and could hurt the tissues... ouch!!!
7) I'd recomend inversion boots but you are unlikely to find them or a place to use them.
8) If after all this you are still having pain you may need Gabapentin 300 mg three time daily, but you should be talking to a Dr about that it can be sedating. - I'm sure you will get alot of people arguing with this.... but hey you have nothing to loose. You need to get the inflamation down in the nerve roots, and quit irritating it. So Gentle massage, and quit the Karate till it heals. There is a chance you have a undiplaced fracture, so give it a chance to stabillize. People at your advanced chronology don't heal as well.... LMAO

Maggy, things are stressful, too many balls to juggle, and work is busy. Is your window open?

Savannah, I have a surgical resident who thinks your amazingly hot... so well, ummmm well there you are.

Good Luck, be careful, and write.
Love and Big Bear Hugs
Big Bear

At 1:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Brandon!!!
The dose for Zantac is 150 mg orally twice a day.

Sorry Missed it in the proof read.

Big Bear

At 9:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Further advice for Brandon from my Chinese friend, Velda Lee. Brandon, you are going to love this one! Eat chili peppers to relieve the inflamation. How about that! You may be able to get them more easily there than some of the medications that Shean recommended! Keep writing, we want to keep travelling vicariously with you!

At 10:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Brandon,
Speaking of peppers, you could try rubbing catanne pepper on the area, it has been know to reduce pain in topical applicationsand then there is the advice from Mom McCall, hey run with the chillies thing, if they don't fix it in the upper stomach, well when he gets the burning ring of fire, he'll probably forget what it was in his neck that was bugging him. FoFLMAO !!!!!!!! You are probably right about the meds thing, but it will depend on the size of the city, and if there is a medical place there.

Big Bear Hugs to all
The Bear


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