My house helper has been making me treats. She comes once a week, Wednesdays, to clean my tile floors and kitchen. For the past four weeks she has been bringing me cakes, “just because.” She brought the one pictured above this past week and detailed how she made the frosting, the number of eggs in the cake, how she designed it. She doesn’t have extra money to spend on things like this. She lives in a smaller than a studio-type apartment. Her husband has little work. She reassures me, “Kiwis? I buy one at a time. They are only one dirham (about 12 cents).” She collects the ingredients as she has the funds and then creates the cakes. I am honored by her generosity and humbled.
I celebrate her and other incredibly generous Moroccan women that I have met through the years. Women who would give you anything. One time Patrick was traveling and a friend came over for teatime to keep me company. She brought the whole teatime with her–muffins for the kids, a special bread, juice. Another time a group of American teachers were visiting for two weeks, putting on seminars for kindergarten teachers. Our translator invited them over for dinner, a lavish dinner with two main courses. Generous. Hospitable. Kind. These are the women that I have been blessed to know.
I have learned from these women. My teatime friend proved to be like a mother to me. I watched her Moroccan hospitality in action–pouring more tea, putting out more cakes, forcing her guests to eat. She made her own butter, she cured her own olives, and she made healthy juice. I observed her attitudes towards her guests, how she stretched the little money they had, how she honored people. I am so much richer knowing her.
Generous and caring Moroccan women, I salute you. And to my dear house helper, thank you for the cakes and giving me a glimpse into your kind heart.