Ghita and I were being Watched…
We are in Sorata, a little city North of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, getting some info in the touristic center and talking with a guide about activities to do. We will say that we went there just following our heart but in other words, we were lost! As usual we did’t know what this city will offer.
We were talking in Spanish with the guide, as usual we use some moroccan words when we speak to each other (Ghita and I)… As soon as we got ready to leave a guy talks to us in Darija, Moroccan Arabic, (it is rare to meet moroccan around the world) “wash ntouma men lmaghrib, 7it sme3tkoum tat hadrou be darija » (Are you from Morocco, because I heard you talking in Darija)
A&G: Exited, woooow naydaaa
Mat: but wait wait wait, ana machi maghribi, ana men lmirican (Im not moroccan, im from the US)
At that moment I was a bit stoned, I Was talking Darija with a guy in the middle of the little town of Sorata. This is a good experience. We Talked a bit and left our contact details to each other and promised to meet in La Paz. Hehe… Magic, we met the same day at night, had diner, talked a lot and then back to the travel life… But lucky us, We met him again in La Paz. Matt is the most interesting guy and a geography lover, he talks and writes perfectly arabic! Oh yeah, its not just arabic, its Dajira Also! Sometimes he uses words that I do not use often! We even talked about some Darija Tricks. It is having an idea about Moroccan Arabic out of the box and it turns great!
Here is the Story of Matt, the American who speaks great Darija or Moroccan Arabic:
“I did volunteering in Morocco, in El Gara , a city not far from Berrchid and Casablanca. Worked and taught energetic and amazing kids and learned how to speak and read Arabic during my two year volunteering. I finished my mission in February and came to La Paz to teach English». His future plan is to live in a middle east country to learn classical arabic!
We met him in La Paz several times, he took us on a private tour around La Paz With AJ (a friend). We saw beautiful tags on the street walls. Walked in La Paz to El Mirador El Monticulo to see La Paz from an amazing lookout. While walking, we up and down, La Paz is the only city in the world where you need to go down to reach up. La Paz from the Air With the Teleferico (yellow and green line to go to zona sur), a jail in the middle of the city (all good), el Alto Féria (biggest open air Market in south America), we spent the day there and even had lunch in one of the Tiendas there. Bref he took us everywhere and took care of us.
Travelling is not about what you have to see, it is what you feel because what is supposed to happen, will happen! We met our friend Mat who speaks Darija! This is no comment.
We spent several nights with all his friends, went wild camping and hiking in the Condoriri Glacier. Then, it was time for us to move on and explore The Bolivian Amazon. We left 10 days, and came back to La Paz, as it is the only way to go to South Bolivia. We text him, to let him know that we were back and here is the message that we got from him: « rta7ou mzyan. nshufkoum mn b3d inchallah. Mar7babikoum 3ndi ghdda. Kayna numousiya bach tn3sou mzyan ». By Mat English 😀 He even Write message in Darija with the 9 7 2 3,This guy is just blowing out our minds.
It is such a pleasure to speak Darija while we travel but to speak Darija with an American guy, who’s name is English, I think this is unic.
He invites us to his house, this is what the message was saying! His house is The most beautiful place to see La Paz… The hill is steep but it just makes you fall in love with this city which remind us a lot of different cities in the world but of course LaPaz is unique.
As having gathered an American who speaks Darija, Ghita, Deborah (the lovely room mate) and Oliver (his brother), we decided to cook a Tajine. We missed Morocco a lot, so let’s have some Moroccan Taste. The diner turned well and he even made a speech for us (Here is the video).
Thank you Matt for being what you are, for welcoming us, for making us laugh and for speaking arabic with us.
JerryPeps by AGBackpackers