From Morocco to Montana...with love
I (Rita Collins) am a contributor for Visit NW Montana and right now I'm visiting mystical, majestic Morocco! Sandi said the story would need to relate Morocco to Montana and at first I couldn't imagine how this would be possible. It is surely not the architecture nor religions. The culture is quite different. And although I drink coffee each morning whether in Montana or Morocco, the coffee in a Moroccan cafe is so strong that it surprises me daily. But in both places there are good people who will point you in the right direction when you are lost. In both Morocco and Montana there are individuals who are so connected to the place they call home that they can't imagine living elsewhere.
They enjoy telling travelers how special it is and what gives this particular place heart. In both places are people who enjoy making things. I think of Eve Clowers in Trego when I see the cheese for sale in the souq in Fez. Or passing by a shop where a man is building an oud, I am reminded of Ray Jacobs. We watch people hammer out copper pots, weave cloth, make pottery, sew garments. And we hear older people lament that the young ones aren't interested in learning these crafts anymore, preferring to buy cheap items from China. And I am reminded of the older women quilting by hand at the Historical Village as they wonder who will take on their role maintaining the Village and traditions. Both places have their daily rhythms. In Morocco we hear the call to prayers five times a day. In Eureka, the rhythm is marked for me by the school buses, the flurry in town at lunch time and the 7:00pm siren. As one man told us yesterday after asking where we were from, "We are all humans. We must get along as we are all here together."
About the Author: Rita Collins. I am a believer in the power of community and for now I call the Tobacco Valley home. I have lived in nine states and three counties and this community here amazes me - how people reach out to neighbors and even travelers. I've never lived in a place that demonstrates people caring for each other so well. And I've never lived in a place that has such a high percentage of talented musicians and artists. I work with the the Sunburst Community Service Foundation, a nonprofit that began in Eureka twenty years ago and now serves numerous communities in western Montana. And I just started a new business, St. Rita's Amazing Traveling Bookstore and Textual Apothecary. I never could have imagined life being this exciting in my sixth decade.
Tags: Eureka Happenings