salam alikum

aboard delta flight 7549 from NY to Casablanca, Morocco when a huge explosion and burst of purple/white light outside the plane window shoots adrenalin through my veins. a short thought races through my mind.. "is this it?". panic is written over every persons face in the airplane. the stewardists are frantic, running around the plane while we're left wondering what's happening. my second thought? we lost an engine. not the case. "nothing to worry about" says the french stewardist to the guy next to me; "just a bolt of lightning.. no damage.. we'll continue towards morocco". my 3rd thought? yeah, great.. only 7 hours to go and we just took a hit of lightning. "no problem".
salam alikum
a greeting here in morocco, meaning, 'peace be with you'.
yeah, like never before, after getting off 'that' airplane.

1st day after getting here, i got situated and made a visit to the local mosque called Hassan II. it's the second largest mosque in the world behind only the mosque of mecca, where many muslims trek for their 'haj', a pillar of the islamic religion. Hassan II is architecturally incredible.

2nd full day we drove toward toward Marakech to get some photos and visit a market. we headed straight into the Atlas mountains and visited some of the Berber people. amazing views as you drive centimeters from dropping off the side of the mountain. a people that live off the land in so many ways; berbers collect rocks off the mountainside in front of their house that make for the primary "building block" of their homes. the "go green" campaign has been here since the beginning of time. the locals up in these parts live a life of simplicity. we, as westerner's, should take a few notes.

attaching a few images to go along with the text above: