Magnificent Morocco – 18. On the train to Fez

This was Casablanca station when I originally got there, not a great pic, but its quite a huge looking station

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So now, I’m leaving for another city, Fez.

There is quite a large array of platforms as it seems Casablanca is quite a central hub for the rest of the country.

Once getting going, this was a 5 hour journey, with an hour stop in Rabat.   I found I could track my location on my Android phone as the GPS would show in Google Maps even with cellular data switched off which would be costly if I had this on.

Rabat is Morocco’s capital.    I didn’t get to venture out properly except from with these pictures.    It looks quite modern and I like these tree lined boulevards that you see on a lot of streets here.

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DSCF8260 1024One of the tough parts of this whole trip is seeing some severe poverty.

Looking out of the window there are people living in shacks by the side of the track.   These people look ethnically different from average typical Moroccan (Berber or Arab or inbetween)   These people look like they were from more central Africa.    I’m guessing they are immigrants from maybe neighbouring Mauritania or Senegal.

This was just approaching Fez itself.

On my train in the same carriage, there was young couple very in love who looked in the early 20s, the girl looked Arab and the boy looked more Berber.   Although Morocco does seem to be loyally Islamic, I wonder if showing affection in public in much of the middle east would be possible.

I was looking forward to seeing the ancient city of Fez.

Previous 17. Scooter shops

Next 19. Fez first impressions

Gaza’s prosperous regions

Saw this interesting article the other day.   Seems just like Portsmouth or Jerusalem that have people in poor and rich areas, not all of Gaza is hit by poverty, even if the media shows it this way.  Interesting that shopping malls and big swimming pools have recently opened when there is supposed to be a shortage of building materials.

http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/001127.html

This is not to show that I don’t care about people in Gaza, its just more that their problems are less caused by Israel and more by rule from Hamas and Hezbollah who keep them in bondage, and kept the worldwide media in the dark by painting a different picture of what is happening, where other troubled places like Sudan get much less coverage in the news.

At work, the Talpiyot food bank team, replacing LCD screen on Acer Travelmate laptop

Work has been busy this week, actually I am not often not busy, but had some trouble with a PC that sits in the Talpiyot food bank that is supposed to back up everything off servers, this essential running box was showed as off on my Spiceworks console, and after I went over and replaced the power supply, the next day it did it again.  The PC had to be replaced and took good few hours to get it running the same.

Talking of such, its been very very hot in Jerusalem, temperatures have been up to 37c (thats 100F)  so cycling 4 miles to the office in scorching heat is pretty tiring!

Other things I had to do with to set up new members of staff, get a Russian speaking colleague who is based in Karmiel access to a database, he works with immigrants from Russia and ex-Soviet states who live in the north.

But as well as this I managed to put a new screen in a friend’s (ie: not one my work’s assets) laptop.  This Acer Travelmate laptop had liquid that got in the LCD from an accident with some olive oil, great for your health but not for laptops, the screen works just has some weird blobs in between the layers of thin plastic inside the screen, this would eventually cause the LCD to fail altogether as they are fragile.   When I went back to the UK I ordered a new LCD display and carried it in a box on the plane, so I was a little nervous that this part was all right, it cost me UK£70 ($100) from a specialist laptop spares company in the UK….

Out come the little rubber pads on the screen fascia.  Then take out all four screws.  Gently prise and flex the screen fascia out, the old LCD is freed from taking out 4 tiny screws from the long steel hinges that give the top section rigidity and also double up as antennae for the wireless card, then the screen can put flat down has the ribbon cable disconnected and two little wires from the inverter that supplies voltage to the screen.  The new screen is put in its place and I put the screws in loosely and tighten them up one at a time, as it needs to be jiggled a bit into place….

Hooray it works!!!  The volunteer who asked me to fix this gave me a bit of extra money which paid for my Dead Sea trip before I went away, so it was a blessing I could get this fixed for her, and she could provide me with means to do some exploring I did with friends at a weekend a month ago.

The IT workshop has three desks and half a dozen PCs as this room has our database expert (Gilad) sat here, we also had Shirley our American-Chinese IT specialist who took care of a lot of problems at this site, but she has left now (we miss you, come back soon!!) and there is a bench with lot of stuff in pieces to be rebuilt and put back into service.  At my main desk in headquarters I just have one PC and few spare parts and a server room I look after…

There is another Acer on the pile of PCs in the background, this has a full hard disk and need some software tweaking to fix it. (change data around the two partitions on it)   I am going to order a new power supply for this as the one the volunteer as its a bit unreliable and held together with tape.

The food bank floor team are having a bit of cake and ice cream after lunch (why I look forward to site visits there)  but don’t let this deceive you, this team work very hard hauling food onto pallets, several tons a day that are shipped to some of the most poorest and needy Jewish people in Jerusalem.  People do come and go fairly often, as people come to the end of their commitment is always sad.   Here you can see these pictures shows staff ranges from the US, South Africa, Japan and Finland.   We have had people here from every continent.

Overall this week has been extra busy, but got most things done I needed to do and it has been fun.