I had planned to write more about Morocco, but not in this way…a suspected terrorist bomb in a Marrakesh cafe killed 14 people yesterday. A cafe on the main square, where we got our henna tattoos and wandered through repeatedly. A cafe where we had mint tea, and after-dinner ice cream. The cafe where this picture was taken.
I am thinking about all our pre-Morocco worry over the possibility of something like this. I am thinking that I sat at that cafe with husband and 5 year old, my family. I have a knot in my stomach over the people that were there on this day, 2 weeks after we were. I came back from Morocco feeling blessed by the gifts of travel. Now I feel shaken and saddened by the risks of travel.
Who can ever know what is safe and what is not? After our days in Marrakesh, while we were in the mountains of Morocco, 5 year old tripped on a step and hit her forehead on a table. She needed stitches, and it took a lot of cross-cultural communication, a mule ride, and over an hour in a car on winding roads to get them. I consoled myself with the idea that this could have happened anywhere (although I confess it would have been a lot less stressful had it happened at home). I’m not sure I can say the same about what happened at the Marrakesh cafe. I’m sad for the impact this will have on tourism in Morocco, a vital part of a fragile economy. I’m sad for the impact this will have on fear of travel. Mostly, I am sad for the people who this time yesterday were planning to go to a lovely cafe, just as we did a few weeks ago.