A Tribute To The Goats of Merzouga: A Photo Story

With three weeks under my belt in Southeast Asia, I have been terribly disappointed by the lack of wild, or even domesticated animals. I am used to feral cats scratching at my door, dogs begging for food at outdoor restaurants, and the cows of the camino greeting me (or running me off my path) as I walk.

In lieu of this sad truth (I will, keep you updated if I happen to come across furry friends), I wanted to show some of my favorite photos of the goats I took this summer in Morocco.

How did I come across these rapscallions?

I first saw them at 10:00am. Actually, before I saw them, I heard their distinctive shriek. It sounds a bit like “BAAAAAAAAAAAAH” if you can imagine that.

On the back of our camels, Kimberly and I were guided by Ahmed. Around eight kilometers outside of Merzouga, we approached an abandoned village where miners used to live. Now, the town is only populated by a Berber family who decided to abandon their nomad life and settle there.

Ahmed reached his hand out as the camel collapsed to the ground and I swung my leg around to dismount. He looked at me in his ever-present stoic demeanor and explained, “Okay. We stay here until sundown.”

Kimberly and I had gone on this particular tour having been promised there were contact with the Berber family: cooking, dancing, and drumming. Sadly, we were scammed and there was none of the above. Instead of the promised activities, with the exception of eating dates, drinking goats milk and having a “Berber pizza” (apparently tour guides love to slap on the adjective “Berber” to anything and it becomes unique. Berber pizza, Berber shower, Berber hangout, we even heard “Berber Picasso” when referring to handmade rugs) we were confined for 7 hours to a 10 x 7 room of pillows, rugs, and two windows. It was here that we slept, drank hot water, stretched, and had Ahmed pour us endless cups of tea (He even said I was already a “Berber woman” for my tendency to drink so much).

To break the monotony and bleakness of the landscape in the 116 degree day, our attention turned to these precious goats. (You may already recognize them from this post!)

Running in circles. Cheerful noises. Heads jerking. Deep gazes – those eyes spoke to us. And to the camera.

They were excellent models.

Do you have a favorite?

moroccan goats
We named him Teddy. He was curious and sassy.

moroccan goats
Twins. These two in particular were very in sync. Especially the way they galloped to go see what fruit was left out for them to eat.

MOROCCAN GOATS
“EXCUSE ME, I’D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING HERE”

moroccan goats
Just being curious! Let us lick the walls in peace!

moroccan goats
I am the star of this show. And if you come to my window, you will see my face.

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