After breakfast of a kind of porridge-y soup which Will loathes, and luckily Noah loves, we go to a larger village nearby to shop for lunch. We choose a live chicken and return ten minutes later to take it back to the village with us (no longer alive).
After lunch (chicken) we meet three of Lahcen's aunts who between them tell us about his grandfather; by all accounts an amazing man. He lived to 120 and when his teeth fell out new teeth started growing. So the story goes. Before the advent of TV, nights were long in the desert and those nights were spent telling stories.
Between them they recounted a story that Lahcen's grandfather used to tell - a tale of Harun Al Rashid. Until this point, and as with all our other interactions, Lahcen would translate from Moroccan Arabic/Darija into English, but the aunties dialect is so thick that even Lahcen is struggling so we have a three way translation where his uncle translates their older language into a mix of French and Darija and Lahcen then translates that into English! At the end of the story they say something together in unison. I ask for a translation - 'The story went with the current of the river, but I'm still staying with my people'.
After the stories we follow Lahcen out of the (new) village and wander through the desert to the old village which stood on a hill, and is now an uninhabited ruins. Perhaps a slightly perilous climb when you're carrying a baby on your back, as Will is, but it's worth it. The view stunning and the silence (after so many words) feels like a huge relief. The desert invites silence, but after a while that silence invites stories. Or so it feels to me, as much to Lahcen's surprise I love the desert. I'll be sad to leave tomorrow. And not only because I can't face another 8 hours with Noah in the car.