MARCH 27, 1957
RABAT, Morocco—At 11:00 o'clock on Monday morning we left Casablanca to drive to Rabat and long before that time the day had become bright and sunny after the early morning fog.
The climate here is perfect, warm but not hot in the daytime and cool enough for a wool wrap in the evening.
We passed many flocks of sheep always with a shepherd. We saw a few camels and donkeys, and sometimes a man would ride his donkey and put the load behind him. They sit side saddle and drum their heels on the donkey's side and both seem to enjoy it but the drumming does not accelerate the obstinate little animal's speed. You see the contrast here of well kept houses and then little huts, not very far apart. The government has done some building on the outskirts of Casablanca and of Rabat to house people from rural areas who came to the city to try to earn a living and were creating a difficulty by living wherever they could put any kind of shelter. like all countries in the midst of change, they have many problems here but I have not heard much about them as yet.
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Pendar have been most kind and we lunched with them on arrival today in Rabat.
We are all saddened by the news of the death of the President of the Philippines with so many of his ministers. That young and vital man seemed so needed by his country for which, I feel sure, he cared very deeply. I had only seen him briefly but he and his wife made a deep impression on me and I think with great sympathy of her in this tragedy.
Here the papers only tell us that Mrs. Meir of Israel has arrived in the U.S. and had gone to Washington and what she said makes the Gaza situation sound ominous.
This afternoon we visited under Mr. and Mrs. Pendar's kind and expert guidance the Hassan Tower which is very beautiful and stands guard over the ruins of what must have been the largest mosque in the world. Rows upon rows of pillars stand and part of the outside wall. From the Tower there is a beautiful view of a river winding past to meet the Atlantic ocean. The town of Lale is on a hill across the river, Rabat is behind you and the Atlantic ocean in front. The Tower seems to change color as the daytime changes to evening or morning comes.
From the Tower we went to the Oudaias Gardens, walled in, quiet and peaceful with the storks nesting all along the top of the high walls. Here the faithful used to come, Mrs. Pendar told us, to say their prayers, and so that is why the stroks come too! I wandered along the top of a wall and saw many little alley ways between people's houses and I looked down into one house and was quickly seen and taken to task for my impertinence.
We had hot tea with mint and sugar which was welcome after our walking.