Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, October 27, 2008

NAIROBI NEWS: STREETS AND SWAMPS

NOTE: The Serpent’s Daughter is NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!

A name says a lot. A stream named “Gas Creek” (in Indiana) doesn’t conjure up sweet images. Neither does “Swamp Road” which ran through Nairobi. Nairobi had started out as a way station in the construction of the Uganda railroad. The original town consisted of tents and a few hastily constructed tin shacks on the low-lying land along the Nairobi River. While a nearby river can be very practical, building on a flood plain generally isn’t. Hence, Swamp Road, a short stretch of road that bordered the Indian Bazaar near the heart of the city. While one might conjecture that crocodiles or other wild beasts would be a problem there, they weren’t. However, loose livestock was. The Nairobi newspapers contained the occasional note of an accident resulting from the collision of a motorcar and a loose cow.

NEXT WEEK: MORE NAIROBI ISSUES – The Royal Drain

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, will be available in hardcover January 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com

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Monday, October 20, 2008

MOROCCO: SAYING GOODBYE TO THE LAND OF THE WESTERN SUN

NOTE: The Serpent’s Daughter is NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!

1920 was a time when Morocco, whose interior had long been shut away from the western world, opened up. Changes, in the form of railroads, public schools, and a French presence would alter the face of the country, but perhaps not its heart.

This was a heart that loved beauty in many forms as evidenced by the many exquisite works of art from the delicate stucco inside a school

to the metal and tile work,

the weavings,

and even to the henna symbols of the Berbers.

NEXT WEEK: BACK TO NAIROBI

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, will be available in hardcover January 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com

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Monday, October 13, 2008

MOROCCO: INTO THE ATLAS –PART 11: MORE ON THE WOMEN OF MOROCCO

NOTE: The Serpent’s Daughter is NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!

While the Berber men had the open village areas for congregating and sharing news, the women had the well, their household hearth, and the springs or river. Men in Jade’s time (1920, The Serpent’s Daughter) would not have interfered with the women in their jobs, gathering wood and water, weaving, or washing. Consequently, the areas associated with these tasks had become areas for the women’s use. In the more remote villages these areas held a sacred note. Women left food or scraps of cloth tied to trees near springs as prayers for the water spirits, the good jinni who often revealed themselves as little turtles.

Instead of gathering to visit at the baths as the weathier Arab town women would have done, the women gathered at these other areas to visit. This included a good visit over laundry day by the river.


NEXT WEEK: A PARTING FAREWELL TO MOROCCO WITH SOME PHOTOGRAPHS.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, will be available in hardcover January 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com

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Monday, October 06, 2008

MOROCCO: INTO THE ATLAS –PART 10: CHILDREN OF MOROCCO

The Serpent’s Daughter is now available in paperback. For more information, visit www.suzannearruda.com

Very few of the earlier authors mention the children. Perhaps, they weren’t interested in them, or perhaps the children were not noticeable. In the case of the shopkeepers and artisans, the sons probably worked the business, apprenticing to the father, from an early age. This conjecture has some merit based on the fact that working in the tannery district was a job passed from father to son. Daughters of the Arab city dwellers, would have remained hidden away in the harem of the household until they were of a suitable age for marriage.

Berber children worked. According to Mountains Forgotten by God, by Brick Oussaid (1989), children helped in the fields and tended the flocks among other chores. Girls also learned the domestic duties of cooking, spinning, weaving, and pottery making from their mothers. Mr. Oussaid mentions little time for play although he came from one of the more impoverished families.

It’s hard to imagine that children, with their natural energy and lively imaginations, didn’t invent some sort of games, if only while watching the flocks. The Berber children didn’t go to schools before Jade’s times. Now there are schools in the larger villages and not far from the smaller.

But today’s Moroccan children do attend preschools (photo 1 and 2) and play (photo 3), and even the girls get to enjoy some of the fun. (photo 4)


NEXT WEEK: MORE ON THE WOMEN OF MOROCCO.


NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, will be available in hardcover January 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com

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