Recently I had to explain how it was that, despite Morocco's generally sunny, beneficent climate, we had to worry about such things as heavy rains, humidity, and mold here in Tangier. Location, location, location – we're on the Strait of Gibraltar, and there's a lot of water in several directions.
So it's no surprise that much of our effort here is keeping the buildings from succumbing to nature's ravages.
We do get crucial assistance from our State Department landlords, whose Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) list the American Legation as a Culturally Significant Property. Recently we had several roofs replaced, and there are more on the drawing board.
But in between the major roof reconstruction, done by professional contractors, we have the kind of labor-intensive detail work that you see Abdallah doing here. That piece of balsustrade he's holding now won't be falling on someone's head.
But it's time-consuming work, and while he's working on the courtyard and its balustrade, other projects equally justified have to be put on the waiting list. We are light years away from the "nice to do" list; everything, for the foreseeable future, is on the essential list.