Perhaps it is the contrast to other realities. It is a country of sounds, smells and sights. We experienced cities such as Fez and Marrakech, many oases, Rif and Atlas Mountains and many parts of the Sahara desert. I am adding many photos for those who a have not seen them on Facebook.
|the "dyeing" street in|
|spices in medina|
|Olives every day.|
|typical veggie appetizers|
|Roman ruins at Volubilis|
|Susan in arabic|
|Chefchauen, the blue city|
|Ifrane, a ski village on the way to Midelt|
|Berber tent in the desert|
|Fun with Hami|
|our "tent" in the Sahara desert|
|Sunset on camels on the desert|
|Heart shaped sand dune|
|my name in Arabic|
Without going on and on, I will end with my favorite parts of this 15 days. Without a doubt it was our driver, now friend, Cherif who was there for us at every moment. He hand held me across the chaotic streets of bigger cities and took us on a special adventure to a little village to buy fresh dates off a tree. We remarked that we felt like we were buying drugs as we wound through narrow alleys and into a private home. He knows his country and was happy to share that love with us.
|A view from Hotel Maison Amazigh|
in Dades Valley
|The family at Maison Amazigh|
|The Berber symbol Amazigh|
meaning "Free People"
|On the long walk to the Berber cave|
|Sheep and Fatima|
outside Berber cave
in the desert
|Mom and her children|
outside the cave
I asked questions to those who were willing to answer...about women and about their clothing (hajibs). Unfortunately I didn't really get to know any women well enough so I was getting a male perspective. This perspective was also connected to how devout was the person giving me opinions. I could see the difference between the big cosmopolitan modern city of Marrakech which was more Berber and the smaller Fez which is more Arabic.
There were several auberges that stood out - Maison Zoula and guide Hami who took us on our long walk along the river Ziz to several oases. He joined us the next day on our 4x4 trip into the desert. After explaining to Hami about our volunteer experiences in Mexico he inspired me to possibly help organize friends who might want to travel to Morocco and charge a little extra to donate to his Oasis to Oasis project for children’s education. So, let me know if you plan a visit to Morocco and we can help to make this happen.
Another special place was Maison Amizagh in the Dades Valley. There one of the brothers took us on a 14k trip into the mountains to a Berber family living in a cave.
And the story goes on and on but I will end here with these memories and grateful to have had the time, money and health to have this experience. I am grateful as well to my loving habibe Ricardo for being always at my side.
Thank you again for traveling with us.
Much love from Susan سوزن
Ricardo's thoughts about Morocco.
After a trip in such a varied and exotic country as Morocco it would be very difficult for me to explain my many experiences in a few words but I will give it a try here.
|dates growing on palms|
We have traveled to mountains, deserts and many oases and the people always call themselves Muslim but with whole different cultures and intensities of faith. The two main cultures are Arabic and Berber. Berbers were the original inhabitants from time recorded. Muslims all believe in the stories of the Old Testament and of course their Koran which is believed to be sent to them straight from God. They date their lineage to Abraham. What strikes me is how all three religions believe in the same one god and still want to fight each other. To me this is a strictly political problem and probably not religious to any extent.
|Djemaa El Fna square|
We were able to spend good time with many Moroccans who were very willing to express themselves in beliefs and culture. What I learned was that what we learn from the news media is nothing like what Islam is all about. “Go figure.”
This is a trip that needs to be guided due to the language and varied distances between the different locations unless you speak French which is the common spoken language. If anybody wants to learn more about my experiences in Morocco I would be happy to share conversation over a cup of mint tea.
|Final day with Cherif and Saoud.|
We hope to return someday to recapture this special beauty again. We hope that you enjoy the photos to see the different colors of Morocco.
PS - Arabic (and French) words that I enjoyed using on this trip:
Choukran - Thank you - merci
La choukran - no thank you - non merci
Inshallah - god willing - si dieu le veux
Bismillah- in the name allah - Au nom de dieu
Salam alechom-hello/greeting/ hi - bon jour
Habibittee (f)....habibi (m)-my love - mon amor
Minfadlick-please - s’il vous plait
Maktoub - it is written