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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Volunteering in Marrakech, Morocco - Page 3

Written by Shabana Adam
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I got one day off a week from volunteer duties and made the most of it, visiting the local historical sites in Marrakech, such as Bahia Palace, and being pampered at Hammam Ziani. I also took a day trip to the windy city, Essaouira, and another to the plush valleys of the Grand Atlas village of Tanaghmeilt to see the stunning Ouzoud Waterfalls. Shopping was also a pleasure. I picked up some unusual remedies such as saffron paste for flu and Argan oil for muscle pain along with a pair of beautifully ornate Moroccan lamps.

volunteering in marrakech

What struck me most about Morocco is its authentic and varied beauty. In Essaouira, an idyllic beach was perfect for a day’s escape from the vibrant surroundings in Marrakech. The drive to the Ouzoud Waterfalls was along picturesque mountain-lined roads and then back in Djemma El Fna, a bustling ambience awaited.

volunteering in marrakech

I was also touched by the nature of the Moroccan people: sincere, hospitable and always willing to help. Most locals were intrigued and curious. I met Rasheed, a 78-year-old carpenter from whom I bought a Moroccan magic box, a small wooden chest made of pine with a secret compartment that requires the owner to solve a puzzle before being able to open it. He wanted to know why someone like me, who “has everything in life” wanted to spend time helping “people like us”.  My answer was simple, “to make a meaningful difference where it’s needed”, even if that meant three weeks living next door to a shopkeeper with a noisy donkey.

Berber Singers At Ouzoud

©Shabana Adam

(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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