July 17, 2017
Last week we visited a school in rural Morocco, particularly in the area of Ourika, which is about thirty minutes out of Tahanaout. The town is beautiful and full of culture. We went to see the progress of the school in terms of the partners (director, teachers, parent teacher association, and students) coming together to establish projects for the school. In this case it was the renovation or beautification of the school. They extended the compound wall, which overlooks the main road, in order to make it more safe. They repainted all the classrooms and are in the process of making a computer lab and library. It is amazing to see how social accountability has allowed this school’s community to make so much progress.
Tahanaout, our base town, has become our home and the people have become our family. Everybody here is so warm and inviting. It is a small town in which everybody knows each other. We have become quite familiar with the lay of the land. Our favorite breakfast to eat here is “Baid wa Matisha” which is eggs and tomatoes with “Nos-Nos” which is coffee with milk. It is delicious. Everyone was so impressed and happy the first time we ordered the eggs because it is traditionally eaten by students because it is easy and fast to prepare.
Marrakech and Tahanaout are very hot around this time of the year. Yesterday we went to Marrakech and it was 55 degrees Celsius- that’s 131 degrees Fahrenheit! We went to see Palais Bahia and Palais El Badia. Palais Bahia was constructed by a Sultan for his favorite concubine. He hired architects from Fez, to replicate some of the same intricate details of the interior design that buildings and mosques have in Fez. Palais El Badia was more of a military/training palace with enormous swimming pools for training soldiers as well as a labyrinth prison.
-Mavra & Syeda