imageWe woke up early, the flies buzzing around our heads and it was hot!! After being treated to a spectacular breakfast we left via car to explore more of the desert. We stopped at 40-60 year old buildings, already ruins from the harassment of the wind and sand. Then to a Berber home (nomads). This Berber, I learned, has 4 wives each in their own house (which is not really a house, more like tents against mud brick walls). While exploring one of the small pocked marked huts with 3 young boys, a scared girl and a mother who covered her face every time my dad walked by, I found it hard not to judge them by western morales . To me, just the thought of having 4 wives disgusts me, even though I don’t know these people well, and have never walked in their shoes. This wife’s house was neat and there was a strength in her eyes which seemed ancient and worn. Later we stopped at a fossil mine, that’s real purpose was to mine for mica for mascara, but that produced fossils as a byproduct. We bought a trilobite and a necklace and traveled on to a market. There we looked at some spices and donkeys and then to the Kasbah were we swam in a pool, drank soda and I read a book on Rugby (which was, actually, very entertaining). Then the most amazing part of the day, a second camel ride over the dunes. The animals seemed more graceful now and we stopped at a tall dune and hiked to the top. Standing, the wind whipping through my hair, I felt free. Then the words Aziz had said earlier in the day came back to me “This is the real Morocco.” It’s not the haggling merchants, the obnoxious prices or corrupt guards. It’s not the heat, the oppression of women or people we mistrust because we fear robbery. Those are parts of Morocco but they are not the whole Morocco, they do not make up the whole picture. Morocco is my dad paying too much for water and Aziz, horrified at the price, insisting on paying my dad back. Morocco is the rush of a camel, Sahid, our camel guide, smiling huge, arms open wide: “Ma Shala”. Morocco is mountains of sand, canyons with rivers of green, pine trees and houses with red roofs. It’s curious children and helpful locals, kind hotel managers. This is a huge country, full of diverse people and diverse cultures. We need to make sure that when we travel we do not get caught up in one picture. One picture is not always the whole picture. Tomorrow we head out of the desert to Fez again to stay in a different hotel. In two days we head back to Gibraltar. — Maddy


Desert — 3 Comments

  1. Maddy–I love how this experience is broadening your world view. You are so right that we never really know how someone is feeling or what is motivating them until we walk a mile in their shoes and that’s why we should never judge too harshly. There are always many facets to a country and its culture (or multiple cultures) which is one (of many) reasons traveling enlightens us. Your descriptive writing makes us feel like we’re there with you “free” on the top of the sand dune–how wonderful! Love, Patti and Scott

    • Than you that’s so sweet! I have been learning so much over here, it’s fascinating to apply everything that I have learned in school and at home while traveling, and to pick up some new things along the way. Thank you so much for reading!! -Maddy

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