I woke up to day 3 in Morocco feeling slightly less nauseous than the night before, thankfully. I knew I had a few hour bus ride to a rural town ahead of me, so I popped a dramamine and prepared myself to continue sleeping off my sickness.
Before I could take that nap, however, we stopped at a mausoleum in Rabat that we were unable to visit the day before because it had been Friday (the holy day).
The small columns were originally built to be the base of a mosque, but the project was never completed.
The mausoleum in which the two previous kings are buried.
If this had been in Europe, photos wouldn’t have been allowed.
Even the guards didn’t mind a short photoshoot!
We waved goodbye to Rabat and two hours later waved hello to these friendly children in the small Moroccan village of Calaa.
We got out of the bus and walked down a long dirt path to the house where we would spend our afternoon.
Only one person from our group was allowed to bring a camera so as not to overwhelm the people in the village. I convinced everyone to allow me to take on the responsibility :]
Here are the highlights:
Meeting the family. They didn’t speak English, but we had an interpreter.
Playing “football” with the little ones.
The sweetest/funniest children!
No matter where they live and what language they speak, 5-year-olds will always be energetic, hilarious, and adorable.
Appetizers under an olive tree. Don’t forget to take off your shoes!
Couscous and sandwiches for lunch.
My favorite part of the meal, a flavorful pea dish.
Green, yet sweet mandarin oranges being offered to us by our host Muhammed.
Mmmm some Moroccan tea to accompany an insightful discussion. Muhammed asked each person in our group about ourselves, our families, our dreams, and our hopes for the future (including if we want to get married and how many children we want to have, which is a common question in Morocco). We talked about everything from what it’s like to live on the farm in the Moroccan countryside to how the elderly are cared for and breast feeding practices in the U.S. (Muhammed was shocked to hear about breast pumps and actually compared them to gas stations haha). Muhammed was full of questions and so eager to learn about American culture, which is drastically different from his own.
Muhammed is a farmer and grows his own vegetables and fruits such as pomegranates and olives.
He even makes his own olive oil using this…
The contraption gets filled with olives and a donkey attached to the rod walks in a circle until the olives are crushed. The crushed olives are then moved to a storage unit where the oil rises to the top and is collected.
The donkey we came across during our walk around the family’s property. Stay tuned for more donkey photos.
Hiking up the hill.
What a view!
It doesn’t get much better than getting a private tour of the Rif Mountains in Africa…
Unless you also get to ride a donkey after!
We had quite the weaving bus ride through the mountains on our way to Chefchaouen, where spent our last night, but it was a nice time to reflect upon the unforgettable experience we had had that afternoon and the connections we had made. No matter where you go, people are always people. There may be cultural differences, but on the inside we all just want to be loved, have fun, eat good food, be taken care of, and live life.