In March, I traveled south to report on the work of Abderrahim Ouarghidi, a High Atlas Foundation colleague and director of programs for Marrakech. Abderrahim and other members of HAF filled my days with interesting perspectives and visits to rural sites around Marrakech and Essaouira.
I learned how HAF makes connections, trains and evaluates community leaders in facilitating participatory development.
I also learned about African Sufi music, the annual Gnaoua music festival in Essaouira and how well a combination of msemmen, boiled chickpeas, salted peanuts, fresh strawberries and dried dates combats motion sickness on southern Morocco’s winding, hilly roads.
I also learned how much children like digging up soil and planting trees during the school day…
And how much they enjoy cameras.
You guys: my Jewish and Muslim colleagues didn’t even yell at me when I thoughtlessly ordered spaghetti carbonara, even after ascertaining the origin of those “pink things” stuck to my noodles. That shows true restraint.
After being pitched to various news outlets, the resulting article was surprise published in Somalia, India and Nigeria, as well as in the pan-African Pambazuka Press. A related article on tree planting was published in Global Giving.
Next Week: Back to Leipzig and Punk culture.