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.
This past weekend, Ksar El Kbir, a town of around 100,000 in the northern mountains of Morocco, presented me with a beautiful summer escape from midterms. On the way to find my Peace Corps hosts, who were throwing a party for a departing volunteer group, I passed young boys eating barbeque and olive sandwiches, horse cart taxis and meadows reminiscent of yellow Wisconsin flower fields in May.
Every time I visit Al Akhawayn’s gym, I’m floored. The building boasts high ceilings, warm-colored wood and great mountain views. For those of you from Wisconsin, the place looks like a cross between the Lodge at Cedar Creek’s water park, Granite Peak’s ski chalet and Rib Mountain’s forest service building.
I woke up Wednesday to a beautiful, clear and slightly chilly Ifrane morning. After getting in the shower and being violently sprayed by the contents of my soap bottles, which had suffered under the Rabat-Ifrane altitude change, I got ready to face my first full mountain day.
My Tuesday started out rough. After barely sleeping the previous night, feeling sad to leave my Rabat friends and internship, and giving up my Embassy-issued phone, I spent an hour at the train station waiting for No. 117 to Fes.
Once it arrives, I cram my two suitcases and a backpack full of pantry food into a six-person compartment.