Rosie here with a blog update that I received from Jules over the phone. The group doesn’t have internet access at the hotel but the views of the desert more than make up for it!
The group finished their time in the community with a fantastic final celebration which, in the words of community members, was meant to be “part feast and part Moroccan wedding”. Students were outfitted in traditional dress and treated to live music, a dj, performances from the kids and amazing food. Yup, the students joined in the dancing!
The next morning they traveled to the town of Merzuga where they were greeted by an intense sandstorm which luckily cleared in time for the camel trek. Heading out into the desert under crystal clear blue skies the group watched the sun set over the Sahara. Last night all of the students chose to sleep out under the stars which were unadulterated by any artificial light. Magic.
After waking up to watch the sunrise the group returned to the hotel for breakfast and a nap before traveling to Khamlyah, a small, close-knit community of Moroccans who are descended from former slaves brought to the region from West Africa. While the main purpose of the visit was to take in a performance of Gnaoua music, the group was treated to a private tour of the community when the president of the local school association heard about the work our students were doing. This was an exceptional treat since the community is usually closed to outsiders.
Tomorrow the group heads off to Todra Gorge where the adventures will continue!