June 2013 - It has been over two months since we returned from our Spain and Morocco journey. Creating the photo-memory book gave me the opportunity to reflect on our travel experience and interestingly, I focused on Morocco for some reason!
What was my first impression? I was surprised to see so many donkeys! The beasts of burden were every where!
What was the most fascinating? The village butcher shops with meat hanging on hooks! I suppose the animal heads were still attached so that the customer knew exactly what meat they were buying! The majority of the population do not have refrigeration, so meat is bought in small quantities daily.
What did I learn? Berbers are not Arabs but are the indigenous Moroccans. That people would spend the day watching their herd, which may be a single cow, graze along side the road. Dwellings in the small villages are built from local materials, mud and straw. Compulsory education is typically only through the 9th grade - which means that at the age of 13 or 14 most children have completed their education.
What are the most vivid cultural memories? Without a doubt, visiting the Nomad cave. By choice these people live very simply. The visit was very emotional for us and left a lasting impression that for physical survival, only the basics - food, shelter, and clothing are needed. The two young girls at the Argan Oil Co-Op also left a lasting memory- they were so sweet! They said they wanted to leave their village but didn’t have the ability to do so - even saying that it was easy in the U.S. They are correct, in comparison it is easy. We actually had a long discussion on how we could help them.
We cannot appreciate what it is really like in other parts of the world from the comfort of our home in the U.S. Moroccans don’t have much “stuff” but they are happy and among the friendliest people encountered on our travels.