Our plane arrived in Morocco around one in the morning, we were all exhausted. We got to passport control and had to fill out these little forms about who we were, where we had come from, where we were going…you know, the usual. One problem though, we didn’t know our address in Morocco! The guys behind the desk were not happy, we were getting stressed, we tried to explain to them that we were here for charity so we weren’t really sure where we were going and no one had told us the name of the hotel we were staying at. This went on for about ten minutes, we genuinely thought we were never getting in the country, but then somebody remembered they had their pre-departure pack. The name of the Village was in it so we were saved!
We were met at the airport by one of our guides, Abderrahmane or Abdul for short which is much easier. We got in the mini bus and headed to the hotel, where we went straight to bed because by this time it was half two in the morning and nobody was a functioning human being.
The most important thing about hotels in hot countries? Air-conditioning. What did we not have in our room? Air-conditioning. It was so hot i didn’t even bother lifting the covers I just passed out on top of them. The room was a very uncomfortable stuffy sort of heat when we woke up in the morning. We were also really disorientated as we tried to figure out whether or not there was a time difference here.
When we got to breakfast and saw that we were the only ones there we decided that there was definitely not a time difference. Unfortunately for me the only thing at the breakfast I could eat was yogurt, but they were very yummy yogurts so that made up for it a little. Imogen and I decided to try out the famous Moroccan peppermint tea, and it wasn’t to bad. It had a faint taste of blue soft mints and I thought that it would be very nice as an iced tea.
After almost leaving Charlotte (one of our new Welsh team members) in her room due to a miscount, we set off from Marrakech to our village which we all now knew was called Marigha. We would not be forgetting that anytime soon.
On our way to the Marigha we stopped in a larger village to visit the Saturday market and we were given a tour. The market was huge and so busy. They sold everything there from baby bunnies and chicks to shampoo and conditioner, they even had small restaurants where people could take meat that they had bought and get it cooked, or just buy ready cooked food. There were stands full of nuts and seeds and some of the biggest watermelons I have ever seen.
We arrived at Marigha around about lunch time and they told us it was going to be a half hour to forty-five minute walk up to the main part of the village. This was an extreme exaggeration as it only took us around five to ten minutes to get to the main house. Here we unloaded the truck that had carried our bags from the mini bus to the village and went inside for lunch. Lunch was brilliant, we were presented with a huge plate of vegetables and rice, and on the side we were given a plate of meatballs which were delicious. After this we were given fruit and some peppermint tea, which was much nicer than the one we had tried at the hotel.
We were taken to a house where we would be staying for the first night because our house was not ready for us yet. The house was beautiful. It was not what I was expecting at all from what they had told us at home I had been expecting a dark little hut with no running water or electricity and a hole in the ground, with a bucket to wash with. This house was wonderfully decorated with tiles and fancy lights and even had a proper bathroom with a shower!
After we had had a look around we all took a much needed nap before Abdul took us for a walk around the village. He took us up to the top of the village to a four hundred year old castle which was made from nothing more than clay, stone and wooden beams. We also got to see the site where the school was and he explained how important the project was for the village and how it would help the children.
We went back to the main house to have dinner and some camomile tea or “sleepy tea” and Abdul and Rabia told us what we would be doing on the site. I went back to the house feeling excited but definitely ready for a good nights sleep especially with breakfast being at half past eight in the morning the next day…
TO BE CONTINUED