An account by Tanya who is a member of our team Energy for life: Thanks for Sharing.
Last November I asked one of my 17 year old twin sons if there was a small thing he would like to do over his February half term from school as his twin brother was lucky enough to be going to work on a yacht in Italy and yet he had nothing on at all. He knows my financial situation is not great and so it had to be something that he felt I could afford. With no hesitation he asked me if we could both go to Morrocco on a “giving trip”. He remembered me taking all the four children 7 years ago when he was only 10 and wanted to return. I jumped at the opportunity and since then we were collecting second hand clothes and toys of our own as well as from friends.
When February half term came around we set off in my estate car laden with clothes, toys and pencils, pens etc. We got the ferry to Ceuta and drove to Chefchaouen. There we were lucky enough to stay in a place where the woman who run it was a pure and giving soul and put us in touch with an amazing man who was a true giver. A Moroccan who spoke 7 languages and who lived by the rules of Patanjali! I had my book with me and after two days with him I showed him my book and told him he was like Patanjali. He laughed and said his surname was Bacali and it rhymed with Patanjali!!
He organised for Matthew and I to go into the Rif mountains and to visit a particular village where the men do nothing at all, not even carry the water which is a 3 km walk for the women with heavy filled plastic bottles. My son Matthew could not believe this! He could not believe that the men didnt realize that if they too walked the 3 km to the well, their wife would not have the do the trip daily but every two days, together! The village Afram Ali, had no roads, no cars therefore, no electricity or water.
The poverty was extreme. The houses were made of mud and stones. The children seemed happy and were so adorable. My son and I fell in love and wanted to adopt them all! We walked round the village and met some women who were working on making the plates which they then dried in the sun and then cooked in hand made ovens These they sold for peanuts and the whole village lived off the earnings. We were also taken to visit the local school where the teachers cycle 20 km daily to get to the school, in all weather. The children were very meek and gratefully chose a toy each from what we had taken. No arguing no fighting, just grateful.
The following day we met up with my friend who is the president of the society for the blind and she took us to their new premises donated by the King. There Matthew was taught how to use a double loom by a 70 year old blind man, and we were shown how to spin wool and what the blind made to sell.
On the way back home, my son held my hand and thanked me profusely for what he had seen and what we had done. He talked non stop throughout our trip about his feelings and thoughts on everything he was experiencing. He has decided to do more of this on his Gap year between school and University which starts this July. It was his idea and what he gained from this short trip will stay with him forever he says. Apart from everything, we also spent a very lovely time bonding just the two of us, so I was in heaven!