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Friday, 15 May 2009

An exciting week at Dar Asni

I’m now into my second week at Dar Asni, and every day has been just as exciting as my first! Last week I was treated to a trip to the school, where there was an exhibition of the students' artwork on display as part of their ‘culture week’. There were lots of beautiful paintings, sketches, comics and collages, including one intricate design in classical Arabic by our very own Nezha.

On the weekend the girls and I were lucky enough to have an art lesson here at the house with artist Lori Park. The girls drew what the feeling ‘happy’ was to them, and it was interesting to see all their drawings incorporated aspects of nature and lots of blue skies. With the amazing lush green environment surrounding Dar Asni, it’s no wonder nature makes such a good impact on the girls.

On Sunday afternoon the girls took me up to the meadow- a bit of a hike, but I enjoyed every minute of it. There was lots of singing, and picking of mint leaves and flowers, and some green, sour fruit which I haven’t found out the name of yet. And they showed me the Henna plant, which grows bountifully by the side of the road, and decorated my hands with it. Time passed very quickly and we had to run all the way back to the house in time for the call to prayer as the sky was getting dark.

The skipping rope I bought with me has been getting a very good workout. When the girls get home from school in the afternoon the games begin- skipping, cartwheels, handstands, ball games, and lots of singing and shouting. It’s great to see them having fun and keeping fit, and it keeps us warm on the cooler afternoons… yes it’s not quite summer yet.

Yesterday saw my very first visit to the local hammam!- a very new and interesting experience for me... It was quite nerve-racking at first, but the heat has a way of taking your mind off everything, and in a way it was relaxing. I was scrubbed raw and pretty much sweated my insides out, but I don’t think I’ve ever been cleaner in my life.

Now I’m looking forward to this weekend and a trip into the Atlas mountains with some of the girls!