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Wednesday 21 April 2010

The visits

As the second week of the Easter holidays for the UK, the new term at Dar Asni has been welcomed in with many visits and events...

A group of sixth formers from Bristol Grammar School, who have done so much fundraising for EFA, came, bringing much mess and laughter in the form of hand-painting. Glee crept slowly across the girls’ faces as they realised that, yes, they were allowed to cover themselves (and the paper) with paint. We also made the Moroccan and UK flags... the girls were surprisingly patriotic for their own flag.

Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th April brought visits from a group of Girl Guides from across the UK.

The Guides introduced the Dar Asni girls to some classic Guiding activities. The friendship bracelet-making they brought kept the girls mesmerised, weaving coloured strands for a few days afterwards. There were also Sock Monkeys (yes, stuffed monkeys made from funky socks), which have since featured in an English lesson, taking photos of “What the Sock Monkeys did last weekend”. The Guiding movement is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year, and the Guides brought a many-multi-layered cake with them to celebrate.

The girls are very used to visitors, leaving whatever they are doing to join in the next new activity, and obligingly posing for photos. They show a great and very natural sense of hospitality and concern for all who come through Dar Asni’s doors.

Here in Dar Tinmel, little by little we have visitors who come to see the house and meet the girls.

All who visit us are amazed by the landscape here in Talat ‘n’ Yacoub! They also love the house and for those who have visited us before, they are impressed by the transformation we have made in the time we have been here.

Mike McHugo visited us in early March, along with his family and some lovely friends from France. They met the girls and then enjoyed a picnic lunch in the beautiful surroundings of the Tinmel Mosque.

British couple Brenda and Roger visited in late March. Brenda and Roger are annual visitors to Morocco and have seen the progression of Dar Asni, literally from the ground up, since the beginning some 3 years ago. They were very pleased to see the progression of the houses and enjoyed meeting the girls and new housemum Khadija. Visiting us here in Dar Tinmel this time was a priority for them and we are very grateful for their wonderful donations to both Dar Asni & Dar Tinmel.

Zoe and Anne also visited us during April. Thanks to Zoe and her son, we have ecological heating in the form of solar heaters in both houses. The solar heating has proven very useful during winter, especially in Talat N’Yacoub where, in winter, the temperature drops dramatically.

Volunteer Ilaria, who was based up in Dar Asni with Nicola during her time with Education For All, visited us along with Mike’s family in March and again in April. Ilaria came to Dar Tinmel with a fantastic Michael Jackson dance routine for the girls to enjoy. They loved it! No pictures unfortunately but I can guarantee you that housemum Khadija and cook Khadija can now also hit the dancefloor to Michael Jackson :)

Obviously Marijke, Cees, Hajj and Latifa came to visit us often and we hope that we will have more visitors and school visits soon. Inchallah!