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Wednesday 29 December 2010

A weekend at Khadija's

After several invitations from Khadija Id Ahmed Ouali (a girl studying at Dar Asni) to spend the weekend in Imsker, I have finally accepted.

First of all, we went to Imsker the Saturday morning after school by what they called “the transport”… The transport is in fact a truck and we were Khadija, Fatima Zahra and me, behind, mixed to the other persons and their races. Imsker is at about 13 km from Asni but the road is really narrow and sinuous: I had the impression that I made rodeo during the road, it was really funny!

Upon our arrival we had a rest and I got acquainted of all the Id Ahmed Ouali family and also the animals… Yes! They have got two cows, three goats and a lot of chickens. Khadija’s mother also learnt me to milk the cow…well, she tried…

I was also amazed to see that they were cooking in a wood stove fed by branches collected at the top of the mountain (and transported on the back!). I spoke a long time with Khadija’s mother who explained to me how life was before, without water and electricity.

Even if life in the mountains is rather difficult, people show solidarity and are very smiling. I was disconnected from everything!

On Sunday, Khadija and I visited her family where we danced a little on Berber songs. Finally, we went to the river where the women of the villag e wash their linen. We were far from the modern washing machine with its economic program at 30°C!!!

We have taken advantage of this day to make family photos near the river; the air was fresh and pure. At night, Khadija made some bread filled with peppers, onions, liver and fat of sheep: it was delicious! We looked at photos in the family album and discussed for a long time with Khadija’s mother. This weekend was really enriching for me and I thank Khadija and her family for having welcomed me so well.


Wednesday 15 December 2010

Quiet please, action!

Yesterday, a group from Germany came to Dar Tinmel to shoot a documentary about the house and the girls.
MishMashMe, the project’s name (, wants to show how people are connected all over the world and what is the role of computers/internet in this connection.

They came because they were interested to know how is the education in the rural areas and how people who live in these villages far away from the cities are connected to the rest of the world.

They brought their equipment and the girls were impressed by the camera and the sound boom.

After an introduction of the team and some shoots in the terrace and outside, they gave out chocolate to the girls (the girls said it was yuuummy!). We had lunch and the girls had been shot during the meal. They were soooooo calm in front of the camera,it was unusual to have such a silent lunch!!

Then the computer lesson has been shot too with 6 of the girls and to finish, the MishMashMe team interviewed 4 of the girls to know more about them, how do they live and do they see the rest of the world.

We are impatient to see the result and we thank the team for this beautiful day.


Thursday 9 December 2010

Walk to Tinmel

Tuesday 7th was a national holiday in Morocco (muslim new year). A chance for me to go out for a big walk with the girls and visit the Tinmel mosque! Most of the new girls never visited this famous monument.

Nicola (last year volunteer) came to spend some days with the girls before going back to Australia.

So we walked and walked and…walked! It was a really slow walk with a lot of break to take pictures and drink water from the river. It was so nice even if it was cloudy. We took the hiking trail which allowed us to go through the village where “hdiden” is shooting!

What?? You don’t know Hdiden??? It’s a famous Moroccan tv show and the girls love it!

They took pictures in the villages and they were so exited!

Then we continued and something bad happened…something really really really bad…my camera fell and broke!!

Anyway, 2 hours later we finally arrived to the mosque, and every time I find it beautiful.

Before going back to Talat N’Yacoub we ate sweets and cakes and with Nicola we were the police officers “don’t throw your sweets paper!!”

And when we came back, most of the girls cheated and took a mini bus! And the other, more brave, walked to the house and arrived really tired but proud of them!

More pictures on our Facebook page:


Tuesday 7 December 2010

One week in Dar Tinmel

As I am volunteer at Dar Asni, I decided to spend a few days in the second house « Dar Tinmel » located at Talat N’Yacoub so as to get acquainted with the 20 girls there.
Talat N’Yacoub is at about 50km far from Asni and it is a village more isolated than Asni.
This week allows me to discover the organisation at “Dar Tinmel” but also to learn more about this area. Indeed, this place has got a lot of historical monuments and ruins such as Tinmel Mosque monuments dating the dynasty of Almohad. What most amazed me it is the fact that these monuments are in the wild state, without barriers of protection or entrance fee while the slightest historic stone in France would have been surrounded from everywhere!!!

What about the girls? Well, “Dar Tinmel” is not as big as “Dar Asni”; the city is more anchored in mountains, and those facts present assets but also bad points. Let’s speak about the negative side before! Power cuts, cuts of water, interruption of transport in case of plentiful rain and this can last all day long…with 20 girls in the house…imagine…
But it was also funny because we have to bring some water from the hammam: Karima, Khadija and me, in the rain with our buckets of water and wading in the mud, what a beautiful memory isn’t it girls!
Let’s speak about the positive points and there is a lot! First of all, the kisses. Well, I do not remember having made so many kisses of all my life! The girls kiss you the morning to say hello, then another kiss when they go to school then another when they come back to home and so on, 20 multiplied by 5, 6 or 7, in brief, you must be strong in mathematics! Moreover, the girls are really united, friendly and studious, and otherwise be not worried, the hurricane Khadija is there to make the order reign, isn’t it Khadija?

I really enjoy spending my time with the girls, playing houla houp and dancing on the terrace, going to the souk with them and having fun near the river! There are so many things to be said and to be lived at Dar Tinmel and Talat N’Yacoub. Thank you all: the girls, the two Khadijas and my friend Karima.