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Monday 18 April 2011

Dar Tinmel volunteer

On my way to Dar Tinmel, I stopped at Asni with Karima where I met the girls, Latifa, Mike, and a couple groups from England; all of whom were discussing their continuing travel plans. Some will go on to Imlil, maybe Tahanout, Ouarzazate, the house in Ouirgane- but Talat n Yacoub? No, too far, but they wished me luck. An hour of twisty road later, I arrived at Dar Tinmel.

The house is beautiful and comfortable, and the girls are lovely. Days are busy here- the girls wake up at 7am, have breakfast and do the washing up, and then have classes or activities until 5:30pm, eat, wash up, and then work again until about 10:30pm. They are always doing something, and put a lot of effort into their school work- which is particularly necessary in Talat, where the education system is at a lower standard than other less remote places. The girls speak Tachlehit, do their school work in Arabic, and are learning French; although the girls here are too young to have started learning English at school, they are eagerly retaining the new vocabulary I teach to them, and mastered ‘Simon Says’ in less than hour.

There is certainly a lot to adjust to; in the short time I’ve been here I have already experienced the power and water outages, roads turned into mud, and very cold weather (I was very grateful to find the sweaters Karima left behind!). So far I have enjoyed going for walks with the girls to the beautiful river near the house, games on the terrace, colouring and English & French lessons. They love to play and to help me pronounce words in Berber and Arabic, which I do not do very well!

The girls really appreciate the opportunity they have here, and they make the most of it. I am really grateful for the time I have here to spend with the girls, and I look forward to the following months, which I hope will be full of learning for all of us.

Angela Cooper