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The First Lesson As A Volunteer: Appreciate What You Have

Written by CorpsAfrica/Maroc Volunteer Mr. Lahcen Chanchaf

Dear readers welcome to my first blog as a CorpsAfrica Volunteer. In this blog, I will mainly focus on what I have learned from the first day on my site. Well, to begin with, I spent the first night in Azzaden Valley at Tizian in a hostel. For me, it was not only a traditional village house that served as an inn for guests but also a wonderful cultural experience. It was amazing to be once again in touch with nature after a long time.

In the morning, I was thinking about nothing more than moving to my site. We left Saïd’s hostel towards my site (Azrfssan) with DDa Mohamed (my host father), Rees (PCV), and Soufian (our support volunteer). It took us one hour and a half walk to reach my site. In the meanwhile, we passed through several Amazigh (Berber) villages. However, I was not paying attention to time thanks to the awesome green mountains covered with oaks and juniper trees. In addition to this, wherever you take a look you get amused by breath-taking ancient irrigated terraced fields of fruit trees and vegetables. This marvelous scenery of Azzaden Valley that surrounded us in a parallel with the flow of the water in the river can only give birth to nothing other than a heaven on earth. This is the beauty of the nature in Azzaden.

Finally, I am at my host family’s house. We go to the upstairs as DDa Mohamed told us waiting for tea. Later on, he came with plate in his Hands full of olive oil, pure honey and bread (homemade). We appreciate it so much though we have had our breakfast two hours ago. After finishing our brunch we got surprised by a Tagine, a famous delicious Moroccan dish, which we didn’t take into consideration. I got tricked this time but it’s fine. The best Tagine I have ever eaten, Rees said. Few minutes later, with the sun at its zenith, group of students from Casablanca American School passed by my site. They have a rest for 15 minutes before they continue their trek to Tizian hamlet, where I spent my first night. Luckily, one of their teachers is my ex classmate, he asked me if I am going to help them for the fact that I am a native speaker of Berber at least as a language facilitator, having said this to me, I guess I will catch up with them tomorrow morning.

After Al3asr prayer, around 17.30 p.m. my host father and I went to the house where I am going to stay. Wow a house for me, I never thought I will have my own house at this age. It is amazing, I am so eager to spend my first night at it. As it said nothing is perfect. Once again, I got shocked when I arrived. There is no kitchen and no latrine in the house and above all no water. How come???. My host father said that they have just finished building this house and this problem will be fixed as soon as possible. Typically in one week. Can you imagine so? Thank God the mosque is near to the house. but what about the night. I started thinking to use a nappy. Who knows it may work!!! (haha).

At night what a wonderful site!! I just like listening to the water sound and how makes me feel, soothing the brain and the soul. Right now, I am covered with blankets as a protection against a nocturnal cold. It’s midnight and I feel a bit tired, so I have to say good bey and thank you.

Stay tuned.

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