The Moroccan Desert

9 Aug

I never knew until the moment I arrived what a dream of mine the desert was:
360 degree views, instant love, and a desire to stay — Undoubtedly, the Sahara Desert was an adventure of a lifetime.

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A wonderful, magical place.

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M’Hamid, my home for 2 weeks.

Desert life was spectacular — any minute I thought I was going to happen upon Aladdin.  Before I’d arrived I had contacted a nomadic family via the domain workaway.com.  It was my first time using that website and it won’t be my last.  For a couple of weeks worth of work I had a place to stay, food to eat, and new friends in the Sahara.

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This man was born into the desert, directly into the sand.

Iaich, the patriarch of the family (pictured above), wore a practical garment everyday.  Open on the sides it was both breezy and symbolized the openness of nomads, his people.  Extra large and blue, it was a physical representation of the African sky.  The head wrap, which I tried on but couldn’t master, kept both flies and sand at bay.

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Fresh bread

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Abidine, Iaich’s nephew, taught me how to cook in a Moroccan clay pot called tagine.

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Mint tea with just a hint of sugar.  Kidding…it’s drowning in it.

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The Sand
When the sun became oppressive I’d bury my toes and fingers into the shallow, refreshing layers — luxuriate — and extradite cool grains to the surface.  I could give myself goosebumps by releasing a dry, steady stream of cinnamon sugar grains onto my shoulders. It was hedonistic.

The sand’s touch was soft, feminine, and so clean we used it to “wash” the dishes.  I desired to take this feeling — this sand — with me forever so I funneled six liters of earth into empty water bottles, piled the heft into my backpack, and checked it on the airplane.  I now keep it in my room to remind myself of both the simple pleasures and for a portable gym.

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I had never felt anything like this sand.

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I was immersed in it.

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Everyday was meditative.

In the mornings there were sand storms.  We would all rush to take cover inside of the cool structures and tents.  It was safe.  Like shelter from a rainstorm except better because it was novel. I loved it.

The family I volunteered with owned a guest house and I was involved in the daily sweeping of sand, cleaning of bathrooms, watering the trees, and interacting with paying customers.

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I slept in my own private clay building.

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At night there was music and home-made date liquor which was clear and strong.

Everything in M’hamid was small and family run, no big hotels.   It was safe, the people were trustworthy and kind, and the sand, as you know, was spectacular.   I spent my time in this heaven helping, learning, fostering friendships, exploring, and playing.  One evenining we had a Laughter Yoga Session (and from then on I called it the “Sahahahahara”) —  It might have been the best one I’ve ever had, Iaich has an open heart ❤

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To work-out we’d go sand boarding.

And then there were the camels. Er, dromedaries. A one hump versus two nomenclature.

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A herd of dromedaries.  Ya heard?

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Stud muffin! Close up you’d hear  1. Water-sloshing (in their hump).  2. Persistent buzzing from flies.

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This guy loves peanuts.

Dromedary facts:
They’re smart and loyal.
They know not to have sex with family members.
And if a mother passes a water source while she is pregnant the information (where that water source is located) is passed down inside her womb and the new-born baby can then find that water.

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That ‘Come pet me’ look.

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That ‘I’ll pet you’ look.

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Communication

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Our hearts are the same.

My time in the desert was even better than I’m able to convey.
Alhamdulillah, give thanks to G-d,
‘mi

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Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river in the desert

4 Responses to “The Moroccan Desert”

  1. ladybugjoan13 August 10, 2016 at 1:22 am #

    Did you get my post?

    Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

  2. deekerson August 10, 2016 at 2:37 am #

    You really conveyed a lovely and romantic impression of the desert. I enjoyed this post very much, even more than I have enjoyed many of your others. Thanks for sharing the words and images.
    xxoo
    حب

  3. Jerry Pitts August 10, 2016 at 2:56 am #

    love all your Post ! So glad you are still having Fun seeing the world ! Still think of you often and wonder where and what you are doing, so Thanks for keeping in touch !!!!

  4. Paul Garcia September 2, 2016 at 2:52 am #

    Thanks again for sharing!!! I miss the desert, it’s only until you’re there that one understanding that feeling. I travelled across the desert from Riyadh to Mecca and your pics bring all of that back to life!

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