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28 April 2016
Easter in Morocco – Expedition Report
Morocco is a great short-haul destination and ideal for Easter, offering a different climate and culture, where students can be immersed in Arabic and Berber life, with the added bonus of its culinary delights and customs.
Over the Easter holidays a team of 14 students from Years 8 and 9 embarked on a journey that took them through bustling crowds in Marrakesh to the dusty foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Each day a different team member took on the role of being group leader, enabling the students to take responsibility for organising themselves and learn about how it feels to have everyone relying on you to make decisions. They were supported throughout by the Wilderness Expedition Leader, as well as two teachers from their school.
The team had chosen to trek through the incredibly beautiful Atlas Mountains, camping over a period of five days. They enjoyed eating breakfast in the mornings with the sun on their backs and taking in the surrounding snow-capped mountains.
Trekking uphill through the dust and 25 degree heat, the boys enjoyed the challenge – and for some they couldn’t believe what they accomplished! Trekking onwards the team reached the Berber village which was to be their project base, involving multiple activities, socialising and helping out with everyday Berber life. They broke up into smaller groups in order to complete the tasks given to them, which included helping to paint classrooms in the local school and building dams on the river to prevent flooding during the rainy season.
Finally they had to say goodbye to their new Berber friends, as it was time for the team to make a descent back to their coach …. or was it? The student leader that day made an impromptu decision and the team agreed to climb a further 850 metres to the ski resort for lunch! After 3 hours of vertical height gain, they were greeted by sunshine for lunch, a rewarding highlight for all! With tired legs they caught their coach back to Marrakesh, where sleep and rest in a comfortable bed had been well earned and was much needed.
The following morning the team drove to the coastal walled city of Essaouira for their R&R. This laid back location gave them some independence and a chance to relax, explore, buy souvenirs and take in the breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Later that evening, having returned to Marrakesh, the team indulged in freshly made strawberry and orange juices from the souk, ‘the best tasting juice in the world’ according to the boys. After much debate the team leader for the day decided upon a venue for their final meal, to celebrate a most enjoyable and successful expedition.