Rabat & La Garderie Nour

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April 24th 2014
Published: April 24th 2014
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On Tuesday we went back to La Garderie Nour to work with the kids. It was tons of fun. In the morning we worked with the really young kids (probably age 1-3). They are so cute. We listened to the older kids recite the Koran and then we all had recess together. Recess was a lot of fun and consisted of us dancing to the Macarena and singing happy birthday.

After lunch we went back to teach the older kids (age 4-10) English. There are about forty kids in this class. It was fun but I honestly was a little nervous. This age group is much harder to entertain.

After school we found a cemetery overlooking the ocean. In the Islamic religion you must be buried on your right side facing towards Mecca. The cemetery was really beautiful as was the view (pics below).

The kids are so different here than in Canada. Many of their teeth are rotting out as I think both them and their parents need to be better educated on both hygiene and the importance of vitamins. We learned that many children are vitamin and iron deficient. I believe it is due to them not knowing how to have a balanced meal as they don't know which vegetables are rich in which nutrients. Many of them don't have much money to be able to eat much meat. And I haven't seen spinach once yet while I am here which may help with the iron deficiency. Sugar also seems to accompany everything. Our tea and coffee is full of sugar as well as almost every meal we eat.

School as well is quite different. You must pay to attend school. If you can't pay then you can't be educated. Khadija (the 5 year old who lives with us) goes to a real school. However the school we work at is more of a daycare that houses children from age 1-10 that can't afford a real school. It seems to keep the poor families poor as climbing a social and work ladder without being properly educated is hard.

Tuesday night we went for a walk around the Oudaya and then ate dinner with our host family and went to bed.

Wednesday we were a little more prepared for school. We knew we needed a wide variety of activities to keep them entertained so we had done our research on Tuesday night. The morning was fun with the young kids and they all took turns sitting on our laps during the reciting of the Koran.

During our lunch break from school we walked to the Mausoleum & Tour Hassan (pics below). Everything is so old here. And another thing - most sites are free. I wish they had more signs explaining the significance of some of the sites as these forts and towers are beautiful but I am sure I would appreciate them more if I could read history on them. After visiting both sites we had lunch along the ocean. Then we returned to work.

This afternoon with the kids passed by much quicker as we were better prepared. We sang songs and did the alphabet in English and French and taught them English words with the help of an iPad App. When the day was over Tyler and I were walking home through the Medina and into the Oudaya when we spotted an art exhibit. The art exhibit was free so we decided to stop in.

After looking around some, the security guard informed us that there is a whole upstairs that used to be a prison that he could show us. We went up and took a look. He stayed with us and explained how cannons were fired from the holes on the walls on the siting of pirates. He also told us the Arab laws for stealing. In the prison you would be shackled to the wall for five days for your first offence for stealing. After the five days you were free to go. If you committed a second offence you would be shackled to the wall for fifteen days. Upon your third offence you got your hands cut off so you could no longer steal.

We also got to see the execution corner as well as the morgue. It was really neat and we were excited to got to see it.

After our long day of site seeing and working we headed back home for dinner. Unsure if Tyler mentioned in the last blog entry but there is no shortage of food here. They fill your plate many times and if I say I am full they fill it again anyways. For breakfast we have cake, pancakes with apricot jam and homemade chocolate croissants. For lunch they normally make a tajine and salad. For dinner we may have a tajine and salad and soup. And of course every meal is served with bread. I think I may be gaining a couple pounds every day staying here. The food is amazing and everything is homemade.

I got a cold last night. It is probably due to all the kids being sick at school. I went to bed feeling crappy and woke up feeling worse. I went to school this morning anyways. My nose was not running so I felt that it would not be likely I would spread anything. After school this morning we came back home and I slept for four hours missing our afternoon class. Luckily Tyler is a superstar and taught the class all on his own so I could rest this afternoon. I feel a little better after my nap and hope these Moroccan drugs I bought work wonders on my cold.

Tomorrow is a sacred day here in Morocco (Fridays). So we will eat couscous as a family after mosque. Tomorrow afternoon at school is also a fun day so we will have to research some drawing and games ideas.

Although I am sick I am still feeling extremely lucky for this experience. It is certainly a very humbling experience to be reminded of how much we have in Canada and how much we take for a granted. As family is so important here in Morocco it is also a constant reminder of how lucky I am to have such amazing family and friends.

Until next time


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28th April 2014

Awesome stuff so far! Nice to see (vicariously) what life is like in Morocco. Based on your meal description, it kind of makes sense that the kids don't have great teeth. Also Maroi is super frickin adorable. Safe travels!

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