the beauty of working hands

We are very busy and occupied here these weeks, preparing for a big celebration at our school, inchaallah.

These are the (hands of the) wonderful women of our village, Allahumma barik. Mothers of our school’s pupils and neighbors and friends –  also busy working together in a womens’ cooperative for wool and felted products.

You are welcome to visit them and see their work!
Cooperative Tilatin, village de Timit, Ait Bouguemez valley, Morocco High Atlas

Or come and meet them and us at our big open doors- party, the weekend of 1st May. Marhaban!


Carnet de Voyage #3

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It’s morning, and nearly all the others are still sleeping. I enjoy these quiet moments in nature, when the day wakes up, when the first light of the sun breaks through and shines on the mountains around –  before my first coffee and before we start to a new hike and new discoveries.

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Today my legs hurt. Yesterday was hard and I really challenged myself. Until now, I maybe didn’t know what my body is capable of achieving, alhamdulillah.
We climbed a high pass of 3000 meters altitude and I really felt it, in my lungs, in my knees, everywhere. I was so occupied with myself, with my weakness, my fatigue, not able to talk or motivate the kids – but in fact they even walked quicker and less tired than I,  when I was just as slow and tired as the old donkey that accompanied us…. But I did it! We did it, mashaallah.

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Carnet de Voyage #1

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… After the high pass we walked down the hill through beautiful landscape with so many different rocks and stones in all colors and shapes.
Down, along the riverbed, were beautiful caves, and so many incredible pebbles and lovely tiny flowers everywhere – a breathtaking small microcosm that invited to focus on the little things. I saw so many heart-shaped stones and had a hard time to stop myself picking up all of them…
We met a young nomad boy who challenged my thinking. He came when we picnicked. He directly asked us for a box of tuna and then stood quiet, observing us, watched with a very intense look and did nearly not answer to any of our questions. He made me thinking what life he leads, up here in the mountains, as a nomad, no schooling, no real housing, not much thigs to eat, wandering around and caring with his family for many sheep and a big goat herd….

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Later we met a nomad woman, Fadma.  She lives near to our first camp with her children, lots of animals, also some camels and dogs. The dogs nearly attacked us, they really got angry and aggressive, barked at us until Fadma stopped them. She invited us in her little stone-house where she lives in the summer months. I was amazed by her gentleness. She was so very unassuming and I immediately felt close to her. I was very happy to be able to communicate so well in Tachelheit (Berber language) and to quickly establish a connection with her. We talked about her living, the children and how to treat some cough naturally. She showed us her living room and kitchen, the little solar bulb and her stock pile of flour and other edible things. She seemed very contented with her life, quiet and unpretentious.

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Travelling the High Atlas Mountains

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We have been on a seven days hike with our friends who own the Marrakesh-based travel company “Marabout Travel”.
They organized a beautiful trip with everything included: tents, all material needed, nice food, a cook and a very helpful team of mule-keepers that took very well care of us, alhmadulillah.

This was such a new experience for me! I live since more than eleven years in the middle of these mountains and my husband is even a mountain guide. But I never did a trekking tour into the higher parts of the Atlas (when there was possibility, I either was pregnant or the children were too small).
So this year was the first time we went on a big walk as a family. And there, only about twenty kilometers away from home, over the mountains that I see every day, I discovered a whole new world, subhanallah.

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I wrote a little travel journal and will share some of it over the next days, inchaallah.

A Berber Wedding

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A wedding is maybe the biggest event in a Berber’s life. In our region of the High Atlas, it is still a celebration in traditional ways with many old rites and customs.
It is a huge party for both families and the whole village of each spouse.
The celebrations go on for at least three days and everybody is singing, drumming, dancing and eating a lot.

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Women wear their most beautiful garments and the bride is especially beautifully prepared with hennah, scarfs and jewelery.
The hand drum is played a lot and all sing old traditional Berber songs with poetic lyrics and trilling alternating between men and women.

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The women, when among themselves, playfully dance and sing and have a lot of fun with the bride,
wishing her a happy farewell into married life – and that is what I wish to you, dear Naima, inchaallah!

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