The week in Zawiya Ahansal certainly passed by quickly. From all the moments of interviewing people to camping out in Zawiya Ahansal was undeniably remarkable. Everyone I met has become a part of my life and every memory with them is certainly memorable. Every interview performed made me learn a lot about Moroccan culture. Every person’s experience was insightful and influencing for me. Most importantly being in the Sheiks house and interacting with everyone in the village was by far my favourite part. Living in Zawiya Ahansal for a week made me a part of something so magical. Learning the Berber culture and being immersed as one a member of this village allowed me to embrace another side of me.
The day before we departed Zawiya Ahansal we were invited to interact with local children from a school nearby and prepare activities for them. Many of these activities included making a volcano replica, feelings chart and painting. Jennifer and I were in charge of the painting section for that day. All of the students were divided into 5 groups and by the end of the day, every single student was able to complete all activities. The painting activity was definitely fun for the both of us. We got to practice what each colour was and allowed everyone to express themselves through painting. All of the students were eager to be creative and were very engaging. All of the students drew Berber symbols and surprisingly drew hearts and spelt out “love”. All of the paintings were beautiful and each individually expressed stuff differently. What I really saw that surprised me was the interaction between boys and girls. Although they were some few boys who like to intimidate their fellow classmates, the majority of the boys were inclusive with the girls. One boy showed what the younger female student should paint and encouraged her to draw whatever she liked, making her more open to the activity as she was very shy in the beginning.
After a very fun and exhausting day, the Sheik and the community prepared the farewell party for us. This was certainly something I have been avoiding the whole trip, knowing that I would be leaving Morocco very soon. As everyone was preparing for our party, you can see everyone was getting more upset that the day would be over soon. As it began to get dark, I stood outside the house and took in everything. I began to realize how the trip has turned out to be. This trip not only has given me memories but it has also provided me with friends. Every small detail I have about this trip has meant a lot to me. It has taught me to embrace every small moment in life and to live a little. As we finished our dinner of tagine, salads, and Moroccan tea. Everyone dressed up in traditional Moroccan outfits and dancing around in a circle. The night was filled with laughter as a band of men played the drums and sang, while we all joined together in a circle and sang along. At this moment, I realized how so much has changed in a month and how much I have grown ever since. All these people I see in front of me have all become a part of my life. My time in Zawiya Ahansal was unforgettable. Zawiya Ahansal and the people who live here have taught me what a community really is, and support towards one another comes a long way.