By Nina Schmitz
The best achievements you get are those you enjoy. And you enjoy most what you can share with friends. The trip to M’gouna was great opportunity for HAF staff, volunteers and interns to teambuilding and enjoy what the region has to offer.
We had fun weekend, eight current members of the High Atlas Foundation spent their time from Thursday 12th until Sunday 15th together and traveled to the Festival des Roses in M’gouna.
After only half a working day, and a generous meal, we jumped into two cars and headed east to escape the big city life. On the way we passed the High Atlas Mountains and experienced the huge beauty of mother nature, in harmony with all the small towns located along the road. Being in a car together for hours made us get to know each other even more – talking, laughing and singing. Finally arrived around 11pm, we have been most warmly welcomed by Said’s parents in their home and were served tasty dinner. Said’s parents hosted the girls and Jamal’s parents hosted the boys. Both families invited all of us for either lunch or dinner and showed the most welcoming and hospitably side of Moroccan families. We were fortunate to get insight into their home, work and life, and thus the most personal space they could offer to strangers. For me as the only international on the trip, it was probably the most interesting but also challenging experience. Even though it was language barrier between me and the families, they welcomed me and tried their best to make me feel comfortable.
On the weekend we did not only visit the festival sites, but we were lucky to visit other awesome places in the region like: Todgha Gorge, Ait Ben Haddou and the Atlas Cooperation Film Studios in Ouarzazate. We also visited the rose fields of Said’s parents and picked a bag full of roses. In only four days, we experienced diversity in traditional music, attended the election of the Rose Queen of the festival, witnessed natural heritage and were invited to live a Moroccan life. But most important is, that we did all of this together. We had a lot of fun, laughing was an essential of our trip and we got to know each other better than before. Being four days together – day and night – makes you understand the needs and wishes of each other. It makes you care about each other even more. Colleagues are friends or friends are colleagues – put it the way that you want. I am glad I got the chance to work with you, but I am also glad we do not limit the relationship on work. Thanks to all of you! And thanks to the High Atlas Foundation to give us the opportunity to take a day off and leave early on Thursday.
Looking forward to the next weeks in this amazing Team!