As I stepped off the plane in Marrakech airport, memories of my childhood in Oman flooded back to me. I welcomed the warm air that swept through the strands of my hair as I walked on Moroccan soil.
The taxi drove us recklessly to the Riyad that we would be staying in for the next two weeks. The Riyad in itself was gorgeous. The colourful stairs led us up to a terrace which was filled with beautiful plants. The open roof top enabled the sun to glare down at us as we carried our suitcases into the room.

The days that were spent in Marrakech were busily packed with volunteering opportunities for us to do; leaving the nights for us to explore the souks and the streets of Marrakech. Due to Ramadan, the souks came to life during the night. The stalls were buzzing with loud chatter from its owners attracting every tourist passing by. The smell of olives and spices, the texture of the various Moroccan fabric, the colourful lights radiating from the infamous Moroccan lanterns and the sound of the drums echoing throughout the Medina square tingled all of my senses enabling me to feel like I was on a different planet.

The culture in Morocco was quite difficult for me to experience first-hand.  There was a clear divide between men and women, with the latter having a more inferior role in current society. As someone with a passion for feminism, this was a difficult sight for me to watch. I was told (by a friend) that the Moroccan women do not feel oppressed for a single moment in their lives as this is the norm in their society. Rubbish! It was so hard for me to not open my mouth and express how I truly felt about the situation; but I did not wish to have constant arguments for the duration of my stay there. So instead I bit my tongue and held the fury within me.

I spent the first weekend sleeping overnight in the Sahara desert...The Sahara desert - the largest hot desert with one of the harshest environments in the world and I spent a night there!
The weekend was topped off with an hour and a half camel trek to our tents. As I sat on the camel, the view that I was able to capture in my mind was breathtaking: the sun was setting and all I could see stretched across the horizon was a sheet of brown sand dunes. But that wasn't all that the desert had to offer. I stepped off the camel and turned around to watch the moon rise. It was the most surreal experience I had ever encountered. In my opinion, it was even more beautiful than watching the sunset/rise. Even though the palette of colours in the sky only ranges from midnight blue to black, the way the moon stands out from the darkness surrounding it was quite eerie.

The night was topped off by listening to the Berbers play music and eating traditional Moroccan food. Not to mention getting caught in a sandstorm!

The second weekend was spent at the Ouzoud waterfalls. Words nor pictures are enough to describe the natural beauty that I had witnessed at Ouzoud.

I am not a great swimmer, so when I was given the opportunity to jump off a smaller version of the waterfalls shown above, I was more than apprehensive. But my fear of regretting not taking up opportunities was greater so I plucked up the courage and jumped!
After having a swim around in the lake, we had lunch by the waterfalls that can be seen above. The sound of the water hitting the rocks and plummeting down was so therapeutic as we munched on our tagines and Moroccan salad. 

So far I haven't talked much about the actual volunteering that I have undertaken. We were able to carry out a variety of different activities which included visiting the boys'/girls'/babies' orphanages, playing with street kids, feeding the homeless and many more. Do I feel like I've made a difference in anyone's life? Probably not. That is not to say that the experience was not as good as I had expected it to be. It's just that what I went through in South Africa is VERY hard to top!

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