trip to Azilal, my much-needed escape

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on September 15, 2011

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The same thing can be said about good friends: Take care of them and they will be some of your best investments in an enjoyable life.

Azilal: September 10-15

For the past few days, I’ve been on a much-needed personal R&R. After Rabat, I took a few personal days and traveled to Azilal province. I stayed with two volunteers, hung out with a few more, hiked in a valley, kayaked (my first time!) and swam in a reservoir, and experienced another part of Morocco.

Azilal: definitely mountain people. From the moment the taxi left Azilal village through the entire trip up to Ait Bougomez and back, I could see that the people who lived in these valleys and mountains were indeed the mountain people of Morocco.

Lets see, highlights from this trip…

  • Seeing more of Morocco. It’s been awhile since I took an extended trip, i.e., beyond my province and the places I usually travel to, so this journey reminded me how different geographically Morocco is thus allowing me to appreciate the land this country is on again
  • Visiting PCVs and seeing their sites. This continues to be one of my favorite “activities” here. Everyone’s site and house are different. For instance, I saw the most rustic PCV house on this trip. The house had a beautiful view of the hill across. I’d be envious except I have the night sky. Then again, he probably gets both.
  • Getting to know friends better. Becoming better friends with people who I enjoy being around but, due to geography and such, I don’t get to hang out with them much.
  • Genuine conversations. Genuine laughs.
  • Lots of laughs.
  • Discovering (or creating) a way to use soy paste in a meal.
  • Discovering common ground over Denny’s.
  • Active day. Lazy day. Checking off only half the items on the “to do” list and being happy with that decision.
  • Hiking and climbing a boulder in a place that’s known for its hiking trails – Ait Bougomez.
  • Kayaking and swimming in Bin L’widan.
  • Taking 4 taxis to get back to site from Azilal.

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