All of us walking down to the orchards.
Shonali Banerjee and Aliza Appelbaum are In-The-Field Representatives for GlobalGiving. They are visiting projects in Morocco, Spain and France. Here is their most recent "postcard" from Morocco:
On June 27, 2012, Aliza and I had the pleasure of visiting two local High Atlas Foundation project sites, both in the High Atlas Mountains outside of Marrakech. In the afternoon, HAF Project Manager Abderrahim took us to Tassa Ouirguane, a rural village home to Sami's Project and several other development projects.
After arriving in the village, we were invited into the home of the local town leader, Hassan. While there, we discussed the benefits of the project whie enjoying tea, fresh baked bread and olive oil made from local olives. Since Hassan only spoke a Berber dialect, Abderrahim kindly acted as translator for us while we talked about how Sami's project has impacted the village and improved the livelihoods of the local citizens.
After leaving Hassan's home, we walked down the road to see the orchards and site where they will build a women's co-op. The co-op is the next project the village leaders have chosen for their community, and Abderrahim told us it can be built in about two months. We were thoroughly impressed by how quickly this project will be completed. Hopefully the next time GlobalGiving representatives visit Morocco, they will be able to see the finished co-op!
We were accompanied to the orchards by Hassan and his son Abdul Karim (pictured below), who brought an empty crate to pick some of the fruit. We saw apricots, plums, and nectarines, all ready to be picked. As we came to different kinds of trees, we got to try all the different kinds of delicious fruits. After a few minutes, we decided to climb up in the trees also to pick our own. It was a fun and interactive site visit!
This also felt rather like coming full circle. In the morning, we were able to see the small cherry and walnut saplings in the nursery. In the afternoon, we saw a flourishing orchard, where village leaders are successfully selling the produce in local markets.
Sadly, the school was already closed for summer vacation, but we stopped by to see it on the way back to Marrakech. The school is for primary education only right now, but considering the low literacy levels endemic to the region, this is a great start for the village. Aliza and I were thrilled to visit this site, and see just how much of an imapct this High Atlas Foundation project is having on the local community.
Abdul Karim picking plums to sell in the market.
Picking fresh plums from the tree!
Aliza enjoying a juicy fresh plum!
Local families came out to say hello!
The Sami's project primary school.