On 29 June 2019, a group of 30 year 10 King Alfreds students, three teachers and two team leaders from Global Footprints, touched down in Morocco. They were there for eight days to experience activities and challenges that would require resiliance and teamwork. But of course it would be the most exciting time of their lives.
One of the students, Eda Onay, shared her experience with us.
King Alfred’s Academy Trip to Morocco 2019
Being in Morocco is somewhat different to England and more specifically, Wantage.
First of all, Moroccans are very fond of camel riding and so of course we had to try it.
At first we were all a little nervous of being sat on the back of a camel whilst strolling along the beach, but the gentle animals were a joy to ride.
Plus the view of the shimmering ocean and the sound of the beautiful birds made the experience unforgettable.
There were lots of other things we had to get used to. Everytime we filled our water bottles up from the tap (in our hotel), we had to purify the water and wait 5 minutes until we were allowed to drink it. This is because the water in Morocco isn’t safe to drink (you could get ill if you didn’t purify it). This was the same when we went for a shower. Usually you go to wash your face and accidentally drink some water. In Morocco, you had to make sure you didn’t drink it.
It made me appreciate how lucky we are in England to have sanitisation, flushing toilets, dishwashers and all the modern things we take for granted. Another difference that struck me was that children stayed out playing on the streets late at night. The parents are so relaxed there, because everyone is a neighbour to each other and the community is a wonderful place to be apart of – everyone, no matter who, looks out for each other.
We were also aware of being in a country where religion and modesty is very important to the local people. We observed a lot of Muslims going to pray in mosques and some of us were approached by local women who asked us to cover our skin. It made us realise that when you travel, it’s good to be sensitive to the culture you’re in.
We then endured three days of determination, sweat, pain, tears, bad jokes and laughter to finally make it to the top of Mount Toubkal which is 4167m high.This was thanks to the local men who were our guides and became our friends.
They knew the route like the back on their hand, as I was told they do running competitions up the mountain and started from a young age.
It was extremely strenuous but the feeling of accomplishment made all the pain worth the while, whilst remembering to take our purification drops in every glass of water we had.
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and all the students are so thankful for the school, Global Footprints and their families for supporting them on this incredible adventure.
Our final adventure took place in Marrekesh. Us girls had to cover up our arms and knees, but even so, we were approached by men asking to marry us or complimenting our looks. It was a whole new atmosphere.
The call to prayer was amazingly loud but soothing at the same time.
We had to bargain for nearly everything we bought which was very entertaining.
The thing I learnt most about being in Morocco was that the countries culture is quite different to ours.
Their limits on skin-showing for women and bargaining prices with businessmen was mind-blowing.
Now that I’m home, I’m going to try and make Morocco’s special dish: Tajine. Trust me, it’s delicious.
I hope I’ve interested you in our spectacular trip to Morocco. I’m so grateful for this experience, as it’s definitely not a holiday that I would go on with my family. And I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who has the chance to go. If it’s the cost you’re worried about then you could always contact your school to ask for support or, like we were encouraged to do, fund raise the money yourselves e.g. busking, car washing, babysitting.