RSIS Morocco: a groovy but traditional time
Posted: 13 July 2019
Students have been uniting as a team on the project work-sites and divvy up tasks such as digging and moving resources such as rocks and sand. Students have been taking it in turns to lead the whole team, developing valuable leadership skills. Slowly but surely, their work is paying off and both the classroom and the path are taking shape. But it’s not all hard work, students are taking every opportunity to have a groovy time:
Having a groovy time 💃🏻
Posted by Round Square on Saturday, 13 July 2019
Team one: Classroom
“Being in Morocco and seeing how different people live has opened our eyes to how privileged we are. Today we went back to the school to continue building. We worked for three hours transporting gravel down the hill to be used to make cement, as well as mixing cement down at the site. We had to utilise our leadership skills when telling our groups what to do, along with dividing up each task evenly. We also embodied the democracy pillar by listening to the opinions of our group members and basing our decisions off of their feedback. In addition to this, the strength and diligence that the locals brought to every task to build the school that will raise current and future generations was inspiring. Overall, our time in Morocco has taught us how to be grateful for everything we have and how to give back to the community,” say Holden, Nicole, Shivam and Lizzie.
Team two: Village path and some rest and reflection
Team three: Cultural visit
“Today, we sorted donations into different piles based on needs within the village. We ultimately created 15 smaller piles for each family here and two larger piles for the local schools. Later, we went to these families and learned a bit about their daily life. For example one family had a grandma, who had 6 kids and 2 grandchildren. The grandma is a widow who has kindly been doing our laundry here and has lived in the valley her whole life. Although she gives so much to the village, like milk from her cow so that the kids can have enough nutrition, she still maintained her kind hearted nature. Next, we went on a trek into the centre of the village and met a family with little income. It was very hard to see, but it is what is is despite their situation, they still offered us cookies and Morocco’s signature mint tea. This is a clear demonstration of the Berbers’ culture here and shows their warm-hearted sense of hospitality. Overall, today was a productive day that enabled us to grow and become more grateful, enlightened, and open-minded.” Oliver, Nikhil and Emma
Team one: Cultural visit
Team two: Classroom
“We always get to start our day weaving through the landscape surrounding the Berber villages; tall, hilly mountains, speckled with small trees and shrubs. As I was picking up sandbags and passing it to one of my teammates, I had another opportunity to take in the beauty of the nature around me; herds of sheep led by local women who were also carrying native vegetation on their backs. Today for me was a chance to realise that I am in the middle of nowhere with people that I do not know. As daunting as that sounds, it is so beautiful to me because with each day that I am here, we are making a place that was once nowhere for me and my teammates more of a home for us and especially the locals,” reflects Avery.
“Another good day in the mountains for group two. We began with a stretch before we jumped in the van and headed for the school. We got a lot of great work done and were efficient as a team. Favourite moments from the day included the help we received from the village kids and their willingness to to help us out. I am enjoying learning more about the people in my group and trying to imagine what their lives are like in their own countries,” says Tom.
“Today we learnt more about the culture here high up in the Atlas mountains. We’ve discovered how tightly connected all the villagers here are and how they all readily contribute towards the improvement of the community by helping us with the building of the pathway and school and by moving building materials.
The differences in culture started to become more evident as we kept working with the local villagers and immersed ourselves in their community and culture. One big difference that I’ve noticed is how every single meal is shared with everyone from a large plate compared to having individual meals which showed how sharing is a vital part of the Berber community.” says Allyce.
Team three: village path
“Today, team three was assigned for the second time during this trip to work on the path within the village of Tacherdit. Before going out to start the day we discussed as a group what the risks will be for the day ahead. This included; a strong breeze, certain domestic animals that tend to get in our way, and the hot weather.
We overcame this by: Applying sunscreen when needed, crouching down and turning away from the wind and moving to one side to avoid the animals.
We worked together throughout the day making sure people were comfortable while they worked. Our teamwork was shown when we discussed making a chain of people when bringing down the bags of gravel and sand. This made it easier on the team as it was more efficient and faster.
Even through the windy conditions, the team responded well to our instructions, and it was great seeing our plan come to fruition. We found that communication in such a big group was very important and everyone showed a sense of responsibility towards themselves and the group as a whole.
In all, the leadership role gave us a sense of responsibility but also helped us understand and implement the Round Square IDEALS,” by Shania, Diya and Arjun.