Thursday, November 24, 2005

Field Trip to the Ourika Valley

On the last day of the program, with films finished and with very little sleep, the participants took a day to see the country. The Atlas Mountains are just a one and a half hour drive from Marrakech.
Maria Karim sits in a colorful living room high up in the Atlas Mountains. Though it seems she is alone, the group has only just left it. The group was invited by our waiter at a nearby cafe to come see his home and meet his family. We had stopped at the cafe to eat tagines in the traditional manner (no utensils, just hands and bread.) Many agreed it was the best meal we had had thus far - definitely the most authentic.
To get to the waiter's house we climbed steps that seemed to continue to emerge from the ground just as soon as we thought we'd reached the end of them. They were indeed the same color as the earth and were of it--the clay of the earth covers the rocks with which the houses are built. At this kind gentleman's house he played us music on an instrument that looked exactly like an American banjo (but it was tuned to a different key) and everyone sang along and played what they could find (knees, drums, snapping fingers, etc.) We drank a traditional mint tea and the American students sang a few tunes they knew. Many agreed this was a necessary trip after such an intense schedule of classes and filming.

Diana, James, George's back and Seifollah filming each other filming with the mountains behind them. A testament to the documentary-based philosophy that seemed prevalent among the professors.

Maria, Hakim and Diana, happy to be out of the classroom in the Atlas Mountain sun.

The Berry
photos by Maria Karim

Little children sold us baskets of berries on the shoulder of the road in the valley of Ourika. These delicate fruits taste like strawberries and have twice as many seeds.


Maria over river

The berries bounce down rocks towards the river

Ourika Valley courtesy of Diana Logreira


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