Lets Go 2 Morocco No 2

My words could do no justice to anything I experienced during my latest trip in Morocco, so I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Thanks for this incredible journey to Karima from Lets Go 2 Morocco, Neil from Rewilding Bushcraft, and Idir from Idir Desert Life.

The High Atlas

The Sahara

The Atlantic Ocean

See you all again…

I had a dream…

This week I had a great conversation with one of those strangers who contributed to where I am today. We haven’t seen each other since 2008. This person was my then English teacher, who worked for and later managed the British Council in Budapest.

At the age of 17 I failed my end of year English exam. Together with the rest of the class. This might suggest that it was not only me to blame. The results of that year were important, without good grades it was difficult to get into a university. Only, I didn’t aim for a university. To the amazement of many around me, I went for a vocational training. This helped me find out what I wanted and what surely didn’t want in my life. In 2001, already at uni, one of my lecturers mentioned a School in the UK, that piqued my curiosity. I checked their website that I could hardly understand that time, but I knew I wanted to be there. In 2006, I took the courage and applied for one of their Masters courses. I received a conditional offer of admission, and I was over the moon. However, the conditional offer meant that I had to pass the IELTS Academic test at a pretty high level within a very short period of time. The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English speaking environment. English for me was a lingua franca, a tool, never the final destination, for my interests laid elsewhere. Although I have taken various courses with the British Council, my first attempt to pass the test was unsuccessful. I tried again. And I scored below the required level again. By that time I have deferred my offer of admission, hoping I can start the following year. I started taking private lessons from the teacher I started my confession with. He did his best. In May 2008 was my last chance to pass the test, the course was going to start in September, and deferring one more year was not an option. Everyone I knew in the British Council was there standing on the corridor, cheering on me. Even the examiner who has just arrived from the UK that day, did her best to help – everything was recorded, and all I can say, she proved to be an excellent mime… The results came in. I made it. I quit my job, where I only spent a few months but I felt it sucked the life out of me. I left Hungary in the middle of September, not having a clue what will follow. On my first week in London I visited the gentleman at the admission department, who had been following my journey for over a year. I didn’t have to introduce myself, he just looked at me and said: “Adrienn, finally”. It turned out to be the most challenging year of my life, and looking back, I don’t know how I survived. Exactly 10 years ago, towards the end of 2009, I received my final results, and some time later, I attended my graduation ceremony, the most beautiful celebration one can receive. One friend then told me: “The world is your Oyster now”. Apart from still using my old Oyster card when I visit London, this experience provided a solid base that I can still rely on, that made me convinced that I can achieve anything, if I work for it and I use my creativity.

The last 10 years were full of adventures, special experiences and people, I lived in two foreign countries, visited a couple more, and struggled a lot. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. What amazes me the most is that, not many but, a few of those friends who had been with me in 2008, are still with me today. They certainly proved their patience for they needed it in industrial quantities to be able to put up with my very dramatic ups and downs. One single decision changed my life to the extent that is hardly believable. I have celebrated the occasion in style, with a trip at the end of last month, that was a beautiful summary of the last decade: tears and laughs, extraordinary places, generous people and valuable lessons.

English is still only a tool for me to reach the stars, but a pretty handy one if you live with a constant hunger for knowledge and experiences. Learning a language never ends, so my meet ups with above mentioned not so stranger anymore, will become regular in the following months. To make an other dream come true.

Happy anniversary!

 

SOAS University of London

Eating Should Not Be a Luxury – Fundraising for UNICEF

Thank you for visiting my fundraising page and support my attempt to help some of the most disadvantaged children in the world.

↓↓↓Click, click, click! ↓↓↓

Eating shouldn’t be a luxury – Fundraising for Unicef

In this campaign, individuals like me open up their kitchen for friends for a day and invite them for lunch, dinner or breakfast. In return, we only ask them to contribute to the work of UNICEF with a smaller (or bigger…) amount. You can donate directly through this page or in person. My fundraising goal is 150 EUR, a tiny amount compared to the help UNICEF can provide even from this.

Sadly, many of you live far away from me, a dinner at my place is not an option. However, thanks to online donation, you can still contribute to the cause. Don’t forget, online donation is one of the easiest and safest way to help and I will appreciate the smallest gift you can offer.

And of course, you are always welcome for a meal whenever you visit Budapest!

↓↓↓ Please click on the link below. ↓↓↓

Thank you

#FőzzAGYERMEKEKÉRT

Eating shouldn’t be a luxury – Fundraising for UNICEF

 

 

Job Seeking

In the last couple of months I followed the route of traditional job seeking, that is, I told the organization in question why I would be the jackpot for them. Seeing my CV they even agreed, until it was cleared up that I would provide my skills and abilities for a salary, and not for free. No joke. Therefore, I decided to turn things around now and tell what type of place I would like to work for. I know this exists.

I am looking for a place where knowledge is valued and not treated as a threat; where consciousness is not thought of as aggression; where a wide range of interest does not mean a lack of focus but what it really is – curiosity, and where no need to explain the importance of this. I am looking for a place where the meaning and significance of transferable skills are understood. I am looking for a place where openness means to be open to the wider world and not that I share with everyone whom I dated the previous night. A place where everyone is confident enough to accept others’ professional expertise, we don’t have to know everything after all! So good to learn from others. I would like to be able to argue professionally, through arguments, not Coelho quotes. And if there is no argument, then it is ok to stay silent, because it is not pretence that matters. If this place works within development where they aim to spread information and take action for tackling the issues of this world that is currently in a very poor state, then I would like to hear from them, because I am certain that they will hit the jackpot with me.

 

Off the beaten track – Lets Go 2 Morocco – Tour No 2

We created an unique opportunity for you to see Morocco from a different angle. Sustainable tourism is very important to us, therefore an authentic experience is guaranteed.

During your 10 days in Morocco you will discover Ancient Medinas, Archaeological and World Heritage sites, a fortified Medieval Necropolis, a Roman City and an oasis town, fields rich in Fossil remains and Minerals. You will enjoy delicious local food, wonderful hospitality and So much More.

  22 June – 1 July 2018

Day 1 – Friday: Marrakech

Airport transfer to your accommodation. Depending on your arrival time, you are free to look around and familiarize yourself with the city.

Day 2 – Saturday: Marrakech – Rabat – Fes

Departure from Marrakech after breakfast. In Rabat we will visit the Chellah, a fortified Muslim necropolis, and Sala Colonia, the ancient Roman colony. On the way to Fes we stop to visit the roman site of Volubilis and the city of Meknes.

Day 3 – Sunday: Fes

Medina tour of Fes; once the capital of Morocco and still a cultural and spiritual centre of the country.

Day 4 – Monday: Fes – Midelt – Erfoud

A day for minerals and fossils. Midelt is one of the most important mineral sites in the country. Erfoud even has a museum with dinosaur remains.

Day 5 – Tuesday: Erfoud – Merzouga – Taouz

Merzouga and Taouz are close to the dunes of the Sahara and home to significant rock art sites. A trip to Morocco would not be full without spending some time in the desert; so our accommodation is booked right there.

Day 6 & 7- Wednesday – Thursday: Merzouga – Tamegroute – Zagora

We will continue our discoveries in Merzouga then move on to Tamegroute; a village in the Draa River valley and a historic hub of learning. There is an old library and a subterranean kasbah (old city or medina), also some amazing and famous green pottery.

Day 8 – Friday: Zagora – Tamnougalt – Ait Benhaddou

Tamnougalt; a date palm oasis and a 500 year old ksar or fortified town, that is well worth visiting on the way. Ait Benhaddou; a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an impressive fortified adobe ksar  and a beautiful example of traditional clay architecture. It is situated on the old caravan route that took salt to Timbuktu and brought gold, spices and other delights back to Morocco.

Day 9 – Saturday: Ait Benhaddou – Oukaimeden – Marrakech

Oukaimeden; situated in the High Atlas Mountains is also a significant rock art site. From the mountain region we descend to the plains of Al Haouz and the 1000 year old Medina of Marrakech; the Red City.

Day 10 – Sunday: Marrakech

Depending on your departure time, a guided tour can be arranged.

_______________________________________________________________

Price per person: 1050 EUR

Payment via bank transfer/PayPal/Western Union.

A 25% non refundable deposit is to be paid by 20th March 2018.

The rest of the amount is paid by 20th May 2018.

Price includes: accommodation, all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), entry fees to sites, travel by 4×4, experienced multilingual local guides, airport transfers, water in the 4×4´s and an unforgettable experience.

Price does not include: flights to/from Morocco, personal insurance, medication if needed, personal necessities, tips for staff and drivers, soft drinks.

Minimum number of participants :7

______________________________________________________________________

Your guide:

Karima Rebecca Powell – experienced tour guide specialized and based in Morocco

http://www.letsgo2morocco.com/

https://web.facebook.com/LetsGo2Morocco/#

 

Your contact person:

Adrienn Gecse, PhD – a researcher in Oriental and African studies, based in Hungary

https://adrienngecse.wordpress.com/

sharabeti@yahoo.com

+36 30 415 28 11

FB-event: https://www.facebook.com/events/570030286666676/

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Off the Beaten Track – Lets go 2 Morocco – Tour No 1

We created an unique opportunity for you to see Morocco from a different angle. Sustainable tourism is very important to us; therefore an authentic experience is guaranteed.

Discover Ancient Civilisations, Ksours (castle), Kasbahs (fortress), Fossils and Rock Art!

 20-29 April 2018

Day 1 – Friday: Marrakech

Arrival in Marrakech, transfers to accommodation in the old medina. Dinner together, welcome meeting and talk.

Day 2 – Saturday: Oukaïmeden

Drive up through the High Atlas Mountain villages and valleys to the ski region of Oukaïmeden. This transhumance plateau has some exceptional rock art some which is near the road and more that is a trek to discover. We will do both and spend the night nearby.

Day 3 – Sunday: Oukaimeden – Tizi n´Tichka – Telouet – Ait Benhaddou – Oasis Fint

After breakfast, we continue our 4×4 adventure in the High Atlas, crossing the highest drivable pass at 2260 metres and down into the Ounila Valley following the ancient Salt routes that were used by caravans to and from Timbuktu. In this valley we visit the kasbah at Telouet and then the Ksar of Ait Benhaddou. The night will be in a secluded oasis auberge.

Day 4 – Monday: Oasis Fint – Ouarzazate – Agdz – Tamnougalt – Zagora

We leave this oasis of calm and discover the remarkable adobe ksar of Taourirt in Ouarzazate. This is the gateway to the Sahara and from here the landscapes are multidimensional and diverse. Agdz has a very interesting old medina and Tamnougalt is a 500 year old Ksar which is well worth seeing. We will discover more ancient rock art sites on our way to Zagora where we will stay the night.

Day 5 – Tuesday: Zagora – Tamagroute – Tidri – Ouled Driss – Bounou

Leaving Zagora, we will visit the old medina, then, at the village of Tamagroute, we will visit the subterranean kasbah, the old Qur’anic library and the famous green pottery workshops. As the landscapes become more open and the oasis of the Draa valley narrows we cross the final pass before the desert. Here we will stop to discover an ancient necropolis. Following the Draa River we pass through several ancient and historic Ksours; Regabi, Ouled Driss and Bounou where we will spend the night.

Day 6 – Wednesday: Bounou

Today we discover ancient sites scattered with remains of forgotten civilisations. The night in Bounou.

Day 7 – Thursday: Bounou – Chegaga – Lake Iriki – Foum Zguid – Tazenakht

After an early breakfast, we leave the tarmac road where it disappears into the Sahara Desert sands. From here we are immersed in the regs and ergs, the dunes and tamarisks, and we discover archaeological wonders; fossils from the Cambrian period, a Sacred oasis and transhumance rock art. We cross the dry lake of Iriki and Foum Zguid and spend the night in Tazenakht, home of the most superb Berber carpet makers in the Anti Atlas Mountains.

Day 8 – Friday: Tazenakht – Taliouine – Ijoukak – Marrakech

We cross the Anti Atlas, pass through the saffron capital of Taliouine and return to Marrakech via the high pass of Tizi n´Test passing through Berber Villages lost in time in the mountain valleys and hillsides.

Day 9 – Saturday: Marrakech Guided Tour

Marrakech discovery. Dinner together and closing talks.

Day 10 – Sunday: Departures.

______________________________________________

Price per person: 1050 EUR

Payment via bank transfer/PayPal/Western Union (these incur a small fee).

A 25% non refundable deposit is to be paid by 14th February 2018.

The rest of the amount is paid by 20th March 2018.

 

Price includes: accommodation, all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), entry fees to sites, travel by 4×4, experienced multilingual local guides, airport transfers, water in the 4×4´s and an unforgettable experience. Water is usually served with meals, any extra drinks must be paid for.

Price does not include: flights to/from Morocco, personal insurance, medication if needed, personal necessities, tips for staff and drivers, soft drinks.

Minimum number of participants :7

______________________________________________

Your facilitator in Morocco:

Karima Rebecca Powell – experienced insider specialized and based in Morocco

http://www.letsgo2morocco.com/

https://web.facebook.com/LetsGo2Morocco/#

 

Your contact person:

Adrienn Gecse, PhD – a researcher in Oriental and African studies, based in Hungary

https://adrienngecse.wordpress.com/

sharabeti@yahoo.com

+36 30 415 28 11

Fb-event: https://www.facebook.com/events/360740601069605/

 

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A glimpse of Morocco…

I could only take a glimpse of Morocco this time, and returning home I soon realized that with this trip a new chapter has started, and even if I wanted I could not go back to my ‘pre-Morocco’ life. New projects launched, new goals set and future visits are planned to the country. As a final post for the year, I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Happy New Year to All, thank you for reading me in 2017 too.

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The Desert

Many of us here in Europe misinterpret the desert and its people. We tend to think that the desert people are literally able to wring water from a flint. Bad news is that although they are magical, they are certainly not magicians. They are great at finding water resources and they economize these sources, making sure that their children would not be left without water either. However, various historical events, political and economic interests, together with the effects of climate change resulted in a situation when it is a daily struggle now to find and access water. Water for people, animals, and plants.

On my trip in Morocco I was introduced to many died palmeries, that not too long ago provided livelihood for families and whole communities. There is nothing in their places now but sand. One other misconception about the desert people is that we might think they love sand to the extent that they do not need anything else to live a full life. They need groundwater, rain, and arable land, just to mention the basics. But the desert is gradually seizing lands that were once fertile and cultivated. At certain areas the building of dams caused the desertification of valleys and villages. Even the famous and once rich Draa River valley looked empty and unearthly. Moving to an other place is not always an option. People struggle to provide for themselves and hope for the best. I had a few interesting conversations with those I met along the way. One of them sounded something like this:

Q.: “What happens if people cannot work on the fields anymore?”

A.: “Then someone in the family, the children go the city and try to find some job.”

Q.: “And what if they don’t find any job?”

A.: “Then everyone is in sh.. .”  – came the quite straightforward answer.

Despite all the difficulties, people in Morocco do not seem to give up. They work tirelessly on the fields, they refuse to give in to their situation. And here I would like to share again the campaign run by Lets Go 2 Morocco, that aims to help one of the locals and his community in accessing ground water. Please take a look at the Water is Life campaign, and consider donating.

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Marrakech

It’s crazy busy, colourful, noisy, and still, it feels safe to be there. Even for me, a first time visitor. From the airport it is a short taxi drive to the central Jemaa el Fna, the square where everything exciting takes place. My accommodation for the first night was booked in a hostel off the square, so I could enjoy all a Marrakech night can offer for a tourist. I tried one of the restaurants on the side of the square and while waiting for my food I watched people from all corner of the world immersing themselves in this special atmosphere.

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I went without a guide book, mostly because in the last few years I have realized that a guide book only restricts you. If you are aware of the amount of sights you are obliged to see as a tourist, then you will arrive home exhausted, without feeling the place and space where you were supposed to rest and relax. And I didn’t have much time in Marrakech anyway, because the next day we moved on to the next stop of our journey.

But before that we paid a visit to a special place, where most of West Africa was gathered in a couple of shop. By most of West Africa I mean arts and crafts of West African people and their cultures. I was shocked, to say the least. When you know the background of these objects, and you know the price of what these cultures have paid on the altar of the so called development and international trade, what is the cause of these pieces being gathered on this market now, that is heart breaking. Of course, they are beautiful and wonderful to look at. Even if most of them cannot be considered as traditional or authentic, that is made solely for trade, the amount of information  these objects emit is just overwhelming. Even if you don’t know much about their origin, you might feel that they belong to somewhere else, and that they deserve more than being piled up in an antique shop.

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