When in 2011 we first planned going to Morocco for the gold Duke of Edinburgh award I thought that the most difficult aspect would be the fundraising. This was tough enough over the course of 18 months but it was actually the 4 day expedition that was the greatest challenge of all, despite 2 training expeditions in the UK, it is difficult to replicate the dry heat that dehydrates over the long distances involved. The 7 students rose to the challenge and we should be proud of how they coped with the 4 days and 3 nights of mountain trekking as a group. We then were straight into the residential, with our project to build a wall for a new garden for the village school, and also entertaining 11 10-12 year old boys who also helped with the building. In particular their 2 treasure hunts were a triumph, although one boy was distraught as he could not find one of the clues!
We also visited 2 of the village families and took their animals to the meadows, collected grass, learned how to cook a tagine, couscous (properly), bake bread and brew mint tea. We finished our trip with a short stay in Marrakech, visiting the souks (markets) so that we could buy souvenirs such as teapots of our memorable stay. I am sure the students will never forget the friendliness of the people in the Atlas Mountains, how they made music using any available pans as drums, and the amazing scenery all around us.