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Meeting locals in Imlil ✨

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

I already said in the last blog post that I met a girl at a lookout point. This girl is Khadija.

Khadija is 24 years old girl grown up in Asni a village of the Atlas Mountains next to Imlil. She told me that she is married to a man of the village of Imlil.

She now lives in Imlil and does the household.

As I find out later woman here are not allowed to work if they are married. Married woman stay at home. If they are unmarried they are allowed to go working.

As we exchanged numbers at the lookout point we had some conversation over WhatsApp.

She was really friendly and interested and texted me in french that she wanted to see me again.

One day I was walking around the village. I felt not that happy at that moment and thought " yeah why not text the girls and let's see". So I was texting her that I'm in the village. That's how it came that we met.

She invited me to her home.

Her home is a super basic stone house located in the center of Imlil.

I left my shoes at the entry of the house and went into the community room. ( See images)

We had some tea together with her grandparents and were just sitting together. Our conversation was really basic - as they were not speaking any English and my french wasn't that good either. But still it was a awesome feeling.

Her grandpa asked " Toubkal" he wanted to know if I climbed up Mount Toubkal the 4.200mt high mountain. I responded "No"

Most tourist come here to climb up this mountain. That's why I guess he expected that I did it as well.

I found out that he was a shepherd earlier days on. Now as you can see from the image he is quite a old man so he and his wife just stay at home.

We were enjoying a traditional mint tea together. :D Kadihja was laughing a lot and made me directly feel at home. Moroccon people always have time to drink a tea together - it's a nice way to spend time together.

But somehow it's also so different to see how they live. The house is super basic, for me it's hard to imagine living like this.

Seeing their home and also feeling this hospitality makes me realizing that they are not having that much but still they are happy to share what they have even if they have so little.

A average income her of a man is roughly 200€ per month.

After a while we say goodbye. But Khadija already invited me for the next thing. " Je vais a hammam a demain, vous voulez aussi" she askes to me. Awesome! Yes definitely

I haven't been to a Hammam yet and it's a moroccon thing I really would love to experience. So I accepted her invitation.

There is a hammam in Imlil, so that's were we wanted to go.

She texted me and we met up the next day. We were supposed to meet at her home ( which I already knew) at 12:00 o'clock.

As I arrived to her home I thought - well we would be going directly to the hammam but she had different plans. :D She was quite busy cooking. ( See pictures) It was incredible to see her cooking in the kitchen.

So I found out that she wanted to have lunch together. As well there were not only the two of us. There was as well her grandma and aunt.

The lunch was in a tajine, some lentils mixed with breadcrumbs.

We enjoyed the lunch on the terrace. We were sitting together in a round. They all started eating with their hands out of the tajine. I preferred to use a spoon :D . There was again not so much conversation - but smiling faces and laughs.

Somehow the non verbal conversation still gives you good feelings. Somehow I understood that they asked if I am married. As they found out not - they would love to make an arrangement with Omar ( Omar is probably 14 years old - but nevermind :D )

I said thank you and not that I am not interested 😁.

Would be funny though - having a world trip and letting people know " Miriam how is it going?" " Well actually I got married to a moroccon guy in the first week :D " " Mission accomplished ;D"

So what else after having lunch we went to the hammam but unfortunately it was closed . So we decided to go to Asni where she said there is a bigger hammam - which should be nice though.

Arriving in Asni by public transport which cost like 10 Dirham ( 1 €)

Then I found out that there will be her sister joining us for hammam.

Her parents house in Asni so that's why.

The hammam experience :D

So what should I say.

We went inside. It's like room with nothing in it. We undressed except of the slip. And there were only woman.

Her husband which I met before in Imlil already said " Woman are staying like 2 hours in the Hammam - they do it really intensively"

Entering the hammam and what have we done their? It was like scrubbing each others back. Khadija prepared many things for scrubbing and soaps to use.

Each of us had a big can to fill up hot water and to shower ourselves.

After two hours we were almost finished. I never felt that clean 🤣 also without talking we had so much fun we were just laughing and enjoying the time.

To sum it up:

Having spent time with Khadija was really the best thing that could had been happening. Laughing and enjoying time with her family was a true moroccon experience. I really had the chance to experience the true berber hospitality. This experience were unplanned but they will last for a long time. I don't know but since this contact happened I stopped being afraid or being unsure - I had the feeling of having friends or even kind of the "home" feeling far away from home.

As I met her family, and they were all so amazed to have me around - made me feel really welcomed. Maybe because I look differently. Anyway it was amazing to spend the time with them and I hope that they will meet more people in the future. I already receive messages from Khadija that she misses me.

I'm super grateful for the time with them.

Workaway experience:

So probably you are asking yourself, well she did a lot of different things in her free time - but did she not wanted to help Rachid with his webpage?

Yes, I did. But somehow communication is much different to the communication in germany.

I just got the website login credentials and Rachid briefly said that he wanted to have a nicer layout ( well this can mean everything :D ) and a slideshow on the home side.

The first evening we sad together and he said those things.

The next morning I just worked 1-2 hours on the page. But somehow I had problems what to do, or where to began. I just changed minor things.

The next day was pretty similar. Somehow I missed a bit the contact with Rachid. He was not that talkative and I felt hard to understand his business, without knowing a lot about it. He was only telling me what he wanted but not telling me sth. about his passion, live and culture.

What helped me the first days just to step out of the riad and make my own cultural experiences. Even i was a bit afraid of walking around this region at the beginning. I did not know what people will be thinking about "woman" walking around alone.

Ria the other workawayer told me I should not worry - people are super nice. That relaxed me and that's how it came that I felt comfortable to walk around on my own.

Finally I just made amazing experiences with locals and had a great time on my own.

After the third night Rachid came to me. He expected a bit more and we had a deeper chat and finally I changed a lot on the current design as well as created a new layout for his product detail page. The layout he can now copy and use throughout the page.

He was super happy with the work - finally. Even if he is not that guy for huge conversations he thanked me a lot and also told me that I'm always having a room at their place.

I felt happy that within that short period of time I was able to help him and improved his page.

On the other hand I knew that I would be not doing all the work for him. This is something he or another workawayer can easily do by themselves.

I felt that my work is now kind of done here.

But definitely it was a great experience as I love to do webdesign and I had the chance to work with Weebly a new tool.

Where am I now heading?

To the coast!

Now I am making my way to the beach. I wanna spend some time near Taghazout before heading to the next workaway experience. I have the feeling that I want to see the beach. Spend some time there and relax a while.

What else to say:

Finally, i do have the feeling I am exactly where I want to be. Everything works out well. I know I'm having everything I need within myself to connect with people and experience the life in the here and now :)

The fear of the beginning has left and I do have a lot of excitement for new adventures and new people.

Fortsetzung folgt 😊


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1 commentaire

Brahim Moukhli
Brahim Moukhli
02 janv. 2023

Es war mir eine Freude Dein Reisebericht zu lesen …Imlil ist wirklich ganz toll für Naturliebhaber und Wanderer …Das einfache Leben dort war eine Bereicherung auch für mich …Marokko verändert gerade meine Sicht auf das Leben ,bin zwar hier geboren und habe die ersten 20 Jahren im Norden verbracht , die Auswanderung nach Deutschland hat die Sehnsucht nach dem Orient geweckt . Nun mache ich meine Marokko -Reise seit einem Jahr und ich entdecke jedes Mal neue Facetten dieser Kultur ….Danke für das Teilen

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