Report on Friendship Force Exchange to Morrocco – March 24 – April 6, 2013

This was the first Friendship Force Humanitarian Exchange to Morocco with local FF Ambassadors: Deanna Bradley, Charles King and Exchange Director, Joyce Rulon.  Nineteen additional Ambassadors from the U.K, NH, FL, GA, NC, NM, OH, TX and AZ joined the Exchange. The group was made up of 2 doctors, 3 registered nurses, 1 pharmacist and 2 medical techs.  Needless to say, we were not concerned about handling medical emergencies.

Iz Morocco 2013 383 Joyce on lead camel 0-1 0-2 0-3 0-4 Photo 025 Photo 012 Scan10001 Scan10002The 22 Ambassadors presented their monetary donations to the Women’s Co-operative of Kassar Bouia to help with construction of a new building for their members. They support their activities by marketing coffee that they make from roasted date seeds. The lovely young women of the co-op welcomed us with a tea ceremony and hosted a yummy lunch of roasted lamb, salad and fruit.  We were invited to help with the preparations. Many of us helped while others attended an art workshop.

We were served tea at The Assoc. for the Deaf of Mrirt.  This school for the deaf teaches children up to 14 years of age.  We sat in on their classrooms and observed their enthusiasm in their classes that teach them sign language.  We observed that they have 6 computers in one of their classrooms but they were not in use during our visit.  We fell in love with these children and the school will receive our donation of the surplus from our Exchange.

We had 2 night homestays in Azrou.  One activity there was a henna ceremony for the women. Most choose to have their hands painted in beautiful designs with the henna.

The majority of the Ambassadors had traveled the world and all agreed that their Morocco experience was by far their best ever. Thanks to our wonderful guide, Ali, and “Experience It Tours.”  Ali deserves praise and is being featured in travel magazines, thanks to our Ambassadors from Dallas who have submitted articles.

Thank you FFO for this opportunity to be your Exchange Director to Morocco. At this point it is the Highlight of my life.

Respectfully submitted,

Joyce Rulon