World Challenge – Morocco 2018
15th August 2018
Seven slightly nervous students set off from school with Mrs Atkins at the beginning of July on a two week adventure that would see them transformed into mature and independent problem solvers, with an enthusiasm for experiences of new cultures and landscapes. Here’s what Mrs Atkins has to say about the trip:
Our adventure began in the city of Taroudant where the team embarked on a project that would transform a local school, to help it continue to educate local youngsters and ensure they had the best possible chance of gaining employment. The school took particular pride in its work with disabled students. The work was tiring but the team showed that the 40 degree heat was not going to stop them from achieving fantastic results. A range of new skills were learned to enable the new sanitation to be installed and the new floor tiles to be laid. Strong biceps were needed as we all took a turn at mixing cement by hand! Fundraising for the project included a long-distance cycle ride, ice lolly sales and a non-uniform day. These funds helped to purchase the materials needed for the work and to provide furniture, ceiling fans and curtains.
After saying a sad farewell to our project hosts, the minibus took us up into the mountains to begin our week long trek. The highlight of the trip was summiting Oukaimeden mountain. It stands at 3258 metres high and the team felt the effects of the altitude to varying levels. Determination and strength were shown in abundance as the team battled with heat, lower levels of oxygen and the steep scramble to the top. Views across the High Atlas Mountain range made the effort worth every step though! Our trek continued through the mountains and then down to traditional Berber villages, passing through valleys lined by walnut trees. Local children came out to greet us as we passed through their villages and appreciated our attempts to say hello and how are you in Berber: “ salam, labas”.
The final stage of this amazing trip was a much needed rest and relaxation phase in the town of Essaouira; giving us some welcome sea breezes. We shopped in the souks, rode camels in the sand dunes and spent time enjoying delicious Moroccan mint tea and tagines in the local restaurants.
It’s hard to believe that after nearly 18 months of planning and preparing, that our adventure is over. I feel incredibly privileged to have spent time with such fantastic teenagers. I am so happy and proud to have witnessed some amazing achievements, some almost unbelievable increases in confidence and to be reminded that Trinity students have courage and resilience by the bucket load! The value of World Challenge specifically and travel in general could be found at every moment of every day in at least one of the team. I am confident that the experiences of this adventure will stay with the team and help them to face the new challenges that lie ahead.
Here’s what some of the team said:
“It’s been an amazing experience seeing different cultures and pushing myself fully out of my comfort zone.”
“It has really opened my eyes.”
“I have enjoyed the trip so much. I loved the project and the trip has 100% opened up my eyes to so much. Words cannot say how grateful I am to have had this opportunity.”