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"And so it ends, our quest for truth. We have sought and found, and

returned home to share our wisdom and enjoy its security and

satisfactions. Doubts have been laid to rest, questions answered-at

least for now.

Until the next time, when we feel again that certain restiveness of

spirit, that insatiable yearning of the heart, that ceaseless circling

of the mind about an idea, which we now know can be resolved only by

embarking on a quest. For a quest is not a once-in-a-lifetime

experience but a continuous activity, with each search for truth going

out in a new direction, or farther and deeper in an old direction. Our

successful completion of one quest and return home represents an end

that becomes a beginning, forming the starting point for the next

journey. In time, as we accrue experience in this arduous and

exhilarating activity, we may find ourselves engaged in several quests

at once: here responding to a call to adventure, there receiving a

revelation, being tested on one matter while returning home to

announce the resolution of another matter. Though each quest

culminates at the same point, each time bringing us back to the

community or stage in life or world view that we initially left, we

return knowing the place more profoundly than before.

After a lifetime of questing, each of us will have grown immeasurably

in knowledge, in compassion, and in depth of spirit. But the rewards

of our seeking do not accrue to us, the seekers, alone. As we return

again and again, sharing with our respective communities the insights

we have gained, we contribute over a period of time to the building of

a larger communal vision. This vision, woven like a tapestry from the

threads we individually supply from our private quests, and as richly

colored and intricately patterned as our respective truths will be,

provides sustenance, guidance, and hope to the community as a whole in

much of the same fashion that our individual systems of meaning do for

us. And this communal vision can be constructed only form our private

visions, since the community in which we now live has become too

diverse and far-flung to function unilaterally, as a whole, in

declaring its truths.

So the incentive for going on a quest appears larger than we initially

thought. Our suffering and our solutions, our seeking and our finding,

are not for ourselves alone, but for all of humanity."

by Kathy Fuson Hurt

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Morocco, Summer 2007

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The Return, from The Quest

Cara Lane,Morocco, Summer 2007

Description

"And so it ends, our quest for truth. We have sought and found, and returned home to share our wisdom and enjoy its security and satisfactions. Doubts have been laid to rest, questions answered-at least for now. Until the next time, when we feel again that certain restiveness of spirit, that insatiable yearning of the […]

Posted On

08/12/07

Author

Cara Lane

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Its been six weeks, and though i miss home, i am positive im not ready to go back. a few nights ago we rested on our roof in Sidi Kaouki in flickering candlelight as wind spiced with salt whispered secrets of the ocean and of Morocco in our ears. huddling together we spoke of each other in a manner that proved to all present that we have indeed grown. We survived the obstacles and became stronger for it. I, for one, became teary as i heard my fellow travelers praise each other and myself. I am immensely touched. though im not very religious, more spiritual, I pray that we remain changed and continue to grow and as people always have a bond, even if we are unable to talk - i desire us to maintain a spiritual connection and travel through life and enjoy all moments. Thank you everyone for all that you have done, i really mean it! Morocco and you will always be in my heart.

Loving you all for always,

Blessed Be,

Maria

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Morocco, Summer 2007

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Final Day in Morocco

Maria,Morocco, Summer 2007

Description

Its been six weeks, and though i miss home, i am positive im not ready to go back. a few nights ago we rested on our roof in Sidi Kaouki in flickering candlelight as wind spiced with salt whispered secrets of the ocean and of Morocco in our ears. huddling together we spoke of each […]

Posted On

08/6/07

Author

Maria

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Our first full day in Fes! Today I woke up to the sounds of the city and soon after my host family brought breakfast. We all sat down and ate delicious bread. After a day of being with the group in the Medina we got some time to ourselves. This was an adventure for me. A few of us wandered the Medina. There were hidden Mosques and schools. The occasional patch of blue sky wouild burst through the merchants tarps. People would invite us in just to look around or even to come back later for mint tea.

Smells would overwhelm me. Some were super musky like the incense Sweet and tasty like the honeyed bread or dizy-like as for the various meats and animals. As soon as you gave something a second glace the bargining would begin. The merchant would say something really insanely high...and then I would offer about a third of the state price. After quite some time I would finally get it down to something I didnt mind paying. The deal was done.

Fes is such an amazing and unique city. I desire to know it more indepth in the next few days.

Until later

Peace and love

Maria

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Morocco, Summer 2007

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Being in the Medina

Maria,Morocco, Summer 2007

Description

Our first full day in Fes! Today I woke up to the sounds of the city and soon after my host family brought breakfast. We all sat down and ate delicious bread. After a day of being with the group in the Medina we got some time to ourselves. This was an adventure for me. […]

Posted On

07/25/07

Author

Maria

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Mersuga Mersuga......out of the coolness and into the Sahara! so after the homestays we took a trip into mersuga where we got ready for a camel trek into the amazing dunes of the sahara and a hike up the highest dune. To get to mersuga we first went to Erfoud (probably not the right spelling sorry) where what felt like we got attacked by little children trying to sell us tissues and candy along with another thousand things as well as men shoving bus tickets and offering prices to get to a thousand places. Luckily we only had lunch in erfoud and stocked up on water and hopped on another cab to get us to mersuga. Being that we look like tourist although we are very much travellers the cab drivers tried to rip us off but we had mohamed and cara and slade to set them straight and shuma them when they tried to swear at us for not over paying. In mersuga we settled our things in a room of an auberge nestled right on the edge of the sahara. We had a lesson on development in 3rd world countries that was very interesting and a great topic of conversation. We met our guide put sun screen on and covered well and off we went to meet our interesting camels. Getting on the camels was fun lol although it was quite painful for the boys heehee. The camel trek lasted about 2 hours well enjoyed with lots of pictures laughter stories smiles and enjoying our surroundings. Althouhg getting there was fun it most certqinly didnt neat the sandstorm experience when we trekked to the top of the highest dune in all of Mersuga. Most of the group made all the way to the top while cara ann maria and myself decided that a sandstorm was not for us and we rolled down the dune. on the other hand the group that didnt persevered through the intense and blinding sandstorm just barely making the top. At the top the group was able to get get a hazy glimpse of the algerian border only 6 km away from the dune. From the bottom us that had rolled down could hear the yelling of "hey guys hold hands" "stay together" "who are you over there" and "we must go on" "we can do it" lol it was quite funny and unforgettable for us all. the next morning we went back to the auberge and enjoyed well deserved showers had amazing breakfast and went to imilchil but i'll let sum1 else tell that experience.

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Morocco, Summer 2007

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mersuga

nichole,Morocco, Summer 2007

Description

Mersuga Mersuga……out of the coolness and into the Sahara! so after the homestays we took a trip into mersuga where we got ready for a camel trek into the amazing dunes of the sahara and a hike up the highest dune. To get to mersuga we first went to Erfoud (probably not the right spelling […]

Posted On

07/20/07

Author

nichole

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    [post_date] => 2007-07-14 00:00:00
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Tommorrow morning our team will rise early in the morning and say goodbye to the 8 generous host families of Ait Reidi. We will travel across the one and only main road of the south to bring us to the infamous Erg Chebbi sand dunes of the Sahara (outside of Merzouga).

Our last few days in this remarkable community (I may be a bit biased) have been incredibly rewarding. We took a trip to a local cooperative; metalworkers who specialize in traditional daggars. The ornate metalwork is decorated with Arab, Berber, Muslim, and Moroccan symbols and traditionally worn by men at their weddings. Two students (Annie and Maria) took a few extra hours at the cooperative to learn a little metal working themselves. The cooperative workers were amazed that these two young women wanted to learn their trade and eagerly showed them tequniques of daggar making, and then put them right to work.

Yesterday, with the local Association TAMNASTE, our group painted a room at the local elementary school. Working with the associaiton members and local youth, we repainted all the walls, and painted three walls with murals. This service project was a great opportunity for our team to work together, show their individual talents, and to give a tangible thanks to a community that has welcomed us with open arms.

The time in Ait Reidi is winding down, but our hope is that the memeories from these last 5 days will stay with us for years to come. Living, eating, working, and laughing with Moroccan families is a truely unique experinece. Most visitors to morocco never have the privelage to sit inside a mud house and watch how daily life unfolds in Morocco.

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Morocco, Summer 2007

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Moving to the desert

Cara,Morocco, Summer 2007

Description

Tommorrow morning our team will rise early in the morning and say goodbye to the 8 generous host families of Ait Reidi. We will travel across the one and only main road of the south to bring us to the infamous Erg Chebbi sand dunes of the Sahara (outside of Merzouga). Our last few days […]

Posted On

07/14/07

Author

Cara

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    [post_date] => 2007-07-12 00:00:00
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Hey all,

right now we're on our third day of our rural home stay in a tiny village called Ait Ridi. It's only a few minutes away from Khalat M'Gouna, which is a decent sized town that our leader Cara spent her home stay for the Peace Corps. This aspect of the trip is truly unique. Without knowing much Berber(Tamazirght), we were thrown out of our comfort zone to spend five days with a family for a complete cultural emersion. On the first day, I was overwhelmed with nervousness and dreaded parting with a group I had finally grown accustomed too. Around four o'clock on Tuesday my house mother picked me up from the village association and walked me down a narrow alley way into their house. I was terrified. Regardless of my mother's warm and welcoming disposition, my stomach was aching and i felt so home sick for a familiar face and something to keep me busy. Though it was slightly awkward and hard at first, I adjusted rather quickly. After using a lot of sign language to get across that my stomach didn't feel all that well, I lay down next to my house mother who rubbed my back and fed me fresh squeezed orange juice. We lay in silence for awhile with the television on softly in the background playing Arabic soap operas. It was then that i was able to close my eyes and come to peace with the moment. This homestay has made me appreciate Morocco the most, with the laid back patient life style, simple, but delicious food, openess, etc. Of course there are some uncomortable moments. Wednesday morning i woke to the baahing of our goat, which we bought for the Hefla (party) on Saturday to thank our parents. Once I was able to open my eyes, I saw Faridah and Zuleha staring at me eager or me to wake up. They are my two house siblings and they are beyond sweet. Faridah, the younger one is around five or six, while Zuleha is about seven or eight. While they are both young, they can take better care of themselves than i can in Morocco. They teach me how to sweep the floors, clean the dishes, walk to and from places in the village all on their own while i'm at least ten years older than them. Though this has home stay has been difficult at times and i've missed the comfort of our group, I have learned so much from my family and i'm so grateful to have experienced this.

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Morocco, Summer 2007

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July 12th

Ait Ridi,Morocco, Summer 2007

Description

Hey all, right now we’re on our third day of our rural home stay in a tiny village called Ait Ridi. It’s only a few minutes away from Khalat M’Gouna, which is a decent sized town that our leader Cara spent her home stay for the Peace Corps. This aspect of the trip is truly […]

Posted On

07/12/07

Author

Ait Ridi

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Sorry we have been out of touch for some time, but in rural Morocco internet is scarce. Anyway, here in Morocco we just finished a 5 day mule assisted trek across the High Atlas. We passed the second highest mountain in all of Morocco then followed it's melting snow down the M'goun river. In two days we had over twenty river crossings. This included a thirty minute stretch in which we were wading straight down a box canyon. In some places the walls stretched as high as the Grand Canyon and in others, we could touch both canyon walls with each hand. The red color reminded me of Colorado and Utah. The river was lined with some of Moroccos most special people. The Berber people found this precious river flowing down the middle of this valley thousands of years ago, but life has changed little. In this high desert the river is the source of life. The kids all have thick dreads that sticks in every direction. They all want to play and will not leave your side for hours. They teach us all games, smile and laugh. Our Berber guides were from Mohamed's village. They all play their drums, sing and dance each night. We are experiencing Morocco as very few ever can. We sleep under the stars each night talking of how small we are and what exist beyond. The whole experience took it's toll on our energy levels, but we are all stronger, as a group and individuals. Our adventure has just begun.

We move into some wonderful homestays today. The town is precious, the people are great. Cara met each family yesterday and tells us they are buzzing with energy to meet their new American brothers and sisters. In discovering the love and genuine hospitality of these wonderful people, we should be able to connect to Morocco in a whole new way.

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Morocco, Summer 2007

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The M’Goun Masif

Slade Cogswel,Morocco, Summer 2007

Description

Sorry we have been out of touch for some time, but in rural Morocco internet is scarce. Anyway, here in Morocco we just finished a 5 day mule assisted trek across the High Atlas. We passed the second highest mountain in all of Morocco then followed it’s melting snow down the M’goun river. In two […]

Posted On

07/10/07

Author

Slade Cogswel

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    [post_date] => 2007-07-09 00:00:00
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So we just got back from the trek. 5 days hiking in the high atlas. its so exciting to say we did it. i mean who can say they hiked the high atlas for 5 days?? no one i know anyway. trekking in the village we encountered many villages and people. From day one to day 5 you could tell the progressing difference in villages the children's education and even physical looks. Although there were many differences, the hospitality of everyone in every village we encountered was immense. Everyone we encountered didn't think twice about greeting us with a wave a smile and a warm bonjour or salaam. I must say it felt so nice and warm when i child came up to one of us and shook out hand. On our solo i had the opportunity to look around and see what and who i was surrounded by and it was definetly an eye opener. At home which for me is New York we seem to think that if we had anything less we wouldn't be happy but seeing those children with worn out sandals and obviously not new clothes yet so happy really made me think twice. These people that live in the middle of no where are so happy and satisfied with what they have then so can I. Trekking was a tad bit difficult but i'm glad we did it. Before the trek we all said what our goals would be during the treck and i'm proud to say we all accomplished each individual goal with the help of each other and the inspiration of the people around us. Moroccan people are beautiful inside and out. We're really around the most welcoming and humble people i've seen in a while.

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Morocco, Summer 2007

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Trekking away…

Nichole,Morocco, Summer 2007

Description

So we just got back from the trek. 5 days hiking in the high atlas. its so exciting to say we did it. i mean who can say they hiked the high atlas for 5 days?? no one i know anyway. trekking in the village we encountered many villages and people. From day one to […]

Posted On

07/9/07

Author

Nichole

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For us Morocco has been good. We saw our first medina. We rode our frist souq bus (to the shock of the locals and a police man who had never seen non-moroccans on these buses). We sang with local childern. We swam in a stunning lake. We ate with our hands, a lot. We cooked. We cleaned. We met incredable people. We had a lot of laughs, a few tears, and a whole lot of smiles.

These are the moments, experiences, and people that carry us through each day. They give us the lessons and experiences that tool us for our journey. We are growing as individuals and as a unit. They have had some trouble letting go of their securities, but I know we will step up to the plate. They are embracing Morocco and themselves. They get along as a group, they respect each other, and they embrace the magic of place. If they continue to respect each other and the spirit of Morocco, our potential will be limitless.

We leave orientation first thing tomorrow morning headed for our first trek. The people of the High Atlas Mountains are some of the most beautiful and kind people I have ever known. I cant wait to return to these mountains and have a cup of tea with the locals, this time with some new friends.

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Morocco, Summer 2007

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Morocco

Slade Cogswell,Morocco, Summer 2007

Description

For us Morocco has been good. We saw our first medina. We rode our frist souq bus (to the shock of the locals and a police man who had never seen non-moroccans on these buses). We sang with local childern. We swam in a stunning lake. We ate with our hands, a lot. We cooked. […]

Posted On

07/1/07

Author

Slade Cogswell

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Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons' Morocco Summer Program 2007-2008. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, future itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course's Yak board for additional itinerary-related postings and updates.


Week One:

Fly into Casablanca and head to the Atlantic Coastal town of Safi for orientation;, travel by train, explore the history and excitement of Marrakesh. Begin to learn Moroccan Arabic; introduction to Islamic tradition.

Week Two:

Head into the High Atlas Mountain for a week long trek; stay in remote Berber villages, learn about the meshing of Arab and Berber cultures. Hike through raw granite mountains, across windblown sandstone plateaus and wend through dramatic limestone gorges.

Week Three:

Travel north to the stunning Torda and Dades gorges, help with existing development projects along the way. Participate in local art school in a nearby village; trek into the hills with nomadic sheep herders of the High Atlas. Move east into the Sahara for camel trek; overnight amid Morocco’s largest sand dunes, Merzouga.

Weeks Four - Five:

Continue north for a 5-day home stay in a rural town in Tazzeka National Park. Explore rarely visited mountain towns in the north; walk among cedar forests; hike 6-days into the Middle Atlas. Head east into the Oudja province to experience an entirely different Moroccan culture. Unwind with a few days on amid the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean coast.

Week Six:

Travel back south through the Rif Mountains to Fes and Meknes; unforgettable bathing experience local hammam; explore exciting souqs (markets) of the area. Wrap up the trip in Rabat, the countries capital, before heading to Casablaca to fly home.

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Morocco, Summer 2007

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Morocco: Sample Itinerary 2007-2008

Dragons Administration,Morocco, Summer 2007

Description

Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons’ Morocco Summer Program 2007-2008. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, future itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course’s Yak board for additional itinerary-related […]

Posted On

01/1/07

Author

Dragons Administration