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Tampa Prep students had an amazing spring break adventure to Morocco. Led by myself and Mr. Sarkozy, students explored the vastly diverse and culturally rich country for 10 days. Our first stop was the village of Sbiti, where we worked with the Association Azaghar Sbitti for Development to continue the work on a new gymnasium for the community center. The Association focuses on providing educational enrichment opportunities for children and empowerment opportunities for women. Next, we stayed at the peaceful yoga retreat center, Bab Zouina.
After two days of serving the community, we began the long trek to Merzouga - Sahara Desert. Along the way, students learned about the diverse environments of the country, including the Les Gorges de toudra.tinghir مضايق تودغى تنغير. We spent a night Riad Maktoub and engaged in a scavenger hunt in Aït Ben Haddou, Ouarzazate, Morocco. On day two of our road trip, we stopped at the famous Kasbah Amridil - Site Historique.
In the desert, we enjoyed Moroccan hospitality as we glamped! We rode camels, ate amazing food, and enjoyed a festive campfire with music and dancing.
Our drive from the desert to Marrakech included a stop at the home of one of our in-country guides. His family welcomed us and treated us to another great meal. His father, a local iman, shared his hopes for our safe journey and prosperous lives.
Before going to Marrakech, we stopped in Sbiti to bid farewell to the children. On the way, we experience a special treat - snow in the Atlas mountains!
We spent three nights in Marrakech, during which we explored the market visited the famous Place Jemâa el-Fna and the Slat al Azama Synagogue. In addition, we had cooking and Arabic calligraphy lessons.
Finally, our last night was made special as one of our guides had everyone in her grandparent's home where we danced to Gnawa music, had henna tattoos, and savored the most authentic Moroccan dinner prepared by her mom and aunts.
While I missed spending my spring break with my own family, I am thankful for the opportunity to share this journey with students. As a teacher of world history, I truly believe that this type of travel enhances students' educational experience in a way that nothing else really can. Learning through experience is a blessing and a privilege that I hope all students get to engage in.