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Ronald Porter
Acting Director of Service Learning

Eckerd College
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Service Learning

Service Learning

Morocco: Spring Break '10


View photos from Morocco

For ten days I lived and breathed Morocco. I became so accustomed to life there. Wake up at eight or nine o'clock for breakfast. After breakfast two to three students were assigned to do the dishes while the rest of us started the 5-6 hours of service work that consisted of digging out the side of a mountain with pick axes, shovels, and a rake to build a garden. Lunch at two o'clock; rest until four then back to work. On the first couple of days three students accompanied by two Berber men were allowed to go into the town for a few hours. At six o'clock or so a snack was provided then we rested before dinner at nine. In the late afternoon we would sit and talk, go for walks in the villages or down to the rushing riverbed. One day we even helped herd sheep; another day we climbed a mountain. The students on our trip became a family, our personalities meshed together with ease.

I stayed in the Atlas Mountains in a small village at the Berber Culture Center with my group. From the house I could see the white tips of mountain peaks. I could see the Cacti form the shape of a flowing river outlined in the rocky hills. I saw little boys herd sheep down past the Center on the dusty road yelling and kicking up rocks as they went. Every morning I woke to the sound of a rooster crow, and the aroma of fresh baked bread lured me out of bed. In the early morning the mist coated the hills of sprinkled green. One night I watched the full moon rise above the distancing mountain in the midst of neighboring clusters of stars. The moon was greeted with howls from domestic and stray dogs that sent chills of wonder down my spine.

My time in Morocco is still fresh in my mind. I know that the service work on the garden made an impression. Maybe the plants will die but the friends that we made there will not. We were more than visitors to these people we became family. They were enchanting and they showed us a lifestyle of simplicity and beautiful. I believe my time was well spent in that small Berber village next to the Atlas Mountains. I hope that one day I will go back and be welcomed as family once more.
By Sarah Yost, '13

View photos from Morocco

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