Mohammedia and Ben Slimane

Sunday, April 12, 2009
Mohammedia, Morocco
We had a very busy, but great day today! Our first stop was visiting the "Oasis" Rotary club, where a blood drive was going on. Di, as a former nurse, got to take someone's blood pressure. The building also had a classroom, and a room for women to practice sewing. They also had a small "library" that they use to give books to young boys. After that, we went to Mohammedia, a city north of Casablanca, and had lunch at "Yacht Club de Maroc." It was terrific, but we were very full afterwards!

After lunch we made a quick stop at a vineyard, "Le Ryad du Vigneron," and sampled a little white wine that tasted a lot like chablis . (Any thoughts of us not getting to drink wine or beer here have been quickly dispelled!) :) Then we drove to Ben Slimane, a small town east of Mohammedia, where Mohammad showed us a reform school. At this school, his Rotary club, Mers Sultan, funded a solar system so the rooms could have hot water. Before this, there was no water in any of the rooms.

Mohammad also told us about how this club, along with clubs in Britain and France funded pipelines to get water to people out in the country more easily. We saw people on the roads carrying water in jugs, as some families without running water how to travel several kilometers to have access to it. He said some of these families earn less than $1 a day. He also said they are trying to get water out to one of the local schools. Because of the work Rotary did, almost 600 people have better access to water!

We had a great (and busy) day, but what I will remember most is thinking about how we take so much for granted in our country - running water, electricity, enough food, etc. It was very humbling. I'm also amazed how Rotary does so many wonderful things all over the world, yet many people have no idea.

Our hosts have been just terrific. They are so gracious and so kind, and we all keep joking that we're not coming home (just kidding mom!). :)
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