The team and I just got back from exploring a Berber village. Here’s a quick background on the Berber people. Before the Arabs came over to North Africa, the Berbers were already here as the original inhabitants and their history goes back over six thousand years. Since then, their way of life hasn’t changed much. They are a farming/shepherding people who can be found in all climates here, whether that be in the mountains, deserts, or anywhere in between.
The village we explored was in the mountains. To get there we had two guides who took us on a hike which took most of the day. We started out at the foot of the mountain and went half the day, stopped for lunch and a nap, then went the rest of the day hiking up the rest of the way. Our guides were a lot of fun to walk with. They spoke English pretty well and loved to joke around with us, sometimes putting rocks or sticks in our packs to mess with us.
Once we got to the village we all rested and ate dinner. The family we stayed with was very welcoming and liked talking with us. However, they were really busy and couldn’t talk with us a lot because one of the women there had just given birth to a baby the night before! That night we slept on the roof of the house under the stars, and since we were in the middle of the mountains with no lights around, we could see them brilliantly in the clear sky.
The next day we spent a while playing games with a soccer ball and one of the guides set up a few brain teasers for us to try. We also played some basketball in a very MacGyver-ish way. They didn’t have a basketball net, so I had the privilege to climb on the roof and hold a straight hat that was being used as the basket while my face served as the backboard.
We were also able to go on a walk that night to see what the mountains looked like when it was dark. The difference between night and day was amazing. That night we were able to sleep on the roof again and look at the stars; it never got old.
The next morning we were woken up very early by a rooster who was walking around the roof with us – an experience not a lot of people get to have back in America. That day after breakfast, we said goodbye to our family and started our hike down the mountain. The views were amazing and every turn we took was a picture view.
The thing I like most about this trip was how relaxed everything was there. It was a small community of just over one hundred people and everyone knew each other. It seemed that everyone knew what they had to do each day and they got it done. It was a pleasant and quiet community, and you could tell all of the people held a very strong bond with each other.