Two weeks ago we welcomed our newest international volunteer, Elsa Gunnarsdottir! We are thrilled to kick-off the busy summer period of international volunteering at Centre Amane by adding Elsa to our ranks.
Elsa has joined our team from Norway, though she is originally from Iceland and currently studying at Duke University in the United States of America. Her role is womenâs project support, working closely with our local social worker and womenâs project coordinator, Touria. Additionally, Elsa is taking on twice-weekly English classes with two different English levels in our education support programme with young people at Centre Amane.
During her first two weeks of induction, Elsa has started learning Moroccan Arabic, Standard Arabic and Moroccan culture. She has also met her local buddy as part of the volunteer projectâs buddy system and been on her first outing with the womenâs group to visit anoth
er womenâs association. Elsa has even already had her first in-country travel experience and spent a weekend exploring the famous Marrakesh. She is settling in very quickly to her new Moroccan surroundings…
âAfter some flight delays, I didnât arrive at the Agadir airport until 2 in the morning. Two of the Moroccan volunteers greeted me there and as we drove back into Taroudannt, the stars were so clear in the sky it was like driving into a fairytale. I really did not know what to expect of Taroudannt other than what I had read online or heard from other volunteers with whom I had been in touch.
In Morocco, people make sure to take their time to greet each other, even people they do not know well, and I was touched at how welcome I felt instantly. As I didnât know any Darija (Moroccan Arabic), I was asking a lot of questions about everything and attempting to mimic other peopleâs actions to try to adapt to Moroccan way of life.
Iâve had a great time getting to know all the people at the Centre Amane, learning Arabic and getting to know more about Taroudannt and different aspects of Moroccan culture. I feel like I have already learned a lot and cannot believe I have only been here for two weeks. At the same time I feel like I have experienced so much that it feels as if it has been longer! I look forward to learning more about Moroccan culture and about the work at the Centre Amane for my next two months in this beautiful city.
The next two months promise to be an exciting time for both Elsa and her new colleagues in Taroudannt. We wish her all the best and hope to offer her the highest level of support to help her achieve her goals during her volunteering experience.