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World March Blog
21 November 2009

Goodbye to Morocco – for now

Our last bus-day in Morocco started softly, as we did not leave Agadir at 7 a.m. like in the original plan but at 11 a.m. Not only did some of us go to the beach in Agadir but also in Guelmim most of us went to a hammam, a local bath. Not quite the same as the Finnish sauna that I’m used to, the hammam was in any case a pleasant and exotic experience. The muscular masseurs treated our bodies in ways that made the subject of the treatment scream and some would also start laughing. The scene was a bit surrealistic, but the result was an effective physical relaxation.

Guelmim is known as the gateway to Sahara. On the way to there, the bushes became smaller and smaller, and finally after going over some hills, they started disappearing. However, when we left Guelmim it was already dark, and we did not get to actually see the desert – only feel its presence around us. We had another television interview in Guelmim, with channel 1, which is the state television channel; it seems there are three channels, 1 state channel, M2 mixed and a third one which is private.

We also stopped in Tan-Tan and danced with the children and youth, some of them tuaregs, desert people. The tea ceremony this time was conducted from a typical desert tent, which was a charming detail. At least we got a bit in contact with Sahara already – in Mauritania we will return to the desert.

The World March has travelled through several places where there are conflicts related to border disputes, and the southern part of Morocco is one of them. The situation is complex, with many kinds of interests in play, and also our security and the security of our people in the area has to be taken in account in the way we speak and act about these issues. Our approach is always in the side of those who use the methodology of nonviolence, but we also do not seek to provoke and try to be cautious not to intentionally nor unintentionally support one or another faction in their craving for power over other people and natural resources. Therefore here in this blog I will not comment on this issue and we have agreed to leave possible more elaborate public statements on this basically to our international spokesperson Rafael de la Rubia.

Our last day in the bus was more peaceful also from the side of our Moroccan World March team, and I figured that the wild party of the day before had to do with one Moroccan member’s birthday and the independence day of Morocco. All in all, those of us who came to Morocco through Nador, travelled a total of approximately 2000 kilometres in three and a half days with the Moroccan bus and participated in a countless number of tea ceremonies. The Moroccan team is now back on the road, doing the same 2000 kilometres again, each returning to their homes. Their dedicated care and hospitality towards us was incredible and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who looks forward to one day returning to Morocco.

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