After an eventful weekend in Marrakech and a good rest at their homestays, our students came back refreshed and ready to learn more. They have improved tremendously in their reading and writing skills, which really shows during the dictation sessions and reading the signs in public areas. They learned new words and expressions that they have been practicing during their community conversations. They are more confident and comfortable now ordering food and drinks at restaurants, shopping on their own, and even stopping people in the streets to strike up a conversation (under the supervision of the program leaders). In week 3 of the program, students are able to greet properly and introduce themselves with some details, order and buy stuff at the best prices because of their excellent bargaining skills, talk about the weather and appropriate clothing, converse about everyday things, tell you about the best places to see in Rabat, and much more!
On Tuesday, students visited the Oulja crafts complex in Salé on the Bouregreg river bank. The complex is a collection of workshops of artisans creating beautiful and handmade pottery, metal art, bamboo baskets, mosaics, and more. The students had a guided tour of the place where they learned about the many different art forms produced there. They learned about the traditional and more modern ways of making these art pieces. They also met and spoke with many artisans who have been working there for more than 40 years as these crafts have been passed down through generations in their families. The students chose the art form they wanted to learn and had a workshop taught by the experts. Some students chose to do pottery while others learned how to make bamboo baskets. We didn’t know we had budding artists amongst us J. The pictures tell it all! Many of the students proudly went home with handmade tagines, baskets, and other beautifully decorated pieces.