Laura Dingsdale Morocco

What members of staff do you remember the most and why? Abdel- He used to check on us each night to ensure we obeyed the carefew. He had was very supportive and helpful and assisted me whilst I was ill during my stay. He also had a great sense of humour.

What were your impressions of the accommodation?
The accommodation was neither excellent nor below average. The riad was beautiful and very traditional. The cleaner ensured that it was always clean and was extremely pleasant and always polite. The balcony was a lovely addition to the riad as it was nice to have a sunbathe during the dayand a chat with other volunteers at night whilst it was cool.

Why did you want to volunteer?
I wanted to volunteer to extend my experiences of working with children. I am currently working towards a degree in primary education. Morrocco seemed like an interesting place to visit and I have always been interested in the culture.I wanted to make a difference to people’s lives, however small a favour may be, each volunteering experience can have an impact on many peoples lives.

Do you feel you made a difference, how?
I ensured that I participated in as many programmes as I could. I got stuck in and gave it my all. Seeing the smile on children’s, adults and even babies faces made me realise that charities and organisations like original volunteers are so important. It also made me open my eyes and appreciate how lucky I am. I loved doing the feeding programme mainly.

What did you do for fun?
Waterfalls, Sahara desert-camels!!

When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?
Sahara desert- This was an amazing trip. I absolutely loved every minute of it. Riding on a camel and camping out in a desert is something I can tick off my ‘to do’ list. The desert people were lovely and cooked us an amazing chicken tagine and soup. They were very welcoming.

Who did you make friends with and for what reasons?
I made many friends during my stay. These were people mainly from my riad. You get to know people so well when you live with them full time. It definitely helped with my social skills and interacting with others from different backgrounds, ethnic groups and countries.

What were the names of the best places to hang out and socialise
We used to love going to the souks at night. We would hang around the market and buy lots of cool Moroccan things. We also loved eating out at some of the fantastic restaurants in the new town and it the surrounding local area. There was a pleasant place near our riad that sold Paninis and chips. We would indulge on some of this food and sit in the riad.

Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers?
Possibly- the only difficulty I had with Morocco was the climate. I am very fair skinned and I find hot weather hard to bear. I would love to visit Thailand

What would you say/recommend to a friend who was interested in volunteering?
Factor 50 suncream!
Participate in as many programmes as you can
Drink lot’s of water
Take part in the trips on days off. They are exciting and enjoyable

What items would you suggest future volunteers pack?
Lot’s of tshirts!! Pants and scarves, suncream, sleeping bag, torch, lots of resources for the children and programmes you go and visit.

How much money would you suggest you take per week?
About £100-£150

Could you offer any tips to future volunteers?
Just be yourself!And the experience is what you make it!