Monday, November 25, 2013

Une fois, je suis allée au Maroc.

This one time I went to Morocco and it changed my life for the better. I know its been a long time since I blogged but I thought I should get back in to it as I will be starting a new chapter in my life soon. (details to follow in next post).
I went to Morocco back in May with the helping babies breathe program in association with LDS Charities. I had the opportunity to teach midwives in french how to resuscitate newborns. Ironically enough that I was doing the teaching because I was TRULY humbled by these women and the experience that they had, they should have been teaching me, and they were! These women were patient with my broken french, showered me with kindness and gifts when they had so little of their own. They taught me about their circumstances and how hard they work for the women of Morocco. Sometimes pulling 24 hour shifts all by themselves with very limited supplies. These women are my heroines! Whenever I think about my hard days at work, I remember them and their continued diligence. There is a lot thankfully being done to help these women receive the trainings they need, supplies, and most importantly for their voices to be heard. 

The markets and streets of Morocco are absolutely insane! People and cars down these tiny streets everywhere! There are really snake charmer there too. I was in Marrakesh and it was beautiful!

The classroom where I taught over 60 women. I have never prayed harder in my life than in those moments. By the end I really was able to teach and communicate to them more easily.

Where we had lunch. They all eat from this giant bowl in the middle. There is always a salad course then, meat, then fruit. They eat a big lunch and small dinners, which they eat at really late in the night. They also have their cafe break times during the day.

The mosque in the center of town, and all the tangines, which is like their form of a crockpot.

The sign for our conference,

Some of the ladies at my table. One of my favorite groups too!

So fun to teach and learn with them.

The group of teachers, humanitarian directors, and in country "missionaries" (not really because they cannot proselyte, but they are making great strides in creating relations in the country for the church love them!) Dr. Alouia, Brother and Sister Flake, Bother and Sister Madsen, Dr.Robinson. All of these people were gems to work with. They believed in me, supported me, were a joy to be around and all worked hard. They just loved to serve and were enthusiastic about the program and its results. They are truly people who live with passion for what they do for others and the love they share with everyone around them!

Midwives take care of most of the births in Morocco at birthing centers, or in the homes. Men are not allowed in. Sometimes women give birth in hospitals but not as frequently. These women are the ones who hold the population of Morocco in their hands! 

On of our friends treated us to henna! At this beautiful old home tucked away in this unsuspecting alley way below. The Moroccans emphasize that the true beauty may be hidden but it is always and should be present on the inside.

Our henna

Out shopping on my birthday.

Mormons to Muslims

At the fantisme show!

With one of the midwives who after she received the training phoned us the next day to let us know she had saved a baby with the training she had just learned. I got goosebumps when she told me in person and really felt like though small was my contribution in the training, I was a part of something miraculous, inspiring, and important!

My last night in Marrakesh after a pediatric conference of the french speaking countries (that yes I had to on a panel to answer questions for, very impromptu as well!) they had a big gala that night with a famous Maroc band. Loved dancing with everyone there!

I always felt drawn and wanted to serve a mission. I had the opportunity to do through this humanitarian service. Even though we did not talk about the gospel or the LDS church at all people knew and would ask us if we were mormon. I was able to share in knowledge and great love with the people there. I had one of those joy bursting moments when we were passing out certificates at the end of the training and they were all giving me bisous (kisses on the cheek) and thanking me so sincerely, I thought this is how the Savior must feel about each of us. So happy to see us succeed, so full of love, and gratitude for each one of us. These women truly work with their hands but it is in and with their hearts that they fulfill their work and help each mother feel safe and deliver their baby. I hope to be more like them.