Earth Week in Morocco

It was Earth Week this past week, which I believe went completely unrecognized outside of my school, where there were mini-concerts by elementary students, lawn bowling, Earth-saving brainstorming sessions, and a finale by a drumming group from Casablanca that uses plastic barrels for instruments. We were not really prepared to do anything related in our classroom, but I wish we had, because boy, do these kids need the encouragement to think about how their actions affect the planet.

One earth-friendly thing I did see outside of school was an official-looking truck watering the street trees on my walk to school. I’ve never noticed it before anywhere in Morocco, and I have seen a whole lot of dead trees that look as though they fell victim to the long hot summers here. The guy holding the hose was one of the few Moroccan males I’ve enthusiastically smiled at.

On Friday in class we do cooking, and for a number of reasons, my teacher and I were scrambling for an easy idea on Thursday afternoon. Stove-top popcorn it is! I led the demonstration while she graphed the kids’ favorite popcorn toppings (powdered sugar won), and I provided a great example of what happens when you aren’t paying attention and now have an inch-and-a-half-long burn on my forearm for anyone who needs a reminder. Later, as I was settling them down after recess, one kid noticed the Hand of Fatima dangling from my bracelet.

“Yep, it’s there to protect me,” I said.

“It didn’t protect you when you burned yourself on the pan,” one student sagely pointed out. At least some of them are paying attention.


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