Sunday, October 27, 2019

Pigeon House (8128)

In Agadir Talba

The eponymous pigeons
Our most recent stopping place was a hamlet ten kilometres east of Taroudant and an hour east of the major coastal city the huddle of buildings is named after; Agadir. It's not shown on our map of Morocco nor does the GPS recognise it. It is dusty, has no paved sidewalks or roads. It has about 20 dwellings and a mosque. Look south and you'll see the Anti Atlas mountains, look north and the High Atlas hunkers.

The house
We were staying in one of the oldest houses here. It's the one-time grandparental home of our landlord, Faysal. We had it to ourselves. The selling point is to live in the traditional Moroccan way. It's definitely rustic, and the experience was instructive.

View from the house corner: The High Atlas
Entrance to our bedroom (lower)
It has a central courtyard with an orange tree offering shade. The bathroom is a semi-al-fresco shower, the toilet is traditional style for these parts. It's all clean and fresh. The rooms we had access to have small or no windows. They're dark but, notwithstanding the considerable heat, cool.

Staying here engenders empathy with the people who lived this way. Faysal's grandparents were notables in this community, his grandfather being the leader of the local mosque. Wherever we walked with their grandson, he was known, acknowledged and greeted respectfully.

The ablutions 
Traditional loo
Faysal is mid-thirties and, prompted by lack of opportunity for young people, is a budding entrepreneur. The Pigeon House is a manifestation of this.

He also works on the family farmland (roughly nine acres), but climate-change rain shortage means there's no olive crop this year. The papaya trees he planted have died. The drought means his well does not now reach the water and he needs to raise funds to deepen it. He needs two meters more at around 1,500 dirham (£140) per meter.

He has a plan, though. He wants to build four holiday bungalows, a cafe/restaurant and a swimming pool on the family land and create a mini holiday complex. He can offer, he tells us, trekking in the Atlas Mountains, visits to the nearby fortified town of Taroudant, local cooking classes and massage sessions. The cost of building he thinks would be £20,000.

Angelika suggested crowd-funding as a method of financing the project. He hadn't heard of the approach but will look into it. He showed us his plans. He's a likeable young man and it's impossible not to hope the plans work out.

Taroudant at dusk
He took us into Taroudant. It's buzzy, energetic and there was a pleasant intimacy to him showing us his stomping ground.

The Atlantic
I'm writing this in Sidi Ifni, a seaside town on the Atlantic coast. We've (more or less) left the hills and, after some while travelling west, sandwiched between Atlas mountains of various appellations, we're finally, definitely heading south.

More of this later!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.