By Dan Friesen
Today, April 25, is the day our group was supposed to return home from Morocco, out of Marrakech. Of course, that did not happen, but over the past couple of weeks, my thoughts often turned to my scouting visit there over two years ago.
The on-site planning trip was preceded by a humanitarian aid trip sponsored by my church, in which we ran an eye clinic, testing eyesight and distributing prescription and reading glasses. We were trained on a nifty, high tech set up and there were 6 of us running it with the help of two local workers.
The town we were scheduled to set up in was in the High Atlas Mountains and the prelude to the actual clinic was a hoop-jumping drama that could fill several FB posts. But we ultimately navigated the red tape and misdirection of local bureaucracy and were blessed by testing as many locals in 2 and a half days as are normally served in 4 days.
The older women were particularly effusive with their gratitude. This sweet lady kept repeating “shukraan” (thank you) in Arabic over and over, not even listening to the debriefing comments I was giving her through the interpreter.
Government shutdowns are extremely painful in America and the West. But in developing countries like Morocco, where the food supply is much more of a day-by-day affair, shutdowns can be a matter of life and death. I hope these towns in the High Atlas Mountains are doing okay.