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Help us rebuilding our house in an oasis at the edge of the Sahara desert, Morocco

  • Morocco
  • Favourited 2184 times
  • Last activity: 30/01/2023




  • Description


    Hello dear people,

    My name is Said (33). I come from a big Amazigh-Tuareg family. After many years of living a nomadic life in the Sahara desert, our family settled down in a village called Tagounite. I live in the small village Bani Hayoune, 4 kilometers near Tagounite, where I live and work on a 200-year old mud house.

    My wish is to rebuild, recover and expand this house by natural materials. The place carries many memories and the history of our ancestors. As a child, me and my family still moved around as nomads, but we would sometimes visit my grandparents in this area, who already stopped in the area of Tagounite to start building their house.
    After being able to rebuild the house, it is my dream to create here a guesthouse for travelers, a small school for children and a meeting & sharing space for the women in this area.

    The village Bani Hayoune is one of the oldest jewish villages in Daraa Valley, and it was discovered by Ishak Aquim, around 2500 b.C. This place was used a lot by the people who lived here, for making a lot of traditional hand works and for trading.

    My father comes to the house every day to work in the gardens and to help with the work that is needed for the house, and sometimes my younger brother(s) comes to help.

    Linde (30) from the Netherlands/Denmark lives here for a large part of the year. She helps in and around the house and participates in the organization of the work.

    We can do different work: rebuilding the mud house, fixing walls, building new rooms, taking care of the animals, picking the dates of the palm trees, cooking, cleaning, making bricks and finishing/fixing the water reserves. The work is depending on the season.
    You can choose the work what you would like to do, and everyone does what he can or wishes to do. Please don't worry about the need of any special skills. We will be happy to show you what to do and we will be thankful for any help you can do! And feel free to relax whenever you feel to.

    We will make three meals a day, cooked by ourselves and everyone can get a chance to learn how to prepare the real Moroccan dish.

    In winter we sometimes make fires in the evening for warming ourselves up, and sometimes we play music or use the fire for cooking.

    In our gardens we grow date palms, wheat, grass and a very young olive tree & cotton tree at this moment. Our future goal is to grow all kinds of organic vegetables and fruits in the gardens that belong to our piece of land. With the drought here in the south, water is a big difficulty, but we are trying our best to find solutions on how to keep the plants growing, and all your ideas about growing ecological food & different systems are of course very welcome :) We recycle as much water as we can and have also created some small water recycle systems.
    We’re currently also trying to grow some grapes, tomatoes, oranges, potatoes, watermelons, basil, aloe vera, sage and several other plants in our gardens.

    The house is based in a calm area, and you will find yourself in a green oasis consisting of date palm trees and the gardens. We have a donkey, a dog, a goat and a cat :)

    Since a short while ago we have some electricity, and created a small plumbing system for water. There is no WiFi in the house (you can get a sim card in town if you need internet) and we sleep in a very old, simple but traditional building made out of mud bricks, which makes the place even more calm and you feel that you are very direct into nature.

    The place where we are settled can give you a good experience to get many ideas about the basic way of a nomadic life. For a moment you can discover and understand how technology can change your life and at the same time it is a good opportunity to enjoy some quietness and escape from the rush of modern life for a period. The weather here is sunny every day, you will enjoy beautiful sunsets every evening and at night you will see the millions of stars or beautiful bright moon in the sky.

    We would love to meet people from different backgrounds and all kinds of cultures. By this way, we hope to exchange the cultures and different knowledges and ideas from all over the world. Since we have learned a lot from our parents and grandparents, it will be our pleasure to share with you in return this knowledge of our basic Bedouin life and to show you the desert. We will be very happy to organise a tour into the Sahara desert if you are interested, and we are super happy host you in our home!

    When you arrive to Tagounite, I will come to the bus station to meet you there. After that we will find a transport to go to the project in Bani Hayoune (either we call a tuk tuk-taxi (70dh) or I take you by my motorbike).

    It will be really nice if you can come to help us! We will do our best to make everything as comfortable as possible for everyone so we can all experience a great time.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    It is our pleasure to have you as a part of our project and we will be happy to receive you in our family house.
    In the work we will show you our old and traditional ways to build rooms by a natural and simple way. Of course it will also be amazing to teach you how to cook some traditional Moroccan dishes. There are many stories to tell about our history, way of living, the past and about the Sahara desert, where Said was born and grew up. He will be very happy to share with you his knowledge.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    The tasks could be all kinds of different tasks, varying day by day or week by week, like:

    - We're at the moment looking for a skilled veterinarian!! DM for more info
    - Building different traditional rooms in the house. We want to build some new sleeping rooms and a big living room. For the building we will use mud bricks made of 2 types of sand and water
    - Mixing mud and making a lot of mud bricks
    - Cooking. We are happy to teach you how to make traditional Moroccan meals & tea, and happy to learn new recipes
    - Cleaning the house & dishes etc.
    - Building a sink and several other parts for the house
    - Creating covers for the water reserves
    - In some periods we need help with collecting water
    - Digging canals for water
    - Watering the plants. We use recycled water for watering the plants
    - Fixing and cleaning the old rooms and walls (made with mud)
    - We will soon start to build a new kitchen
    - Make new door entrances in the rooms
    - Building more benches
    - Finishing a small bridge in front of the house
    - Building a wall for the whole project
    - Gardening. We need to plant new trees and we want to grow organic vegetables and fruits in the near future
    - We are always happy with help of taking care of our animals; our dog Sou Sen, cat, rabbits, goat and our donkey Khanaffi. The plan is to have some other different animals in the future, including more goats & chicken
    - We need some help with finding fund platforms/organizations and with English writing

    We are always thankful for anything you can help with! Besides the work there is a lot of free time where you can relax, or we will be happy to walk together with you in the palm gardens. If you like to visit the nearby village Tagounite, we can arrange a visit to go there all together by tuk tuk.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    Arabic: Fluent
    Berber: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate
    Spanish: Beginner
    Italian: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    When you arrive in Tagounite by bus or taxi, you will find me waiting for you at the CTM busstation. From there we will go to Bani Hayoune, sometimes by motorcycle or I can arrange a tuktuk for you.

    In the house in Bani Hayoune we have two rooms which you can use and share with the other volunteers. You can use our mattresses, pillows, blankets and sheets for sleeping.

    The meals will take place together in the living room or outside in the gardens. We will cook and eat together at the same place where we work.

    We have a traditional Moroccan bucket shower and toilet which you can use.

    Next to the house there is a wonderful palm garden where you can relax and enjoy the many beautiful sunsets.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There are many departure times of the busses, sometimes the times will change, and we can help you to arrange and find out about these times.

    Marrakech to Tagounite by the CTM bus (fixed bustime, departs every day):
    leaves at 11 am, arrives around 9 pm in the evening.

    The night bus from Agadir to Tagounite (fixed bustime, departs every day):
    leaves at 9 pm, arrives at 6 am in the morning.

    There are also many shared taxi’s (grand taxi) you can take at any time.

    We work around 3 hours every day and 5 days a week, but the amount of work is always depending on the weather, how much water we have available for the work & on the type of work we're currently doing.

    There is a lot of free time, where we can walk together into the palm tree oasis for the sunset or have a rest in our gardens, playing cards, have conversations with Moroccan tea and listen to the beautiful life stories Said has to tell :)

    Some other practical information:
    - The weather is sunny everyday and the sun is very hot, so bring sunscreen
    - Bring with you a comfortable shoes for working
    - It is good if you bring some thin clothes that cover the legs and shoulders, out of respect for the locals
    - Please let us know what kind of transport you will use so that we can be waiting for you in right time
    - Let us know if you eat vegetarian or vegan! We are flexible about the food
    - During winter the nights are very cold, so bring warm clothes as well if you wish to come in winter
    - Due to wild dogs and passed on responsibility, walks outside the property will be enjoyed only together. This does limit your ability to explore the area alone, but opens doors for closer connection to the land and yourself.

    Thank you for your understanding and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions you have in mind!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    You can park on the side of the road but we are preparing to build an entrance into our garden for cars/campervans.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Please take in mind that we have one lovely dog, a cat, a donkey and a goat

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 139544478571

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