My teammate Edwin said that to me this morning and I laughed, and laughed. I told him how I have a reputation at home with friends / family, of always being late and he couldn’t believe that to be true. I have been on time for everything since I arrived in Casa (except this morning, LOL!!). If he said the same thing to my mom, dad, brothers, sister, friends they would all laugh as well.
So one more week until our project finishes and time has gone by so quickly. This week was very interesting. We had visitors including the president of Boeing Turkey, Bernie Dunn, and Sami Abdellaoui, one of the Moroccan youth who participated in an the INJAZ entrepreneurial competition last year. Sami told Bernie his dream was to own a 747 airplane. Bernie recognized that he couldn’t give Sami a real airplane, so he gave him the next best thing, a beautiful model of the fastest jet in the world, the Boeing 747. Sami is a student of Mohammed V University in Rabat studying Computer Science. He started his own business, with the help of INJAZ, called “Youth Yell”. “Youth Yell” gives the youth of Morocco an outlet to sell their art on promotional materials. Check out their Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/YouthYell.
On Tuesday, our team was asked to participate in a jury process for evaluating applicants interested in joining INJAZ’s “Smart Start” entrepreneurial program. This program requires a viable business idea / product and students must pitch the idea to the jury for evaluation. Only 20 of the 24 applicants will be accepted. We listened to 3 groups of students each with 3 very interesting ideas. It was clear after sitting through each presentation that the youth here in Morocco are bright, have great ideas and are motivated to succeed. In my opinion, all of the groups should be admitted into the program but I overstand the reasons why not.
It’s so refreshing to see the impact INJAZ is making directly on the students. It really reinforces why we are here and the positive contribution our work will make on Morocco. Our project focuses on how INJAZ can reach more Moroccan youth, expand to more cities and grow their partnership (sales) division. We believe strengthening their IT infrastructure and strategy will help enable them to meet these goals. Our final presentation to the President and CEO is on Tuesday. We are ready!
Last weekend we were in the city of Fes. Fes was founded in 859AD and also has the oldest, functioning schools within the old Medina. I’m told the first King of Morocco (Idris I) is buried in Fes and he was closely related to the prophet Muhammad. So much history is to be discovered there. With our short stay, we really only had time to walk the well worn streets of the old Medina. With no shortage of vendors, food, candy and the donkeys, we spent hours getting twisted and turned around the narrow walk ways. I spent a lot of Dirhams on carpets, tea pots, homemade candy and more. My bank account is much lighter after our visit.
Morocco also has a thriving leather industry and we visited one of the tanneries in Fes. Check out the pics below.
Also, I’ve been told I’m not showing enough pictures of food. So these are for you, Sam.
FYI, some of these photos are from my teammates, Jette and Fabian.
Until next time.