Did you ever receive a gift that changed your life? Do you remember when you first held it, you sensed a connection, like a whisper from your past and your future, a crossroads. The Nomad Cross became my life’s compass. My friend Said gave it to me during my second visit in Chefchaouen. Let the Southern Cross, as it is also called, guide you, he said smiling. He did not know then the impact it would have in our lives.
Three years later and I am about to leave civilization and hike into the Sahara outside of Mhamid, I feel the cross weigh against my skin under my blue kaftan. The Nomad Cross pursued my heart and mind to find its secrets and led us to the desert. Led us to meet our trusted, eco guide Brahim Elaabdouli.
The next day, we see a wild donkey. I look closer and see it standing by a well. I walk closer to share the richness from the well with the thirsty animal. I look up and see baby goats coming to greet us. I also see textiles waving in the wind and then my eyes meet two brown eyes. We smile, both equally curious. My heart sings. In front of me stands Mustafa, 4 years old, proud and smiling. Not far behind him hides his little sister Aicha.
I had a dream about a white camel”, says La Fadma, who Brahim introduces us to, the grandmother of Aicha and Mustafa. Brahim shares the legend of prosperity and good fortune that comes with the white camel. As Mustafa and La Fadma introduce us to the Nomad way of life, the Southern cross reminds me of its presence as it becomes visible under the kaftan. I look up and I see La Fadma smiling and nodding.
After years of trial projects with the Vilostrada Foundation in the north of Morocco, I know with certainty, we were meant to be right here. In October I will tell you what happened next.
Victoria Ahlén, founder of Vilostrada, is an expert Moroccan artisan buyer, and founder of the Vilostrada Foundation – building the world’s greatest school together with the Nomads in Sahara, Morocco.
Click on the link to visit the Vilostrada Foundation Facebook page for donations
Click on the link here to visit the Vilostrada website
Read about Live to Love the road in this months issue of The Directory magazine Click here