Giving Thanks in the Atlas Mountains

November 21, 2016

This week and always we give thanks. Thankful for another day we wake up and greet the day. Thankful for another day to serve, to show up in the world, to give the best of ourselves.  

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This month Morocco saw many interesting visitors as the international climate change conference COP22 was taking place in Marrakech. I am so grateful to have been invited to meet U.S. Under Secretary Catherine Novelli who heads an American delegation to work on economic growth, energy, and the environment. Formerly Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe & the Mediterranean, Secretary Novelli coordinated U.S. trade and investment policy for the over 65 countries and helped negotiate the Free Trade Agreement with Morocco ten years ago that has increased bilateral trade between Morocco and the US by 300%!

Last Sunday morning Secretary Novelli (pictured below in red) and the American delegation visited the Eve Branson Foundation‘s new woodworking center spearheaded by American entrepreneur David Bult of Green Sahara Furniture. David took 8 trainees under his wing and is teaching them to do the most amazing and creative things with wood.

Then we visited the new Tamgounssi Weaving Center where we checked out the new horizontal looms and I met with Amina the teacher of the women’s group to explain Mushmina’s new clothing designs. To top off a great visit, lunch was coordinated by the US Embassy at Richard Branson’s Atlas Mountains retreat, Kasbah Tamadot overlooking this stunning valley. Put this on your bucket list! It’s one of my favorite regions of Morocco.

Many thanks as always to the lovely Barbara de Bastier the foundation’s coordinator for arranging our visits (pictured here in a lovely navy and black jacket…coming to Mushmina shops soon!) She is always so generous with her heart and her time. And thank you to the men and women of Asni the small Berber town in the Atlas Mountains for welcoming us.

So this week I give thanks.

I am so grateful that our world is so abundant in culture and traditions and open-minded people that travel to see the world, to discover the ways of others, and who contribute to making the intersection of cultures so rich.

With love and gratitude, Heather

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Pictures from our day in the mountains and ‘Welcome’ in four languages.

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