A highlight of my stretch experience happened on my final Saturday in Fez, Morocco. I co-hosted a Green Wall event at a high school with many barren walls. My project partners and I had been planning this event since the beginning of our project, and the past week had been spent running all over the city to gather all of the supplies we would need. The eveningbefore the event, as I frantically prepared plastic water bottles to be cut, posted on Facebook with one last publicity blast, and messaged back and forth with my co-organizers, I was feeling very hopeless. I had no idea how the logistics of the event would pan out and if we would be successful in creating our vision.
Thankfully, my worries were unfounded. The next morning we had a huge turnout at the event! Around 50 people from several different community groups and associations came to help. Together we installed ten wooden pallets (that we had received by donation from a factory that makes intestines into sausages) onto the concrete walls of the high school courtyard. Nine plastic bottles were nailed to each of the pallets, and were then filled with soil and plants. Half way through the work day, school staff surprised us all with juice and traditional sweets, which allowed for a much needed break from the Moroccan sun. We were also served traditional Moroccan tea later on in the day. I was interviewed by a man from a local news site, who I thought had a great translator along with him. I later looked online to see that I was described as the “President of the Canadian Environmental Association” who had single handedly organized the event, so I guess his translator wasn’t so great after all!
By the end of the afternoon I was feeling overjoyed, relieved, and proud of the finished product. The result of our day of work (and weeks of planning) was a creative way of recycling otherwise wasted materials, and will hopefully flourish and be cared for by the students for years to come!
– Claire Merkosky