Monday, 22 March 2010
Reflections of a douar (Berber village)
Across the river and a 30 minutes steep walk up a mountain leads to a douar where time really has stood still. In the midst of total silence, surrounded by mountains and the greenest grass lies an inhabited village dating a few hundred years back. The only hints of our day and age are the electricity wires and plastic garbage that has been tossed outdoors.
Today we crossed the river below us on the small suspension bridge, swaying from left to right with every step. A friend of the douar accompanied us along the narrow sand path up the mountain and showed us his village and house. Chickens, goats and the odd cow wander freely throughout the village and woman and children wait their turn to fill their water bottles at the water tap in the centre of the douar. The only way to arrive at the douar is on foot giving it a wonderful sense of tranquillity and peacefulness.
The average house in the village has a small kitchen, a terrace, a shed for the animals and one room with rugs on the floor, a chest and a television where the whole family eats and sleeps. It was curious to see how our three year old daughter didn’t seem to be bothered in the least by the modest and very different lifestyle of the villagers. In our friends house she played joyfully with the little stones in the small yard and drank her tea on the rug on the floor. She didn’t question the absences or differences and it dawned on me that she was naturally at ease, still needless and unattached to material comfort.
I really enjoyed our clime up to the douar this afternoon. It is not only the intriguing sensation of being pulled back in time, for a delightful moment I really felt earthed and detached from the confusion of modern life.