Laylat el-Maghreb (Maghreb Night) at Lac du Bois!
Published: August 17, 2017
Some new and interesting activities with the day campers today: construction paper mosaics and learning the Egyptian dialect with the rest of the villagers!
Today, we headed over to Lac du Bois at around 3 PM to begin our exchange! We first gathered in front of Paris, the building which houses the French camp’s cafeteria Café Danielle. After a few words of introduction, the villagers were let loose to roam Lac du Bois during their waqt al-faragh, also known as temps libre, or free time!
In Café Danielle, we set up two tables to serve as makeshift stores. On one table, the villagers were able to purchase French wares from Lac du Bois, while on the other, they could buy al-Waha merchandise, and yes, of course we sold chocolate!!!
Also, inside the cafeteria of Paris, one of al-Waha’s counselors served deliciously sweet green tea for all those who desired it. Later, during the evening program, she also served yansoon, a drink made from the herb aniseed, outside of Paris.
In the central area, directly before Paris, there were many games for the villagers to enjoy. More specifically, there was one game, a giant chess game, around which all of al-Waha’s chess lovers gathered.
Some villagers also had a mini-photoshoot in front of the brown wire replica of the Eiffel Tower.
And in front of the Lac du Bois dukkan, aka magasin, or store, a Frisbee game emerged, drawing in the Arabs and French alike. It was glorious!
Following fun times during free time, we gathered in front of Paris for a song exchange. We first learned “Aicha,” a song about a dude who just wants his crush to look at him. Just as we were about to sing the song all together, the drizzle which had been plaguing our lives all morning intensified to full on rain. We headed inside to continue learning “Aicha,” then moved on to learning MIKA’s “Elle Me Dit,” in both French and Arabic (“Qalit Lee” in Arabic)!
After the conclusion of the song exchange, we split up into eight groups for the teaching exchange. In one activity, villagers played a modified version of “batta, batta, wizza,” or “duck, duck, goose.” Once one villager taps another’s head and says goose, the two villagers run off in opposite directions around the circle. When they meet in the middle, they ask each other a question in the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, then race to take over the empty spot.
In another activity, villagers got to choose French names and right an acrostic poem with their names using French adjectives.
Afterwards, we headed to dinner, and after dinner, we got started with our evening program! The villagers first headed upstairs to receive the fake dinars that they would use to haggle with merchants at the souq, or market, that was held in Café Danielle. The souq consisted of four stations. The first was a station selling Arab clothing. The second sold orange juice and nuts. A third sold plastic fruit, accessories and clothing, and simulated a French market. In the fourth station, villagers could make mosaics.
Next to the stairs, there was a group drumming session, led by both Lac du Bois and al-Waha counselors! Here is a short video of how that sounded:
Upstairs, the villagers could attend a skit performed by two of al-Waha’s counselors, get a henna tattoo, get their palms read by a fortune teller, or attend French or Arabic story time!
Finally, we headed back to al-Waha at 8:30’ish PM, held Cabin Council, then went to sleep!