At a Rave in a Moroccan Desert

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A year ago today, I was thrilled about my job. I was facilitating training, enjoying every minute of work, and was considering going full time and really starting a career. Wow. If you had told me a year ago that in one year I would be dancing my heart out at a secret rave in the middle of the desert in Morocco, I would have absolutely not believed you. Absolutely not. Yet, here I was.

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Seven days earlier… January 19:

We stopped the van at a beautiful vista and made a little snack. We ate olives and tuna and avocado, and looked out the beautiful view stretched out in front of us. Another van pulled up next to us — French licence plate. A man stepped out, he looked dusty, like he had been in the desert a long time. A 3-legged dog jumped out of the van behind him and hobbled towards us. We spoked briefly about where we were coming from and where we were going. He asked if we had been to the Painted Rocks yet. The Painted Rocks is a big valley nearby, where, in the 80s, a bunch of boulders had been painted blue. Now, it is a favourite free camping spot for van travelers. We told him we had just been, but we were the only ones. He told us there was going to be a party at the Painted Rocks next weekend! Michael asked, “how do you know about this party?” The dusty Frenchman responded, “you just have to go to a party and then they tell you when the next one is going to be.” Seems legit.

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January 25:

Our three van, eight person, and one dog convoy arrived at the Painted Rocks at around 3pm. We were three of maybe 15 vans. Hmmm. Maybe the party isn’t real? I mean, we came by our party invitation from a dusty Frenchman with a 3-legged dog, so there was a slight possibility that the information wasn’t correct.

We set up camp, vans in a circle, with a fire pit in the middle and vans slowly began to file into the valley. We had our campfire roaring and we cracked open a few beers. A young Moroccan boy wandered to our fire and asked if we had any water. Sure! We gave him some to drink and he thanked us. We told him that he and his friends were all welcome to sit around our fire this evening and warm up. Soon, a whole gaggle of 17-year old Moroccan boys joined us around the flames. They were lovely. They also assured us that there will, in fact, be a party tomorrow! Yay!

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Photo captured by @a.kind.journey

January 26:

The bass was thunderous and echoed through the whole valley. The stars were bright and the moon lit our way through the valley towards where the bass was booming. I had a beer in the pocket of my jacket. We arrived and sure enough, there was a party! “Oh my gosh, this is insane,” I thought. The DJ was set up under a tent, and in front of him, a wall of HUGE speakers pulsing with bass and vibrating in the dirt. Lights and videos were projected onto the rocks behind the DJ, and strobe lights rhythmicallylit up the faces of the ravers dancing to the beats. Everybody was smiling.

If you had told me a year ago that I would be dancing my heart out at a secret rave in the middle of the desert in Morocco, I would have not believed you. Yet, here I was…

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