Nancy Lauer

Know Before You Go: Tipping in Morocco

by Nancy Lauer No comments

I have a love – hate relationship with tipping, especially in developing countries. In the case of Morocco, the west is responsible for bringing the custom to the country. While I agree that tipping can be positive in that it recognizes a job well done. I’ve also seen first hand that the practice enables employers to pay workers lower wages because it is assumed that tips will make up the difference. This is where the hate part enters into it for me.

Unfortunately, it’s counterproductive refuse to tip in hopes that employers will step up to fill the gap.  That’s not going to happen anytime soon. So like it or not, many workers in Morocco, as well in other countries across the globe, exist on tips.

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Nancy LauerKnow Before You Go: Tipping in Morocco

Know Before you Go: Using Moroccan Dirham

by Nancy Lauer No comments

So you’ve gotten your customized Morocco tour arranged. Flights are purchased.The dog is booked at the kennel.You’ve started packing. One final thought occurs to you… What about spending money in Morocco? Since this is one of the most commonly asked questions, I decided I’d cover the information you need to know in an article.

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Nancy LauerKnow Before you Go: Using Moroccan Dirham

Safety in Morocco: Perception vs. Reality

by Nancy Lauer 2 comments

Moroccans pay tribute to the murdered Scandinavian tourists at a vigil in front the Norwegian embassy in Rabat on December 22. Picture: Fadel Senna/AFPSource:AFP

In the aftermath of a horrendous crime against two young Scandinavian women traveling alone, I’ve been asked by many of our followers about what they can expect in terms of safety in Morocco. I’ve pulled together a body of facts that help to answer that question.

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Nancy LauerSafety in Morocco: Perception vs. Reality

Cats of Chefchaouen, Morocco

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Cats of Chefchaouen

I’ve noticed that Moroccan cities are either cat cities or dog cities. Without exception, the cats win out in the medinas, or old cities. It’s probably because cats are smaller than dogs, and can fly under the radar easier. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of dogs to go around in Morocco. But in the close quarters of a medina, dogs aren’t present in large numbers. Also, in general, Moroccans have a fear of dogs. To illustrate, one evening while having dinner in our apartment, we heard loud, shrill screaming outside our window. Without even looking up from her plate, Ava said, “Someone probably saw a dog.” I’m 99% sure she was correct. There’s not much else to scream about. 

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Nancy LauerCats of Chefchaouen, Morocco

Cook Like a Local: Moroccan Bissara Soup

by Nancy Lauer 19 comments

Cook Like a Local: Moroccan Bissara

Recently, in the famous blue city of Chefchaouen, I ran into the best Bissara soup I’ve ever tasted.  Bissara is a popular Moroccan soup prepared with dried and peeled fava beans. This soup is hearty with plenty of protein and is often served for breakfast in winter, especially in the north. The dish was originally known as a meal of the poor, but these days it’s found its way into the homes and restaurants of all social classes.

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Nancy LauerCook Like a Local: Moroccan Bissara Soup

ODM Bedouin Bivouac Opening Night

by Nancy Lauer 2 comments

introducing open doors morocco bedouin bivouac

It’s official.  The Open Doors Morocco – Bedouin Bivouac is open for business and we couldn’t have asked for a more authentic desert launch.  Who better to share the inaugural night with than our friends at The Giving Lens?  The bivouac exists for the purpose of providing fair wages to locals and authentic cultural experiences for foreigners.  Read more about the unique background of our bivouac HERE.

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Nancy LauerODM Bedouin Bivouac Opening Night

The Giving Lens: Morocco 2016

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TGL Photo Exchange

The Giving Lens (TGL), El Fenn Maroc, Creative Interactions, three local photographers from Marrakech, and Open Doors Morocco (ODM) teamed up to launch a photography program for youth in the village of Ait Ouir, Morocco. The Giving Lens regularly brings teams of photographers to developing countries to work alongside local non-profit organizations in tangible ways. The group is committed to helping launch sustainable projects that will eventually become self-sufficient. Each team is led by  two professional photographers with travel experience.

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Nancy LauerThe Giving Lens: Morocco 2016

Artistry of the Sahara

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Saharan Artistry

Said Ahnana, has an eye for the artistic. He has a knack for honing in on disparate details that photograph beautifully. I think growing up in a nomadic culture has aided him well. I’m calling these latest photographs, Saharan Sand Art.

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Nancy LauerArtistry of the Sahara