A volunteer’s view of Morocco in the early years

When I set up this blog, I hoped that many other returned Peace Corps volunteers from the Peace Corps’s first 10 years in Morocco would contribute. Tonight I received a photo show from Don Brown, a volunteer in Morocco I.

Don’s Peace Corps service as a volunteer ended in 1963, but Don returned to the Peace Corps to work as a trainer for Morocco X, my program, and then as an administrator in Morocco, when we became good friends.

Marty, Gaylord, Eileen, and Don. Earning money as an administrator, Don has upgraded his photo gear to a Pentax SLR. We’re on the runway on Gibraltar with the Kiracofes, spending a few days over the holidays. 1968-1969.

Don enjoyed photography and took many great photos. He had a good eye for composition and a sense of the dramatic lighting that characterizes Morocco. He took the photos in his presentation with an old twin lens reflex. Film was expensive back in the sixties, and one didn’t get many slides on a roll. Those of the cellphone generation may not realize how difficult and expensive photography was in those days.

Photo of Khadija Demnati, Sefrou 1969. Don Brown, photographer.

Don served in Oujda, on the Algerian border. Relatively few volunteers ever visited the city. Volunteers in the early years were forbidden to cross the border. Oujda was a long train ride across the somewhat desolate scrublands of the lower Moulouya River and the city and its region could not compete with the attractions of other areas of the country. Seeing his slides, therefore, was a special pleasure.

Thanks for the memories, Don

Don Brown. 1969.

Author: Dave

Retired. Formerly school librarian, social studies teacher, and urban planner.

3 thoughts on “A volunteer’s view of Morocco in the early years”

  1. Thanks, Dave. I’m so glad you’re giving Don a place to post this.  He was also staff in our M-IX training in Oceano. His wife, Liz Magee, was a M-IX volunteer and friend of mine but we’ve not been in touch. I’m in Berlin with my sister Kathy, near the end of a 3-wk trip: Poland, Prague and down the Elbe to Berlin.  I really like getting your posts. I will send forward one to Lee McMurry, fellow Portlander and M-I volunteer.

    Take care and thanks. Anne McL

    sent from a cell phone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Thanks so much, Don. A wonderful and skillful recapitulation of those unforgettable years in Morocco. I remember hearing “Lalla Fatima” played over and over during our training in Hemet.”

    Jim Erickson


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