A relaxed mind is a creative mind.
View of Sefrou from C.V. artist residence.
I have found myself in an ancient turquoise place where the mind relaxes into expansion from the peacefulness of the air. This calming city of Sefrou is home to a culture and art organization called Culture Vultures. In a discombobulated course of events, I have found myself in the pioneering volunteer position for this organization where I am officially working two hours in the house and two hours in the office 5 days a week. But don’t be fooled by this normal volunteer structure, for under the predictable surface there is a wealth of flexibility and improvisation. Working in the house can include gardening on the 360° awesome terrace over-looking the medina and rolling green hills or running around an obnoxiously squeaky wheelbarrow though the winding streets of the souk. It can also include decorating signs and doing yoga all over the house to check underneath the beds for dust, as well as folding paper origami birds for a hospital installation. And forget your preconception of office work. Office work includes helping groups of students create a collage pop-up museum and then later on, painting the same walls with chalk paint that just happens to splatter your friends. It also involves getting to document ones bizarre and poignant experience in Sefrou through pictures and social media.
Vulterettes- Katy, Brahim, Zakia and McKenzie
And let’s not forget the inevitable downtime sitting around with the Culture Vultures team and friends playing rock paper scissors with a high stake. Loser has to squawk around like a chicken up and down the artisan courtyard. Maybe I lost and there is video evidence and maybe I feel a weird mixture of bitterness and pride at my accurate head bobbing. To say the least, together we are a traditional salad with an exotic zest.
But most importantly, a volunteer with Culture Vultures is here to give and receive from the wealth of Good Vibes. Immerse oneself in Sefrou and in exchange, revel in the inspiring wood dust, duck under weaving threads and interact intimately with the sound of the river from outside ones window. When one gives to Sefrou, it has a mysterious way of giving right back. Speaking of window, a comfortable and cozy accommodation is provided in the heart of the medina.
Community made installation in the making for the local Hospital in Sefrou
A (Culture) Vulturette is armed with curiosity, flexibility and potentially a history of affiliation with the Black Sheep Club. Culture Vultures is welcoming to creative minds from all fields that want to join Culture Vulture’s constructive space where locals and foreigners have dialogue and communication, imagining and learning together, with one another.
My heart is filled to the brim with joy and feelings of thanks for the gift of this time of laughter and dialogue with Jess, Fatima, Kim and Brahim, as well as all of the creative quirky minds that I have come to love. I also bring good news for those to whom this message calls. Culture Vultures would love to open this position again to a creative soul wandering around the north of Morocco from May 20th to June 6th to help out with the next student batch of creative cookies from Coventry University. If one is interested, please contact Jess Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org
And for all who happen to read this message, I encourage you to sacrifice the part of yourself that says “you should do blankety blankety blank”. As a friend once told me, it is not necessary to know anything to move forward.
Volunteer with Culture Vultures, May 20th – June 6th.