Shopping in the Sahara

March 27, 2012

The children of the desert–kids who belong to nomadic Berber family–fascinated me. Here we were in the middle of nowhere (or so it seemed to us) and these kids would appear over a dune. They live with their parents in rough tents and huts, living off of the goats and sheep the families raise, moving from the mountains to the lowlands and back again.

We awakened in the Sahara from our night of camping to this sight.

A group of adorable nomadic girls had laid out trinkets they’d made and set up a little shopping mall for us. This was how they helped their families. Yes, of course, we were easy marks.

Beaded necklaces, small sequined stuffed camels they’d carefully stitched, scarves, all laid out in the damp sand. Where they sat. Didn’t bother them in the least. But then again, none of them smiled, even when our guide tried to joke around with them in their native Berber tongue. They were super-tough negotiators, too.

I was quite taken with this beautiful little girl, whose chocolate eyes were so serious. What kind of life would she have? I wondered.

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