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Expedition Medical Services

Joint 10th Anniversary – Morocco Expedition. 15/5 – 4/6/06

In association with: highcountry

2006 sees the 10th Anniversary of Matthew Low’s Marrakech based company High Country and that of Expedition Medical Services. 1996 saw both companies providing support for Land Rover’s Invitations program of customer expeditions in Morocco. Expedition Medical Services also supported Land Rover’s expedition retracing explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger’s route through the Empty Quarter in Oman with celebrity guest veteran ITN reporter Sandy Gall. Most years since then both companies have worked together in Morocco running activities for both corporate and private clients. Matthew Low has also been instrumental in setting up a Moroccan registered Charity Across Maroc to facilitate giving something back to the country that has provided both of us with so much enjoyment.

1996, Empty Quarter OMAN. Sandy Gall phones home. ©Dick Morgan

To this end we are inviting interested parties to join an expedition driving out from the UK leaving 15/5/06 to Morocco and thence to the western Sahara and returning to the UK on 4/6/06. The group will be restricted to a maximum of 8 vehicles. Accommodation in Morocco will be a mixture of very comfortable hotels, a restored Berber house and camping tents on nights far from civilisation. Matthew and his family have been resident in Morocco since 1989 and speak fluent Arabic as well as the local Berber dialect. High Country employs a multinational team including Moroccans, Australians, Americans and Britons. The aim of the trip is to provide an introduction to the “real Morocco” both culturally and geographically utilising Matthew’s extensive local knowledge & contacts. The expedition will present the school in the small town of Amizmiz 60 km south of Marrakech in the Atlas mountains with their first computer for the use of the pupils. The town has a cultural centre established in the 1940’s by Mr & Mrs Freers, a British couple, to provide a midwifery service to the local community. This service stopped in 1982 since which time the centre has hosted groups from outside the country who want to learn about Moroccan culture. Matthew and his family lived in the town for some years and High Country uses the centre to store all its Mountaineering and Kayaking equipment.

Each vehicle will be invited to collect and bring second-hand warm children’s clothing to be presented to Carlos and Teresa Brandao, a Brazilian couple now running a linguistic centre teaching English in Laayoune the southern most point of the expedition and the main city of the Western Sahara region of Morocco. Despite being in the Sahara the winter months can be very cold and many of the local children do not have suitable clothing. Carlos was the manager of the centre in Amizmiz before moving down to LaaYoune 2 years ago with his family.

The success of any trip like this depends on everyone working together and helping each other. I find it is the new friends made as much as the spectacular Moroccan scenery that makes these trips so memorable and enjoyable. Read through the details and feel free to contact me for further information. It is intended to hold a meeting and presentation in March for everyone booked on the trip.