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A Page from Mama’s Moroccan Travel Diary

Darlings,

I am just back from Morocco, where I spent two weeks and two days with my daughter, Maggie, seven of her classmates, three other moms, two dads, one sister, and the founders of her boarding school, Mary and Kenny.

The purpose of the trip was for us to trek across the Sahara for four nights and five days, camp out at night, and then to go to Marrakech, where we did service work at an orphanage for four days. In between, we had a day of sightseeing in London, and two days in Marrakech.

Morocco is a place where various ancient indigenous cultures live side by side, winding their way around each other, geographically, like the circular cobblestone streets of the medina, each archway holding thousands of years of history, each doorway leading to some impossible-to-imagine world that opens, and then shuts, as if it had never been, or, perhaps, as if it has always been.

Donkeys share the roads with goats, chickens, bicycles, motorcycles, cars and pedestrians.  We took an eight-hour journey from Marrakech, through the Atlas mountains, covered in snow, and arrived at the edge of the Sahara at nightfall, meeting up with our guides and camels, and setting up camp.

This was my first time, camping out.  Yes, you heard me.  I came, I saw, I camped.

The girls had bought a soccer ball to entertain themselves.  And what we discovered, over the next few days, was that whenever they played, local kids of all ages would appear—as if by magic—wherever we were, to join the game.  We would trek for six hours a day, and when we would stop for a picnic, in the middle of nowhere, suddenly a Berber child or two would come running across the desert to play soccer.

One day, we stopped on the edge of a village in the Sahara.  There was a tiny one-room schoolhouse nearby.  Some small kids from the schoolyard came and grabbed the ball, and our girls ran to the schoolyard, and played, just over a stone fence, out of our sightlines.  About 20 minutes later, one of our girls came back, soccer ball in hand, looking upset.  A moment later, another one of our girls arrived in hysterical tears, flinging herself on the ground, unable to stop crying.

Mary and Kenny had the situation in hand, so we waited until evening Circle to get the story.

Western women and girls have a tough time in Morocco. We do not wear veils, we do not hide from view, as do the women of Morocco.  And even when wearing long sleeves and trousers, the outlines of our bodies are visible in a way that is not customary in this culture.  The girls had been drawing lots of attention from boys from the moment we arrived.  Some girls found this beguiling, some girls found it offensive, and some girls were just plain scared.  In this case, some of the older boys had asked to take pictures with the girls after the soccer game.  The girls felt comfortable enough to agree.  And then, some of the boys put their arms around them.  And asked for their watches and bracelets.  Some of the girls rebuffed the attention.  Some of the girls enjoyed it and flirted back.  At one point, the boys’ attention crossed the line from fun to discomfort.  The boys stole a kiss.  Which resulted in the tears, and then, accusations.

The discussion that evening became emotionally charged. The girls reported lots of different responses; some of them were able to say “no” to the boys.  Some felt powerless to stop them.  Some loved the attention and encouraged it.  The girls who had said “no” were really down on the girls who did not.  And of course, the parents, filled with concern, were extremely upset with the girls who had not declined the attention.

I listened carefully to the criticism and fear.  And finally spoke my truth.

“We live in a world that does not understand or value the power of woman. Women do not understand it, nor do men.  In fact, we are on a continent in which 92 million women have undergone Female Genital Mutilation, and three million young girls each year are at risk for this procedure.  There is a child, right now, having her genitals cut, because her culture does not want her to own her birthright, her power as a woman.

“And right now, in our world, there is no place for a young woman to practice taking ownership of this innate power that is her birthright.  Boys get to practice.  But we criticize our girls for experimenting.

What happened here today was great research. Our girls were but an arm’s reach away from us, and they experimented with their impact in public view, with a group of kids, in the company of one another.  And the moment they got in above their heads, they reached out for help.  This was a perfect experiment, executed perfectly.  Our girls now know more about their impact.  They know more about the boys in this culture.  And without knowing it, they have already learned how to make even better decisions about using their innate power next time.  A woman’s power is something that has to be learned, just like learning to walk, or talk, or play soccer.  We start out not understanding the game and gradually build more and more skills.  Going too far is part of learning.  So is not going far enough. Every time you play, you get better.  Especially with encouragement and appreciation, which these girls have earned today.  Each of our girls played with her whole heart, and pressed into new depths of her emerging womanhood, in a foreign culture, with great courage.  I honor each one of them.  And I honor the pain of the risks that each of them has taken, even in bringing this experience forward for our attention.”

The girls’ relief at my comments was enormous.

They went from bad girls to heroines, in the flash of a paradigm shift.

This was not the only paradigm shift in Morocco that month.  A few days before my arrival, 600 African women gathered under a white tent in Tangier.  They traveled from all over the continent to celebrate the 100th Annual International Women’s Day, and to talk about government.

The meeting was the first forum of locally elected African women organized by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa. It took place as the winds of change were sweeping North Africa. Both Tunisia’s President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak had been toppled, and unrest raged in Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Libya—and host nation Morocco.

Women are waking up, internationally, experimenting with using their voices and standing in their power.

I am so grateful to have had a chance to travel to this part of the world, with my daughter and her school.  I feel even more aware of my leadership and my responsibility in this world.

Our Sister Goddess Community is so powerful.

I know that each time we inhabit the fullness of our freedom and stand inside our gorgeous, radiant, eternal, incandescent power, we open the doors for women everywhere on this planet to do the same.

Each of us has a part to play in our own personal Pleasure Revolution.

I have let you into my most recent chapter.

How are you rocking yours?

With so much love and pleasure,

Mama Gena

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33 Comments / Leave a Comment

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cintra April 11, 2011, 1:18 pm

    Thank you! Am still crying of Gratitude

  • kat April 6, 2011, 11:59 pm

    bless you and thank you. always.

  • SG MERRY April 6, 2011, 2:00 pm

    Dear Mama Gena,

    thank you for sharing your adventure, it truly touched my heart, you are so incredibly amazing
    love SG MERRY

  • Maya the Great April 6, 2011, 9:47 am

    What an incredible adventure! Love your camping experiences in the desert of Sahara! What a powerful real-life educational tool for your daughter and her school-friends. I am sure your group created a huge impact on that community. Woo Hoo! Awesome picture, too!

  • Sarah April 5, 2011, 9:33 pm

    Okay so everything about this blog post was AWE inspiring. The part that stunned me and made me scratch my head was how you drew a perfect circle around ALL the girls, no matter how they responded and approved of ALL of them.

    There is no other way to do this Pleasure Revolution.

    (Can’t wait to see what comes out of your next camping experience…)

  • Ginny April 5, 2011, 9:14 pm

    What a truly incredible persepective you placed and what a gift to the girls and their parents.

    Bravo.

  • bonny carroll April 5, 2011, 8:02 pm

    Hi, Mama
    I, too, have been to Morrocco and have seen the oppression of women there. What an absolutely, fabulous, articulate and caring, loving response you gave to the discussion. You go, Girl!!! Wow!!! You inspire me!
    Hugs,
    Bonny Carroll

  • Sister Goddess Hedonia April 5, 2011, 4:01 pm

    “A woman’s power is something that has to be learned, just like learning to walk, or talk, or play soccer. We start out not understanding the game and gradually build more and more skills. Going too far is part of learning. So is not going far enough. Every time you play, you get better. Especially with encouragement and appreciation….”

    You taught me about my power. I learned about my power from you. In Mastery. You encouraged me and appreciated me. Because of you I keep playing… and I keep getting better and better.

    There’s a line in Katy Perry’s Firework – “Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed so you could open one that leads you to the perfect road.” You showed me how to open the door.

    Thank you for being you. Thank you… thank you… thank you!

  • Rose April 5, 2011, 3:50 pm

    That was by far one of your best blogs ever!

  • Goddess April 5, 2011, 3:47 pm

    Woohoo – SG Aphrodite’s Daughter says it so well – Mama Gena – midwife of the Feminine – through our Pussy Pleasure PeaceMakers. Thank you for holding the space for us to stand in our power Mama Gena. I love BEing WOman and the AWEsome response-ability we have to our Goddesses In Real Life.

    Paradigm shifts and Pleasure revolutions and Pussy Power – woohoo.

  • SG Aphrodite's Daughter April 5, 2011, 3:36 pm

    We are clearly in a collective birthing process of the Feminine. You’re are such an exquisite sacred midwife… Mama Gena, thank you for honoring your dream of worldwide sisterhood. You’re so right, “women are waking up, internationally, experimenting with using their voices and standing in their power.”

  • HotLips212 April 5, 2011, 2:38 pm

    YEAH MAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Glad you’re back safe and pussified!

  • Imperatrix Mundi April 5, 2011, 2:32 pm

    Im so glad you went to that corner of the world… It is no coincidence that I actually first laid eyes on your book in morroco. I desire you go to every corner of the earth,

  • Lauren Harkness April 5, 2011, 12:17 pm

    As one who would have been the “bad girl” in the story, I so appreciate your voice of wisdom for women. What a poignant story full of beauty, wonder, and discovery. Thank you for sharing.

  • betsy April 5, 2011, 1:15 pm

    I am so proud of you for standing for Maggie and her friends on this trip. What a great moment in parenting and an even better moment as you stood for girls and women everywhere.

    I just returned from Dubai and because of you I gazed into each veiled woman’s eyes as I passed them and acknowledged the goddess in them and their value as a woman, as my sister. They always held my gaze. It was still shocking to see women completely covered with just slits in the veil for their eyes…

    See you in Miami xoxo

  • truesoul April 5, 2011, 12:48 pm

    I”ve got big fat hot tears rolling all down my face.
    You are so brave and beautiful.
    I just got a supercharge to my battery with that one.
    I know that Maggie is your firework
    and Goddess only knows which corners and depths she will be taking you to next.
    I send you deep roots for your big beautiful wings!

  • Sharky April 5, 2011, 11:29 am

    As a solo woman traveler in Fes and Marrakech last February, stepping out of the hotel each day was an exercise in courage. I arrived right before the street riots in Marrakech and news of kidnapped Americans. Convincing friends and family to stop calling to insist I fly home immediately was more stressful than being present where I was. Learning to trust our quiet inner knowing despite the louder voices of well-meant concern is the best gift of a lifetime. In stepping past the fear and figuring out what/whom to say Yes or No to, I was able to bring home the most unforgettable memories of locals and fellow travelers when I was good and ready. Thank you, Regena, for speaking up for compassion, understanding of self, and the genius of the Pleasure Revolution! xoxox

  • SB Barbara April 5, 2011, 10:57 am

    Such a powerful story. Your reframing brought tears to my eyes. Being a girl is not easy, especially when we’re judged and criticised by others and ourselves. You are so right about this, Mama Gena! Thank you for always expanding and for your commitment to women in this world. I adore you!

  • SG SHERRY B April 5, 2011, 10:31 am

    Mama,

    I thought what you did was very powerful and wonderful what you did. It is very hard to be a young girl in this day and age (or day and any age). Like you said, boys are free to wander off, experiment with this one and that one but our girls cannot take risk? I think our society sets women up to fail this way- if we are always waiting to be protected or not using our God(dess) given abilities we will be left wide open for abusers and predators. We have to learn our boundaries by first crossing them and we have to risk a little comfort to go where we must go in life, so be it?

    I know it’s hard to do and sometimes I don’t take risk and end up being stuck and miserable- I think the biggest risk in life is being at a stalemate, stuck and having a monotonous life. No one, especially women should feel life just happens to them.

  • Tammi April 5, 2011, 10:21 am

    Leave it to you Regena to avert an international incident! Thank you for creating a realm where girls are valued and taught by their loving caring adults how to “see” their power. And doing it in a world that has been blinded to the beauty of women and girls.

    Thank you for showing the way.

  • Alison April 5, 2011, 10:06 am

    Thank you, Mama. You were certainly in the right place at the right time. That situation was profoundly blessed by you. Those young women and their parents will never be the same. I wish that my 16-year old daughter and I had been in on that trip.

    I particularly love, “GOING TOO FAR IS PART OF LEARNING. SO IS NOT GOING FAR ENOUGH.” This is so true for each and every one of us.

    Thank you, Goddess.

    SG Pu-rekini Alison

  • Martha Garvey April 5, 2011, 9:59 am

    Going too far is part of learning. So is not going far enough.

    Amen. Thanks for this.

  • Marcia April 5, 2011, 9:58 am

    I’m so grateful to you for sharing this in your eloquent, thoughtful and loving way. We are taught so early to fear our power and then feel shame about having it in the first place. There was a recent controversy in Toronto about the a police officer speaking to a University group, saying a woman was inviting negative sexual attention and rape if she dressed like a slut. Thankfully, hundreds of women took to the street and had a “Slut Walk” a few days later. I love these empowering turn arounds.
    Thank you for honouring all the girls who were on the trip and letting them know that each of their reactions were perfect. Great post!

  • BSG Suzi Banks Baum April 5, 2011, 9:47 am

    Mama, what a testimony. I am standing up and hooting.
    And bowing my head in gratitude for your voice, for the Circle time Maggie and those girls are held in, for the integrity with which you all held the girls on the adventure.
    I am moved with urgency. For us all to recognize, that whether it is literal or metaphoric genital mutilation, actions like yours must be taken up by all of us. Every single hour, there is opportunity for us to model and witness women using our voices.

    Thank you for going on that adventure with Maggie. For being patient and trusting the Circle. And for speaking up. I am so glad you were there.
    And we are here, together.
    All my love, S

  • Stephanie Jenkins April 5, 2011, 9:34 am

    What a blessing. Those girls will forever have that etched in their memories. You are awesome Mama Gena

  • Rochelle April 5, 2011, 9:32 am

    Right on Regena! Love how you stood for those young girls and how you stand for all of us. The paradigm shift you have initiated us all into is powerful, profound and sacred. You are in my gratitude lists daily. I am off to teach a Qoya class in Utah right now and even more inspired by your story. Thank you for shining your light so brightly. Love, Ro

  • DreambabydreamCG April 5, 2011, 9:29 am

    Mamma Gena,
    What a beautiful stand in your grace and power to share the message to the girls and women around you that it is time we stand up in our sisterhood and protect all across Mother Earth, just not the right of the Women of the Western World, but for every Maiden, Mother, and Crone. This time is coming and we must support every effort of every sister who wants to be free, standing in their own divine power.

    DreambabydreamCG

  • Stephanie April 5, 2011, 9:14 am

    Mama Gena,

    Love this. You reframed the situation very powerfully. Still, it makes me sad that the reframing was necessary….

    SG Earthmama/Stephanie

  • alexis t, soul sister April 5, 2011, 9:12 am

    so loving you.
    looking goood, dolly!
    xx

  • SG Gianna April 5, 2011, 10:09 am

    I was riveted to this story!
    Mamagena in Morocco!
    I see a reality show for Discovery channel.
    More please, more stories, more info, more power!