Volunteer: Cynthia Berning
After growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio and attending Rice University for undergrad and the George Washington University for grad school, Cynthia Berning joined the Peace Corps and served two years in Morocco in a tiny village of 400 people called Khoukhate, in the Middle Atlas Mountains, between Fes and Midelt. There she worked with a women's cooperative making and selling couscous, jams, almond butter and olive oil. She also completed two school latrine projects and an irrigation project, and loved to bike, run with her dog, and play soccer with the village boys. Cynthia returned from Morocco in late 2010 and is working in DC at the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
Contributions from Cynthia Berning
Improving our village's irrigation channels meant bringing endless donkey-loads of cement, sand and rocks up to the construction site, mixing and pouring them by hand. The result: increased irrigation water for all of the fields in the village.
One of my favorite activities while I was a volunteer was taking long bike trips with fellow volunteers and my host brothers. This photo was taken on our first trip to a dam (and the resulting lake), three hard and hilly hours away from my village. I had found the lake on Google Earth and we set out one day to find it, asking directions from the nomads that we encountered along the way walking through the scrubby hills with their vast herds of sheep.