Arrival in Marrakech

It´s a new year… And a new year can become a great year when starting it off with a new journey. That´s why my friend and I decided to take a girls trip to Morocco!

When we arrived in Marrakesh we were completely overwhelmed by … well, by E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. To be honest, the way from the airport to the little riad we had booked was an adventure in itself. The taxi dropped us off at the “entrance” of the so called Medina – Marrakech´s old town with hundreds of small alleys. Then the driver handed us over to a little old man with a mideaval-looking cart. He put our luggage on the cart and lead us through hundreds of people who were casually strolling over the big market place Djemaa el Fna, dressed-up monkeys, dancing snakes, playing children and pregnant women. On top of all this there is also cars honking, motorbikes weaving through masses of people, and donkey carts transporting goods to shops. We felt lost here.

The old man carrier guy brought us to our riad, a moroccan guest house, and waited for his tip that he already suggested to deserve since we were half-way there. Exhausted we gave him a 1€ piece which he seemed to be happy with. Then, we were positively surprised that the riad Alamanda looked exactly as promised on the pictures.

Oh boy was I exhausted from our little walk. I felt like hiding in the hostel. The world out there just seemed too much. But we decided we needed to get some cash from the ATM and get a feeling for the crazy place out there. So we dared the first walk in the Medina on our own…

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Kudos to Goldieblox

Wednesday evening. I just finished watching a TEDx talk – crying.

The talk was by Debbie Sterling. The founder of goldieblox. She invented a toy for girls to develop their interest in science and technology from a very young age. I absolutely love her idea, her product and everything she stands for. The marketing of the company is super well made.

But most of all the story of her growing up in a world where she just did not fit in touched my heart and resonated with me like nothing else.

When I was just a toddler my mom tried to get me interested in “boys toys”. While she leaned over handing me a car to play with I leaned over to grab something else – her earring. I was a princess. But mom did not give up.

I remember having building blocks when I was a little girl. First there were wooden building blocks, I really liked them – but what I liked even more the little people that came with the building blocks and after a short while I got really bored by the blocks. Instead I would arrange the blocks into a house-shape for my people to live in. Later on I had Legos and a pirate ship and other things like that. As soon as I was done building the ship from lego blocks the story repeated itself. The pirates as well as the skeleton (man I loved that skeleton!) that came with the ship took all my attention away from the building blocks.

My favorite subject in highschool was math and I even attended an extra math class my teacher had set up for students who needed some “extra help”. Well, those kids never showed up. Instead it was me and my best girlfriend who were interested in solving extra tasks. Back then I was attending a catholic girl´s school. And the teachers took a lot of time to explain everything to us in detail. If necessary in different or “out of the box” ways.

The teaching methods changed as soon as I entered college. Suddenly the classes were mixed again. And boys seemed to understand technical stuff way faster than me. I chose a major in science. I loved tanks and I wanted to become an engineer for the army. (At that time I did not think much about war. I just loved tanks.) For the first time in my life I had the worst grades in my class. I was one of three girls – and definitely the only one looking like one. The teacher would sometimes ask me a question he knew I did not have an answer to. And when I was not able to reply he would say things like “Well, physics is not for girls” “Can somebody please explain it to our lady?” or “Come on, it´s really easy.”

After one year torturing myself I decided science was just not for me. Debbie Sterling is a girl from my generation. She did not grow up in Germany. But our cultures seem to be rather similar.

Thank you Debbie for inventing goldieblox for our girls. I wish I have had your toy back when I was still a kid.

Her TED talk

First GoldieBlox advertisement “Princess Machine”

A new GoldieBlox advertisement introducing the first action figure for girls. (MUCH needed. I had a ninja action man. My barbies loved him.)