Meet Lucky & Clover!
Bazaar Collections sponsors Lucky & Clover through the Machin Foundation (Jarjeer) in Marrakech.
About The Machin Foundation:
The foundation was set-up by Susan Machin & Charles Hantom to help care for abandoned and injured equines and to provide work for local communities.
Lucky is a mule who was rescued from appalling conditions.
He was found on a building site, tethered, and unable to work. His teeth were worn away from overuse of an iron bridle and
he was left to perish because he was no longer 'useful'. Susan spent four days negotiating with the owner over a price for Lucky, who was slowly starving to death! With lots of love from Susan and her team at Jarjeer, he is making a full recovery and has a special diet of steaming bran, rice and vegetables.
Clover is a donkey who was rescued after loosing half her front hoof. Despite her injury, her previous owners still made her work carrying water vats. Although Clover now spends her days limping round Jarjeer, she is safe, loved, and well looked after by her muleteers.
For more information or to make a donation, please visit: www.jarjeer.org
* A small portion of Bazaar Collections' monthly sales also goes towards helping Lucky & Clover.
My love affair with Morocco first started fifteen years ago after stumbling across a book on North African interiors. The images of Islamic architecture, Moorish decorative arts, and diverse natural landscapes of Morocco seemed to leap off the page. My eyes were drawn in by the amazing rich and vibrant colours that my heart skipped a beat. From this moment on I could hear Morocco calling me!
After several months of saving and planning, a girlfriend and I boarded a plane. Destination? Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca! The plan? To soak
up the chaos and vibrancy of life in Morocco whilst celebrating a dream come true. And over a span of eight weeks we did just that!
We travelled on dusty buses and trains from the tip of Tangiers to as far south as Sidi Ifni; venturing endlessly through the souks of Casablanca, Fes and Marrakech looking for treasure and inspiration; and with a sense of adventure and amazement we wandered everywhere else in between. So, I guess it's no surprise that my soul has yearned to find its way back to this mysterious and exotic country influenced by many diverse cultures... French, Portuguese, Spanish, African, Persian and Islam... just to name a few!
If the desert winds are ever back in my favour I hope to be there again,
With the desert winds in my favour I was able to travel back to Morocco with three girlfriends last November. Unlike my first trip, this trip came with a mission. My mission (which I chose to accept!) was about networking with local jewellery merchants in the souk and sourcing unusual beads for my online business - Bazaar Collections. And I had two week to complete it... Easy, right?!
At first, it was like walking down memory lane and for a brief moment time had stood still. The Djamaa-el-Fna (the main square in Marrakech) was still very much alive with snake charmers, water sellers, henna artists, fortune tellers, magicians, and manic food sellers trying to grab your attention all at once! The narrow windy streets in the souk bursting with people, just as I remembered, all bustling their way through with a sense of purpose and energy. Stand too long in one place and you're likely to be caught up in the sea of mayhem! With the sweet smell of fresh Moroccan almond cakes triggering my memories, I began to loose my focus. And fast! Suddenly my mission seemed harder than I thought. Luckily, my three other girlfriends were on the same mission so this helped keep me on track.
We shopped hard for two weeks! Everywhere I looked in the souk there were tiny little shops filled with treasures. Baskets and dusty boxes filled to the brim with silver beads and old coin charms. Berber and Tuareg silver amulets lay in piles waiting to be sorted and appreciated. And strings of semi-precious stones hung by the dozens all lined up in a beautiful display of colour. We sat for hours. Shop after shop. Merchant after merchant... looking, sorting, admiring, and drooling over everything that was on offer in this famous red city. And through their broken english (and our french) we sat over a mint tea with many of the merchant traders we had come to know, chatting about life in Morocco, their heritage, and of course, the art of tribal adornment.
Two weeks in Marrakech went in the blink of an eye and before I knew it I was boarding a plane back
to Sydney...If the desert winds are ever back in my favour I hope to be there again, sipping mint tea
and watching the sun set over the Koutoubia Mosque whilst listening to the call to prayer echoing
across the vibrant city...Inshallah!
This article was published in the first edition of the Makers Magazine.
Natalie lives in Canberra, Australia, and is a busy