After all of the preparation, anticipation, nervousness and excitement for my first international presentation at the World Congress of Play Therapy in Marrakech, Morocco, I blinked my eyes and just like that, it was over.
Joyce Mills and I returned from Marrakech one week ago tomorrow, and what an incredible experience it was!
The first part of our adventure began when we arrived at London, Heathrow and waited for 6 hours for our Royal Air Moroc flight which was meant to stop in Casablanca and then go directly on to Marrakech. After being grounded for 2 hours in the Royal Air Moroc plane, we finally took off for Casablanca. The 3 hour flight was very nice, however, rather than stay on the plane like we were originally told, we had to disembark in Casablanca; but not before waiting 1 & 1/2 more hours just to get off of the plane. It was then that our real Moroccan adventure began!
Although with Joyce’s little French we were able to say hello and thank you to many people in the airport, and meet a really nice Greek pilot who helped us get through the document and immigration line, we were still unable to get any relevant information regarding our flight to Marrakech. We eventually learned that our flight had been cancelled with no explanation.
So after hooking up and hitching a ride with an English tour group, we finally arrived in Marrakech 6 hours later and were safe in bed at 6am. All in all it only took us 1 day & 1/2 to get to Marrakech from Phoenix, all the while keeping a playful adventurous attitude, knowing that nothing was as it seemed.
After sleeping through the entire first day of the conference, I awoke just in time for the Moroccan Gala. The food and the people were wonderful!
Joyce’s first presentation entitled, “Inspiring Children to Soar: Planting the Seeds and Reaping the Harvest,” was on Wednesday the 19th of May, and she was amazing! My presentation followed on Thursday the 20th, (also my father’s birthday: )
I so enjoyed presenting how I have implemented the StoryPlay® model in the classroom and I loved how well it and I was received by an Internation audience.
Joyce also presented the 4 day post conference and I was again able to experience for myself the impactful self-empowerment that occurs though story, metaphor, play, and the reconnection to my strengths and my Imaginal Discs.
I am so deeply grateful to Joyce for all of her time, dedication and love, as well as for her trust in me to present her wonderfully creative and strength based model called StoryPlay®.
Before I go I want to give a quick note of thanks and gratitude to Monika Jephcott , the president of Play Therapy Internation (PTI), and her husband Jeff for organizing such an amazing Congress.
I know they were disappointed that the participation count was much lower than it was meant to be due to an unexpected withdraw of support from UNICEF and Play Therapy Africa. Both Monika and Jeff are dedicated to bringing treatment and healing to the children of the world by training professionals in Play Therapy world wide.
They have recently spent much of their time and energy in Ethiopia following up on promises from UNICEF to provide “Child Friendly” schools and other programs only to recount thier visit with tears and heartbreak after witnessing the real goings on and happenings. After listening to their horror stories I made a promise to myself that I would do my best to get the word out.
Please if you are interested in learning more and taking action contact Monika, and she will discuss with you how to proceed.
Until next time!
Blessings and love,
ps. Please enjoy some of the photos from our trip!
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