On Saturday morning I realize that I should get out of here as soon as possible. I learn from the news: The new corona virus is in Morocco arrived, a country that is not prepared for it. I want to go home. Unfortunately there are hardly any flights to Germany anymore. When I still find a flight and my booking is confirmed via email a short time later, I lean back in relief. Then I go surfing again. On Wednesday I am to fly from Marrakech to Düsseldorf. When I come back to the accommodation in the afternoon, I have a new message in my mailbox: Because of the current situation, it says that my flight has been canceled. And now?
A week ago I had other plans. When I arrive in Morocco, I am looking forward to training as a team leader in the Sahara. For two weeks I am to lead a German team through the Sahara together with desert nomads. I am well prepared for the 300 kilometers through the desert. I would like to surf a few days before the tour. At the time, I don't know that the surf camp will be my quarantine camp.
On Tuesday, March 10th, I reach Agadir by bus in western Morocco. A taxi driver takes me to Tamraght, I can see my surf camp from afar, it is on a hill. A white narrow house with blue windows framed by a wall. My friend Leni is already waiting for me. In total we are nine people in the camp. Six women from Germany and one Englishman. In addition, there are the two operators of the surf camp: the Swiss Andrea and her Moroccan husband Omar.
Deceptive vacation feeling
In the next few days there will be more important things than news from Germany. We have breakfast on the roof terrace: fruit salad, flatbread and Amlou, a Moroccan peanut paste. Then we drive to the beach with our surf instructor Mohammed and look for good waves. When we arrive exhausted from the Atlantic two hours later, a beach vendor with fresh mint tea is waiting for us. In the evening at the camp, tajine is served – a stew made from the traditional clay saucepan that tastes of ginger, chilli and garlic.
We soak up the sun every day, feel the salt on our faces, the sand on our skin. We surf for several hours and feel fit. The holiday feeling is deceptive.
Only with time will the news come to us from home. After I found out on Saturday that my flight had been canceled, the next bad news came: The Federal Foreign Office had suspended flight connections to many countries, including Morocco and Germany. Another German from the surf camp shows us a video from the airport in Marrakech. Waiting people, stress, shouting.
I share my room in the camp with two German women and one Englishman. The room is large, the beds are comfortable, we have a view of the sea. Still, I suddenly feel locked up. I hitchhiked through Africa, researched women's rights in Pakistan. I would say I am not scared, but when I see the effects of Corona in Germany, I feel queasy. I want to go home. Paradise is no longer if you cannot leave it.