Africa: The Poor Man With the Richest Life

It was a hot Tuesday afternoon in Dades Gorge, Morocco in Africa when I was first introduced to Abadalam. After having a very interesting first night in the village, my Polish friend, Dori, Moroccan friend, Badel, and I was leaving Dades Gorge, headed to the Sahara Desert.

I was filled with mixed emotions and excitement about our next new adventure, because I had never seen anything even slightly similar to a desert in my life.

On our way out we could not help but notice that the same happy old man, Abadalam, that we had a brief conversation with the day before. He was up bright and early, proudly working his small little food stand, where he sold snacks, omelets and cold drinks.

When he saw us he instantly said, “I didn’t know that you all would still be here. If I had known you were staying the night, I would of had you three stay in my house. Would you please stay again tonight and stay with my family and I?”

My instant thought was NO WAY. I was ready to leave and visit the Sahara and on top of that I didn’t know what we would be getting ourself into by going to his house. Abadalam had to be in his 60’s, with very worn clothes, and on top of that, working a food stand. When I thought of what the situation might be like at his house, I imagined going to a small dirty hut, where he had very little food, no shower, and out in the middle of nowhere.

After he insisted a few more times, I finally started to open up to the idea. I mean I really wanted a cultural experience, and I knew this would probably give me the cultural experience and adventure I was looking for.

So, I agreed…however, I was prepared to rough it for the day and night.

A young boy arrived to lead us to the house of Abadalam. In the hottest part of the day, we set off on our 25 minute journey, through the woods, across a creek and up the hill to his home. We finally arrived, covered in sweat and exhausted.

We were instantly greeted with kisses by his lovely wife and 2 teenagers. My breath was taken away as I entered to find the most tidy and coziest home that I had ever seen. During our stay, the wife and daughter prepared three incredible meals and even prepared me a small bucket of their hottest water so that I could shower comfortably.

That whole time we were there they were showing so much kindness to us, even though just 3 hours before this we had been total strangers. They opened their home and gave us everything. I watched how this little family had so little, but shared everything they had. The love between all of them was contagious. It was magical.

In the midst of it all, something started to overwhelm me on the inside: “Sarah, shame on you.”

I was SO quick to judge this man from what I had seen on the outside and I almost did not give him the time of day. However, Abadalam and his family in a short time had shown me what it is to be happy and content with little. They had their family, little food, shelter, and their God, who they prayed to together daily, and they were grateful.

I learned from this sweet family an important lesson: money is not everything. In fact, some of the poorest people, like Abadalam’s family, have richer lives than people who have all the money in the world.

Don’t forget to also read: 

40 Positive Actions to Take in 2016

Create a Bucket List: Awaken Your Dreams

Consistency in Achieving Your Goals



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