Dear Adventures in Morocco ,
This is a letter of praise. Please forward this to the appropriate person.
I was a member of your “Morocco ” tour that began April 17, 2013. I enjoyed the trip immensely. It covered everything I wanted to see and the pace and timing were just about perfect. Based on that experience I will definitely recommend Adventures in Morocco to others, and will almost certainly take another trip myself.
However, it isn’t primarily the trip I want to praise, it is the Tour Guide, Idir Ait Aamou. Where did you find this guy?
I’m a 49 year old ex-businessman. I’ve worked for big companies like IBM and Intel, and I’ve run my own small business. I’ve interviewed people, hired them and fired them, and I know how rare and valuable a great employee is. In a service business like yours, everything boils down to organizational ability and people skills. I don’t know when I’ve ever encountered somebody who has these in greater abundance. Though he is less than half my age, in some ways I actually look up to him.
How a guy who was born in a tent and lived as a nomad until the age of six acquired the ability to speak eight languages by the age of 23 is a mystery to me. He is obviously very intelligent. He is also calm under pressure: We were in the middle of a sandstorm in the Sahara desert, and for a while it was touch and go as people began to panic as the sandstorm was taking so long. Idir was calm as a cucumber. Throughout the trip, whenever something went astray he would smile and say, using your slogan, “Ah! Unique Moroccan Adventures!”
He never lost patience with anyone, even though one of our group sorely tested him. He inspires confidence. We all trusted his judgment completely. What’s more, we all liked him because he is lively and approachable and quite funny. To give just one example, half a dozen of us were up on the roof of our guesthouse late one night telling jokes and stories, and at one point he got up and using nothing but some kind of tin disc for a drum, he started banging away and singing a nonsense song, and he got all of us to follow him in a conga line. We were weaving in and out of the laundry that hung on the lines, repeating whatever ridiculous thing he said and falling all over ourselves with laughter. I felt like I was ten years old, and I remember thinking, “How does he do this? He’s like the Pied Piper.”
He has this effect on everybody, young and old, which is probably why he seems to know about half of the people in Morocco, and the others he just hasn’t bumped into yet. At one point we were hiking around and came upon a group of about 15 teenage students. I looked over to see him holding court. They were all gathered around him in a semi-circle listening to him with rapt attention and laughing at everything he said. I assumed from the way they were acting that they knew him well. They didn’t know him at all. He was just doing his Idir thing, and they ate it up.
He also takes very seriously your corporate commitment to responsible travel. He brought it up on many occasions, explaining why your company chose a particular vendor over another, or why we were staying at this place instead of that place: that it was good for us as travelers, but also good for the local community and people. He really cares about that.
It goes on and on. He is computer literate and web-savvy, for example. He also slips effortlessly between modern clothing and traditional garb, and is equally at ease in both worlds. I have no doubt he would wear a suit and tie equally well. I asked him once if he ever had. He said, with typical playfulness, “No. I don’t want to wear a suit until the year 2030.” I think if he is still working for you in 2030, he will be the CEO of Adventures in Morocco. When I booked this trip with my friends, we expected a good experience, but Idir made it more than that. I feel like I came away with a friend. Thank you for having the good sense to hire him.