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  #1  
Old 3 Apr 2008
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Tichka pass and local kids

HI all
I have just returned from 3 weeks touring morroco in all the times i travelled around the pistes i found kids of various ages pretending to moving stones from the road as i pass and asking for sweets, dirham or stylo etc in return.

Personally i never give anything not 'cause i'm tight or hard faced but after seeing a kid get roughed up in senegal last year over a rubber ball i gave him I swore never to do it again, however on the road to the tichka pass from Ait-Ben there was a distinct change in atmosphere, as i passed slowly the kids banged the panels of the discovery and one actually kicked the rear panel.
How long before if you dont give sweets they throw stones?

never had this response in the past,or other roads but am sure it is due to the large number of tour 4x4's that use this road.

am I alone in not giving?

PS.was also flagged down( hands out and palms down) on piste to merzouga by a guy on a moped, I stopped to help and was asked for in order : cigarettes,tobacco,dirham, water. i got back in car and drove off.

any views?

regards to all

Gren
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  #2  
Old 3 Apr 2008
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Giving handouts to kids only encourages bad behaviour and the piste you mention (via Telouet) is used by ALL the Spanish 4x4 clubs and other 4x4 tours.

Some bikers have reported stone throwing but this is something that I've not experienced personally, possibly because I tend to stop and chat to the kids.
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Old 3 Apr 2008
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I agree with both of you - this giving on demand is a curse for all concerned.
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Old 3 Apr 2008
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We found it alot in Africa, particularly in the Atlas and whilst talking to the kids is good, you simply can't do that all the time. Found it very scary as loads of small kids including toddlers coming running in front of the vehicle seemingly oblivious to the danger. Didn't get too many chucking stones but just very worrying that there might be an accident. Most of the stone throwing came in places like Chad, unfortunately not a lot you can do about it. If you do try and stop, they just leg it and if you abandon your vehicle, risk you will get robbed plus not much you can do even if you do get hold of them. Bit worse if your on a motorcycle and highly unpleasant if you are on a push bike but not too bad in a vehicle.
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Old 4 Apr 2008
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Hi
Giving sweets pens etc...is not a good use, because at the end kids prefer stay on the edge of the tracks waiting tourists instead to go to school.
I have heard that some spanish 4X4 threw handful sweets without stop in the village, very bad usage, this is why now if you don't give anything they become angry.
I received a small stone on my boots between Jaffar and Imilchil, I stop and screamed, and after discuss with kids and laughed with them.
I just gave some bread and fruits to two small girls ( 4 or 5 years) near to Zagora, they said nothing and asked for nothing. Some time you can not avoid having compassion
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Old 4 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric DN View Post
Hi
Giving sweets pens etc...is not a good use, because at the end kids prefer stay on the edge of the tracks waiting tourists instead to go to school.
I have heard that some spanish 4X4 threw handful sweets without stop in the village, very bad usage, this is why now if you don't give anything they become angry.
I received a small stone on my boots between Jaffar and Imilchil, I stop and screamed, and after discuss with kids and laughed with them.
I just gave some bread and fruits to two small girls ( 4 or 5 years) near to Zagora, they said nothing and asked for nothing. Some time you can not avoid having compassion

But Eric, by giving stuff (even to kids who do not ask) you make the problem worse, like the Spanish 4X4..... Please dont do it......
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Old 5 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caminando View Post
But Eric, by giving stuff (even to kids who do not ask) you make the problem worse, like the Spanish 4X4..... Please dont do it......
Yes I know the consequences , but I juste gave bread water and fruit, I think it's not the same as pens and sweets. Since I had some think to eat in my bag and I saw those poor little girls I couldn't not to share my bread.
Picasa Albums Web - Eric - Maroc J4

I gave also bread and cheese to a guy who helped us to cross a flooding river to avoid big holes, I think for a real service we have to pay some thinks

I gave pens also but not to the kids, I stop in a school, discuss with the teacher and gave him the pens.

We cannot go in this country and just tacking advantage without let some monney, But I agree not any old how.
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Old 5 Apr 2008
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Thumbs up

I fully agree - give stuff like pens to the local teacher. It's a difficult issue, and I feel the same as you do. We want to help, but we have to think through the consequences of our actions.

Good roads!
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  #9  
Old 18 Apr 2008
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I also had some problems with stone trhrowing children between Zagora and Mhamid (on the main road).
They were only interested in throwing stones, no sweets, no pens...

I also saw many locals who had cars with broken windows (usually the front one). So this little hooligans don't target only foreign cars.

What I did in order not to get hit was to freighten them, usually by beeping and making strange maneuvres.
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Old 8 May 2008
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Eric mate, you did right,

its a human thing to share food and water with our fellow human beings, I have shared bread and cheese,and sometimes even s(LAST ONES MINE THOUGH) with people we have met on our travels, who amongst us has not had it the other way,
If you had enough to share, why not!

To give is as good as recieving(unless its your last ), Pete


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric DN View Post
Yes I know the consequences , but I juste gave bread water and fruit, I think it's not the same as pens and sweets. Since I had some think to eat in my bag and I saw those poor little girls I couldn't not to share my bread.
Picasa Albums Web - Eric - Maroc J4

I gave also bread and cheese to a guy who helped us to cross a flooding river to avoid big holes, I think for a real service we have to pay some thinks

I gave pens also but not to the kids, I stop in a school, discuss with the teacher and gave him the pens.

We cannot go in this country and just tacking advantage without let some monney, But I agree not any old how.
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Old 8 May 2008
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Wave at them!

What I found to work with these kids who throw stones is to wave at them.
Just when you see them bending down to pick up the stone, start waving at them. (I ride a bike) Usually what happens is they drop the stone to wave back!
If they dont wave back then brace yourself.
Hope that helps??
Orrin
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  #12  
Old 21 May 2008
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Giving gifts.

Hi there.
Just my experience!
On my first trip, loaded with all of the above, i experienced no stone throwing, just happy kids. But! One old fella, who i took for the dad of a family, took some gifts from me. When the kids approached him, he shouted and lashed out at them, and kept the goodies for himself. First lesson learnt!!
On my second trip, i took a computer and a kids bike. I gave the computer as a gift to the head teacher. I am still in contact with the english teacher at the school in Midelt, two years later. (Three computers between Six hundred children, now four). And the kid who got the bike, (who thoughtfully i chose, as he was alone), brought tears to my eyes for weeks after!
Now, i'm not going to say don't do it, as i learnt the hard way first time around. But if you are carefull, i think you can make a difference being selective.
Before anyone picks me up on it, yes, i know i got lucky the border guards never saw the computer. It would have been very expensive if i had to have imported it first. And who knows, probably would have had it away before i had even left Ceuta.
Mmm, what do you guys think?
Nick.
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Old 21 May 2008
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Giving personal gifts in the way you do is corrosive of good relations, corrupts the kids and it corrupts you too. Giving gifts makes you feel good, yet you make no difference at all to their situation. All you do is store up trouble for the next person.

Addressing needs which are caused by poverty cant be solved by individuals. It requires the efforts of politicians and economists.
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Old 22 May 2008
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Lots of young lads are charged with herding their sheep along the side of the road. As you approach the shepherds often bend down, pick up a stone and throw it... at any wayward sheep that might stray onto the road! Those lads are just looking after their herds and are no trouble to you. (Obviously kids banging the sides of a vehicle or smashing windows are a different kettle of fish. Sounds like Ely on a Saturday night.)
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  #15  
Old 22 May 2008
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I find that the co-drivers from the lead and rear vehicle dismounting and walking at the side of the convoy prevents any issues (with kids in or near the road the vehicles are - or should be - only moving at a fast walking pace anyway...)
Two incidents, both in Afganistan, reinforce to me why random giving can have unintended consequences....
1. The first British forces into the country felt that throwing handfuls of sweets to the local kids at the side of the road would starts the 'hearts and minds' process - which it did until two of the kids decided to jump in front of a vehicle as they didn't get any sweets from the last one through the village. Result - two dead kids and any positve benefit negated, random gift giving especially from vehicles is now banned by the British Mil.
2. An American patrol in Kabul ran over and killed a local child during a persuit (the child tried to cross the road between the target vehicle and the pursuing one), the family were given monetary compensation, two weeks later, a father pushed his seven year old son into the road in front of a British patrol. When interviewed by the RMP via an interpreter he said that he needed the money and the son was disabled anyway.

FWIW, I have not experiened any issues with 'the african wave' in Tunisia
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