1st destination: Sweet Kerkennah!
Just left home after spending one hour and a half packing. Caught a cab to meet with Soumaya, my travel mate. On the way, I talked a bit with the driver who insisted to take only half the price of the ride to show his support to our project! A nice start for a great trip
Once together, Soumaya and I tried to find a good point for hitchhiking, a gas station or the entrance of the high way. We didn’t wait too much and a car stopped for us. It was Issam, a 30 years old Tunisian guy who is working with one of the activist parties in Tunisia. The discussion with him was really rich and instructive. He took us for about 80 km and we didn’t see the time running out. We ended this with a break and Issam offered us a coffee. He even called us all the way after to make sure we are safe and everything is alright. Was nicer than I’ve ever expected.
We continued our way till Sfax with Kamel who stopped for us in the exit of the gas station we had the break in. Kamel is a 27 years old guy who is working as a transporter. This guy amazed us by his stories. He is the founder of a charity association and he was really active with one very known party in Tunisia and switching for another one now. this was really suprising for me since I didn’t think that with such a tiring work we could do extra activities like these. These 2 acquaintances really made my day. I thought to myself that Tunisian youth is really on the right way. these are the kind of things you can’t know by sitting behind your screen at home. Here is all the interest of leaving your comfort zone and going out to meet people.
We reached Sfax by 4pm and went to catch the ferry we had only 20 minutes but still made it!
6pm we reached Kerkennah, there was no more taxis heading to the center. We asked a boy with 2 ladies in a car and they kindly offered us to take us there. Bassem and his aunts were really lovely then drove us to Ramla and even checked with us if the room we took in the youth center was ok. So, we had our room for 4,5 dt for each per night. We spent there 2 nights and paid only for one.
Bassem’s family invited us for a coffee at home, it was Bassem’s birthday. I’ve discovered a sweet mum very friendly and especially creative. She started a lot of business but failed, because according to her son, she is too kind. So now she’s just home making some personal decoration creations not only to sell them but even for the pleasure of it. She makes beautiful things out of enrolled newspaper and decorates her husband’s alcohol drinks bottles She even got an award from Women’s minister some years ago for her creativity. I’m teling you about this lady because she is an example of women keeping hope on life, not giving up. Love is the only richness of this family, we could easily feel it.
Back to the youth center, we’ve met with Riadh, a manager there. He took us around all kerkennah on Kahloucha, his motorcycle. Kahloucha in arabic is a sweet nickname meaning the “blacky” one. We were driving all the way on it the 3 of us. Kahloucha was simply our saver!
We’ve been almost everywhere, we didn’t lose any second. From Hsar through its wonderful dirty road, to Ataya with the nice authentic port and nice houses around. Simple and quiet life for peaceful times. It was really amazing.
But, I have to tell you about an incredible experience we’ve had; fishing with one of the oldest methods. We went to gather the fish trapped in Chedli’s charfeyya.
Charfeyya is a big fish trap made by the Palm’s Branches. It’s a kind of structure with a lot of little spaces called ‘diar’ which means “houses” in arabic. and each of these spaces contains a lot of “Drina”, there is the exact point where fishes get trapped in.
I’ve discovered that fishermen have even their own vocabulary whith particular words. These words are usually taken from the Italian language.
It was really nice to share such an experience with local people doing this in their daily life. Especially after knowing that this is part of family heritage!
We ended this day by a nice BBQ with wonderful fishes. Totally different from any product from farming fish. We really felt the difference.
That was our beautiful escape in kerkennah.
Monday, 12th of May 2014: Departure day heading to Djerba, the dreams island
More about Kerkennah