Back to Business in Morocco

Assalamu alaykum!
It’s been nearly a month since my last post, though it doesn’t feel like it. I was hit with a nasty bacterial infection for which the doctor put me on penicillin, which basically knocked me out for a week and a half. I skipped the first of my classes this semester due to being sick, but managed to make it to classes for my midterms. Three exams, one in French, one in Arabic, and one in Arab History took place the last week of classes. We got a mid-semester grade report, and I found I’d done very well on them, which was awesome. The following week was spring break. I left on the Thursday of midterm week and flew to Dubai; my plan was to stay there for a day and a half and explore, but I was so sick that I had to change my flight and head immediately back home to Seattle.

Whenever friends asked me why I was headed back to Seattle for spring break in Morocco, it was tough to justify. Emirates had just opened up a new Dubai-Seattle direct flight, and were giving amazing promotional prices for the month of March. Second and more importantly, I’m not heading back to Seattle after the semester ends. Instead, I am traveling overland to Spain, then France, then flying to Croatia, proceeding to Turkey, and finally flying to China and exploring southeast Asia for as long as my savings last. So, all of my school supplies and winter clothing I’d brought for January, February, and March needed to be sent home somehow. I chose to bring it home with me, and when returning to Morocco I brought a skeleton backpack filled with only a few changes of clothing and no cold weather clothes.

It was truly nice to be at home; I was able to recover from my illness, spend time with friends and family, eat ham, and enjoy some rare sunny weather. I spent the evening and night in Dubai on the way back to Morocco, and explored the Dubai Mall and got plenty of views of the Burj Khalifa, which was stunning. Coming back to Morocco was actually a tough adjustment for the first few days, because I’d gotten so used to being home for those few days. I hadn’t been expecting that, but after two or three days it was back to normal. The 22 hours of airtime each way probably didn’t help with that either.

Possibly the best experience of that week was the flight from Casablanca to Dubai on my way out; I sat next to a Moroccan lady and we began conversing in French; for the next six hours, we talked about religion, today’s youth, family, food, traveling, education, and she gave me her information and invited me to her home in Casablanca the next time I’m in town. I still need to visit my first host family there, so next time I go I’ll have a busy weekend!

The first week back from break was adjusting, catching up on homework, and getting back into the swing of classes, nothing special. This past weekend, I took a trip to Rabat with a big group of students who were running the half marathon. We spent most of our time in the incredible medina, in the kasbah, and on the beach; the city is amazing. Great food (especially fruit and yogurt drizzled with avocado juice…), clean streets, and friendly people.

This week will involve rehearsals every night for the talent show on Thursday. I’ll be playing in 2 bands for the show, so we have lots of practicing to do. This weekend I’m really excited to be able to go back to Moulay Idriss for some more epic camping, though this time we will be staying two nights instead of only one and I’ll want to get deeper into the mountains.

Again, I apologize for the delay in posting, and I’ll be back next week with stories from camping part deux!