Assuming I leave at the end of August, that’s twenty more days of living with my family—my mom, dad, brother Alvin, and thirteen-week dog Schuyler.
Twenty days of jogging in the neighborhood that I’ve lived in for seven years—I’m by no means a talented runner, but I’ve run here so much that I incrementally compare each street’s incline and know that x house marks mile 2 and y tree is when I always take a walk break. In Morocco, I no longer will be able to listen to podcasts while running, so twenty more days of moments like today when I can run with Felix Frankfurter (“The Political Thicket,” More Perfect, WNYC) (I’m obsessed with this podcast it just came out and I 10/10 recommend).
Twenty more days of eating my mom’s delicious food AKA everything she cooks but mostly 西红柿炒鸡蛋, or stir-fried tomatoes with eggs. And I still have twenty days of coming home and listening to Alvin be Daveed Diggs while replaying the whole Hamilton soundtrack over and over—thankfully that’s all memorialized in Schuyler’s name, which Alvin himself chose.
It’s kind of strange to think about. Not negative, just strange. I’m moving away from all of this. First for five-and-a-half weeks during the summer, and then for nine months during the school year. I am 100% sure of my decision to leave for Morocco, but I will also be leaving my normal life behind for something that’s completely new. It’s exciting.
Anyway, I have received some new information about next year. And for the last few weeks, I have also been preparing for my year in Morocco.
Writing this is long overdue, but (partially) got school assignments! The six of us will be spread out between two schools: Madaris Assalam and Les écoles scientifiques Mariotte. The schools are two blocks apart. Three of us will attend each school. We don’t know exactly which school we’ll attend yet, but it’s pretty great to have something concrete. Both schools teach classes in French and MSA. I haven’t been able to find out much information about the schools, but it’s great to not have expectations.
I have also been trying to do some shopping. I don’t completely dislike shopping, but tbh I’d rather spend the money on avocados. Here in the United States I basically jump out of bed and grab some acceptable clothing from my closet, which takes about twenty seconds and usually is a t-shirt and jeans or athletic shorts. It saves time and thinking. But unlike in the US, wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and sneakers every day is too casual for Morocco. I couldn’t even pull the t-shirt thing off a few years ago in China, where vendors would look at my attire and rip me off for being American.
And French. French is such a great language, but I do regret not learning it as thoroughly as I could have. I couldn’t take French class at school this last year, so although I can still read and write it pretty well, I haven’t spoken French much over the past year at all. My four years of school French have in no way prepared me for my move abroad because there’s still so much to learn, especially considering that I’ve learned fairly “proper” French but that various regions heavily use colloquialisms and slang. So for the past few weeks, I have been exposing myself to French as much as I can. That means a lot of Le Monde, Radio France podcasts, and BuzzFeed en français as well as a lot of French subtitle downloading and syncing on VLC—with the subtitles, I can write down the words that I don’t know. Oh, and I’ve started listening to Si tu écoutes j’annule tout.
I have also been learning about Morocco itself. When I was little, I didn’t really care about the places my parents took me. (“Yosemite? Tbh I love the big trees but I mostly care about how I can go camping and eat ramen”) But I don’t want to enter Morocco as such a tourist and I don’t want to be there just to take pictures for Instagram. So I have been learning and I love the material. I found a movie on Amazon Prime called Adiós Carmen, and it’s one of the only movies that’s made in Berber (a Moroccan language). I have been watching it and I have learned a lot.
I am leaving for PDO tomorrow. YES Abroad’s pre-departure orientation runs from June 22nd to 25th. I’ll be in DC tomorrow; wow, I can’t believe it! Although I live about a four hours’ drive away from DC, I’ve only been there twice, both times before eighth grade. And that was before I took government class–before I really understand why there were so many buildings in DC, haha.
As much as I would like to, though, I won’t be walking around DC by myself. Our schedules are packed from morning to night with activities that YES Abroad has already planned. But the capital is an interesting place to simply be in. There are so many important people around you, and they’re all doing their own thing like interviewing presidential hopefuls for Sunday morning talk shows, lobbying government officials about the environment, or establishing diplomacy between the US and China. All together in one place. That’s pretty cool.
I’ll cut this post short, since it’s late and I’ve been trying to continue a movie called Les Saveurs du palais. Actually I’m not sure what “short” means in terms of post length because really, I’m new to blogging for the public, and I basically write what comes through my head #nofilter #what
This blog post’s a response to a WordPress prompt. Although I haven’t really blogged for the public—ever—I’ve used WP since around 2011 b/c I have a personal blog/journal-like-thing that details my life since middle school. Writing something that the public sees is a very different feeling because I no longer can just spout what I think.
See you later!