Hi! We YES Abroad Morocco students have a one-week break from school because of Eid, and I have just finished my first week of school. For the last few days that I’ve had school, I’ve been falling into a kind-of-predictable routine. This is what my days have been like so far:
I wake up. I have to leave the house by 7:40, but I’m very much a morning person so I like to have time in the morning to do what I need. So when I wake up, I journal a little, check my phone notifications, go on social media, and make my bed. After I get up, I try not to wake my roommate up (sorry Elizabeth, if you’re reading this!), and shower. I shower every other day. Everyone showers a lot less here, which I think makes a lot of sense because showering every day in the US unnecessarily uses a lot of water and time.
Our house has a specific room for the shower and sink, and a separate room for the toilet. The shower area is square shaped and takes up about a third of the room. A large bucket with a smaller ladle takes up about a fifth of the shower space. To shower, you fill the bucket up with water and ladle it onto you.
Shower or not, I prefer to do some yoga in the morning. I brought a yoga mat with me from the States and it’s been lifesaving the morning, but school doesn’t really start until after our one-week break for Eid. I have an October 15th deadline for college apps, so I’ve been trying (ahhh) to spend a lil time writing essays for college.
Even in the US, I’d wake up in the morning and do all my homework then, so it’s nice that I’ve been able to carry on that habit to Morocco.
Breakfast with host mom! Usually we have bread, jam, butter, yogurt, eggs, or fresh fruit. Breakfast is a relatively lighter meal here in Morocco and is very simple. We talk with our host mom, Mama Fatiha, about what we have planned for our day.
Elizabeth and I leave our apartment and walk to the bus stop. Our walk takes five minutes. The school bus stops in front of McDonald’s in Agdal, Rabat (McDo f Agdal, in Darija) at 7:45.
Arrive at school! We stand around the courtyard and talk with friends from our classes, or we talk in our classroom until the bell rings. Over my last three schools I’ve had three kinds of bells: a flat tone (Carnage MS), no bell at all (Raleigh Charter), and a high-pitched fire alarm (Madaris Assalam). The contrast is pretty cool.
8:15 – 4:15
Classes. Lunch is at 12:15. Our classes are usually two hours long each. We have a different class schedule every day. As an example, though, on Thursday we had a free period from 8:00 to 10:00 (because our teacher didn’t show up), break from 10:00 to 10:15, physics from 10:15 to 12:15, SVT (science de la vie et la terre, aka biology/APES) from 1:00 to 2:00, and communications from 2:00 to 4:15.
We take the back to McDo! Then we have some free time to do homework, run errands, etc. Sometimes we go to AMIDEAST, the YES Abroad Morocco implementing organization, to use their wifi. Yesterday, we went on a scavenger hunt around Rabat with our language partners after school—we had to take a picture with a Moroccan flag, buy mint sprigs, buy khobz (bread), make a pyramid on the beach and take a picture of it, and so on. It took us three hours to do everything on the list, and we walked-ran everywhere, but it was great to see the parts of Rabat that we hadn’t been to before.
Our host mom and siblings come home at around 8:00 PM, so we eat dinner around 8:30—mostly delicious, puffy, circular bread served with various vegetables and stews. Because we’re not usually home for lunch, at dinner we have the chance to talk with our host mom and sister about what we’ve done today and any new words in Darija that we’ve learned. It’s still a lot harder to express myself in French than in English, but I’m improving! Hopefully.
After eating dinner, I journal some more, fold some clothes, and do some room organizing and cleaning. Since we only have around two or three subjects every day at school, I put only the school supplies for the next day’s classes in my backpack.