(the pictures might take a while to load)
I’m leaving for Chefchaouen tomorrow for a weekend trip with the AMIDEAST group and I thought that I would get some stuff done before I leave, and especially get this blog post in so the time delay isn’t too much haha.
Today I packed all my winter clothes in a suitcase. I also cleaned out my shelves (SO many loose papers, wow). My host mom walked past my door, looked at me packing and moving stuff around, and said, “I’m getting the feeling that you’re leaving tomorrow.”
I’m not leaving tomorrow; instead, I’m leaving in three weeks. It feels so short, though, and I don’t know where the time has gone.
For the last few months I’ve thought a little bit too much about the short amount of time I have left, and I would think things like “there’s only two months left!” “there’s only one month left!” etc. I’d wished for an extra month that I wouldn’t get. I’d wanted (and still want) more time with friends, more time in Rabat, more time to make up for when I was sick, more time to say my goodbyes. And Ramadan. It felt like I was having to leave just as I started having a network of people, just as I start getting good at Darija—and I was uneasy with the feeling of looming, imminent departure.
I’ve decided to change my mindset. Accept the fact that I have three weeks left here, accept the fact that I have a life outside of Morocco, accept the fact that I’ll have a busy summer and that I’ll be going to college in the fall with little time for breaks. Life has to go on. So while I know that I will miss Morocco with all of my heart, I won’t dwell on it for too long, just like I tell myself to not dwell on any other thing that’s happened in the past. I’m not yet ready to go home, but I have to be ready by the end of these three weeks, because one chapter of my life is closing and another is opening. I’m excited.
Anyway, here’s my month of March (and a little bit of early April) in Rabat!
Classic view from the medina tram station
Internship training event
Since October, I’ve interned at Association Marocaine des Petits Débrouillards, a French/Moroccan NGO that works on developing and delivering environmental advocacy activities to kids in the Rabat area. In March, I attended a three-day training session that the association put on for its new volunteers.
It was fun! We played a lot of games to get to know each other, but it was also intense. We gave lots of presentations and after each one we were given constructive criticism—which is a good thing. I also met a lot of people that I wouldn’t otherwise have met.
Jihane, one of the language partners working for AMIDEAST, studies pharmacy at the Faculté de Medecine et de Pharmacie in Rabat (in French “faculté” means university). They hold a Soirée Traditionelle every year, and this year Jihane invited us NSLI-Y and YES Abroad exchange students!
We dressed up in takchitas, as if we were going to a wedding. One way to describe the night is like a wedding, but that nobody got married. It lasted until 3am and lots of dancing + music happened.
Such a fun night! Also the most surefire way to knock your sleep schedule out of whack haha. No worries 🙂
Picnic-ing in Salé
Kate’s friend Yassine decided that we’d all get together with some of his friends, go to Marjane (kind of like WalMart) and buy food, and then cook it on his roof.
We ended up getting some turkey steaks, sausages, some brie, fish paté (lol @ me), and a bunch of vegetables. So we had a barbecue. Oh, also—Marjane sells gelatin-free (halal) marshmallows, so we roasted marshmallows too.
More internship stuff
(actually more socializing than interning haha)
Jewish museum in Casablanca
Casablanca has the only Jewish museum in all of the Middle East / North Africa region! YES Abroad/NSLI-Y took an afternoon trip there.
Compilation of miscellaneous street sights
Rabat is a beautiful city, and this past month I’ve told myself to take more pictures of daily sights that I won’t see anymore in a few weeks.
school and work and stuff
There’s still a lot to get done—primarily work, especially for capstone. My procrastination has gotten pretty severe over the past month since SO much has been going on and I’ve been so busy, which means that I’ve kind of been putting capstone off. This post is long, but it in no way describes everything that’s gone on this past month.
I actually wrote a journal entry for Global Citizen class about striking a balance between work and life: Personality types and self care
I also had a conversation with Ariel (YES Abroad) about this.
- what makes a student a “good” exchange student?
- how are we inevitably colonial?
- how are we “colonial” without thinking about it? how can trying not to be colonial make you even more colonial?
friends n stuff
honestly one of the best parts of exchange ❤
Temara’s the city directly south of Rabat, and recently I’ve been spending more time there.
Zoo take two
After spending two days in Temara, I met up with some of Fatima Zahra’s friends and we went to the zoo together.
Mass producing food with host mom
Fatiha has relatives in the United States. We spent an afternoon together and mass produced a LOT of food to send back to them.
more rooftops 🙂
Rooftops are another one of my favorite parts 🙂
So that’s a shortened summary of my month of March! I’m excited for what the next few weeks will bring.