To read up on my 2011 adventures in Morocco before this story, go here:
- My arrival to Spain and preparation for Morocco
- Making our way across the Strait to Morocco
- Settling into Meknes
Originally published September 18th, 2011
I’ve made it through the first full week of classes and life in Meknes. It has been exhausting, fun, and frustrating.
Classes will take some getting used to. Being taught a foreign alphabet by a non English speaker is difficult to say the least. Understanding a thick Arabic accent makes class tedious. Having questions asked from an obviously biased view point is a huge leap from the desire to teach always objectively at home. And that’s just in class, getting there is another obstacle.
Taxi drivers going the long way to rack up the meter or simply not understanding a word we are saying, even in French, is difficult and frustrating. Cramming 7 people into an old Mercedes as the driver swerves through donkeys, buses, and pedestrians is an uncomfortable, everyday event. The bus, surprisingly, is the most reliable mode of transportation so far. Tedious classes and rides to and from haven’t stopped me from having some awesome cultural experiences.
A few girls and I were invited to a Moroccan families home for Friday lunch (couscous). The family, despite only one daughter speaking some broken English, was incredibly warm, welcoming, and patient with us. The food was delicious and plentiful, the house was gorgeous with entirely tiled walls and beautiful ornate couches lining the entire sitting room.
Our program organized and brought us to a Hammam, or bath house, an experience unlike any other in my life and one I will not soon forget. We travelled to Volubilis, Roman ruins a few minutes away, and Moulay Idriss, a holy city rich with history, architecture, beauty and poverty. The culture and the people here are exciting and different and I am looking forward to three more months of learning and seeing much more.
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