Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rabat and My Moroccan Lunch

Hello to all. It is Wednesday of my first week here in Rabat and although I still have some lingering effects of jetlag I have been having a great time. The house, the staff, and fellow volunteers continue to be a great part of my experience so far. A very eclectic group with plenty of personalities makes for entertaining meal times and outside travels. This weekend we will be heading North to the Sahara Desert for a camel trek/camping trip which I am very excited about. I hope to have some great photos and memories to share with you soon. I have spent the last few days teaching English for the advanced students at the foundation in the mornings and then becoming familiar with Rabat in the afternoons. Rabat is definitely full of "hustle and bustle" and seems to be a completely new world. I have been able to practice French plenty while being bombarded by Arabic as well. It can be exhausting trying to communicate at times but hopefully in a few weeks I will be able to converse with ease while exploring. I haven't had time to fully explore the Medina and downtown area yet but some areas feel like Chinatown on steroids. It is hard to describe the culture other than by saying it is rich and full of life, almost like the city has its own personality with many different tongues and faces. I am eager to travel to other areas as well but I know in the remaining weeks I will have plenty of time.

Yesterday one of my students, Al Hassan, invited me to his house for lunch which was an incredible experience. Moroccans are extremely friendly and practically beg you to eat and drink everything. I was also warned by the staff not to say you like anything in a Moroccan's home because they will want to give it to you and "no" is not an acceptable answer. Al Hassan brought out a ridiculous amount of food, followed by fruits, teas, yogurt drinks, coffee and more. I was able to meet his mother, brother, niece, and "stepmother" as he called her. Basically his father has two wives which he explained necessarily rare in Muslim culture. His mothers only spoke Arabic but Al Hassan translated to tell me they were saying "Thank you for coming" "Our House is yours" "Today is a great day that you are here". Although you can receive awkward looks on the streets because you are obviously western, you will find that when you interact with Moroccans, they're are some of the most overwhelmingly friendly people I have ever encountered.

I will post more pictures as I take them




  1. Wow A, I am so glad you are enjoying everything. I wish I could see you in action, teaching English! Your lunch visit sounds great, I know that their kind words meant a lot, it overwhelmed me with emotion just reading it! Can't wait to read more! I love you! See you on Skype soon I hope! :)

  2. I just became a follower of your blog and it told me "congratulations you are now following the funk"


    All of this sounds awesome man!

  3. Sounds like you are having such an experience already, how cool. The pictures are beautiful and I love hearing about what you're doing... I'm sure you're a great teacher (when you aren't confusing everyone with your sarcasm and the like, ha). Have fun, be safe, and keep that bracelet on :)