Today is my last day in Fez. Almost exactly 2 weeks ago I was on a plane to Rabat. It seems like it’s been ages and only a few minutes at the same time. It’s been a crazy few weeks.
My host family here is incredible, and I really don’t want to leave them. I’m sure I’ll love my host family in Rabat, but my family here could not possibly be any nicer. On Friday, my roommate turned 20 and to celebrate our host mother asked a friend of hers to give us henna tattoos on our hands. It looks wonderful! Our family also gave us both bracelets (even though it wasn’t my birthday) and for dinner our host mother baked a chocolate birthday cake. The cake was especially sweet because while there are plenty of sweets in Morocco, no one really eats cake so she had to look up the recipe. She also wrote “Happy Day” on it because she doesn’t speak English and ‘birthday’ was too difficult. It was so incredibly nice of them.
The past two weeks have also been spent in orientation and crash-course daraja (Moroccan dialect) classes. It can now greet people and ask for my tea without sugar, a request that people in Morocco tend to ignore. Orientation has been underwhelming though. The group activities like the cooking demonstration and the trip to Volubilis were great, but I wish we had more cultural information.
Most of my host family speaks French and my host sister speaks English, so communicating hasn’t really been a problem for me, but it’s still difficult to ask questions about cultural norms. And I understand that a good bit of those norms can only be learned by living with a family, but a lot of the time, I’m not really sure what to do or say, so it would have been nice to have a course on those sorts of things while we were in Rabat before we moved in with a family.
But everything else has been so much fun. I can’t wait to get to Rabat and start classes! I’m especially looking forward to Maghrebian Francophone Literature. Until next time!