Alhamdulilah

Jada Bullen
December 23, 2015
Love

Today, once again, I was in the throng of a chaotic mass of people. We held hands so as to not lose each other in the din. Noises, smells, and lights bombarded my senses. But, I'm not even in Morocco anymore.

I was in the middle of Oxford Circus, London with my cousins and aunt. I am spending Christmas with them as the final leg of my grand world tour, and already my memories prior to this point are hazing. I haven't even reached home, and I feel as if Morocco has once again become a far away dreamy place, out of my reach. You were so real four days ago, where did you go?? To get a grip on myself, I  read through some of my old blogs--to reabsorb the memories and make them real. While doing so, I came across my first entry: my past self asking old questions. And now, I can answer her.

1. On a scale of 1-10 how hard is Darija?

Darija is definitely a solid 8. To be honest I never mastered it. At least, by the end I was only 50% lost instead of 100%.

2. Will men on the street really call me Mama Africa?

Oh yes, they do!...and much more. Feel free to refer to the entry "Reflection on Race."

3. Bathrooms??

Well, we could have a long discussion about the bathroom complaints. I would even be happy to write an essay about the complex, tumultuous relationship between me, bathrooms, and Morocco; but, I think it's best, for everyone's sake, if I leave it at this: I survived.

4. Do I need to learn French?

I didn't need to, some Moroccans were really heartened by my knowledge of Arabic; however, choosing to resist French came with its complications. Refer to "Young, American, and Illiterate"

5. How will I fit all my successfully bargained items in my suitcase???

Actually, quite well! I don't know if I should thank God for such a blessing or my mom for her packing techniques...I guess it's safe to thank both.

6. Why does Google Maps not recognize my homestay address?

Because the Rabat Medina cannot be parried down to a two dimensional version of itself! Also, street signs..yeah, that is not really a thing here.

7. Will my host family like me?

Yes, my host family liked me and I really liked them. Sometimes the intentions did not translate culturally, and sometimes we couldn't translate at all, but I am really thankful for my host mom and host sister. They really opened up to me and I truly do have a family in Morocco. Although my memories are blurring already, my emotions are acute.

Foremost, l am overwhelming and immensely thankful to God, my family, my new friends, my program, Morocco. Thank you for challenging me and exposing me and enchanting me.

Morocco changed me. I am changed.

I also want to take this time to thank EVERYONE that I interacted with during this semester, in Morocco or abroad, because all of you helped mold my experience and ultimately shape me. Above all, thank you God for being with me every second of my journey, for the many high moments and (unfortunately) the frequent low moments. I am now stronger in my faith and stronger in myself. For now, I look forward to the coming year and I am so grateful that I allowed my "over analytical soul learn to live a little." Hamdulilah. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

P.S. Oh, and just one last question, and if someone can give an answer to this I will be in awe and indebted to you. "Why do men drive motorcycles through crowded, unpaved, small medina streets? There is no place for you to go! The system doesn't work!" That is all. :)

Jada Bullen

<p>I am Junior studying in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. As a feminist by thought and a hipster at heart, I seek every opportunity to break the barriers, disprove the labels, and blur the lines.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2015 Fall
Home university:
Georgetown University
Major:
Cultural Studies
International Studies
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