November 29th, 2011 by mbuonopane

So, a little late, but last weekend our program traveled to Morocco for the weekend. Simply. Amazing. From riding camels to learning what life is like in a village smaller than even the tiniest in Maine, it truly was an experience. Morocco is a captivating place. I was especially excited because I had absolutely no idea what the Arabic world was like.  We hopped a bus from Sevilla down to the coast, and took a ferry across the Mediterranean (Even as I write this I still can’t believe how amazing this weekend was from start to finish!)  From there, we headed to Tangiers to meet with an NGO which helps provide education and jobs to the homeless throughout the area.  Hearing about subjects such as the Arab Spring straight from the source really puts things in perspective, and makes you want to help.

This trip was priceless solely because I now know, first-hand, about the culture. I now know how hospitable, kind and funny Moroccans can be. Our host family was very happy to have us. In fact, there were even other Americans study abroad students staying there, so they gave us some inside information on studying in Morocco. It sounds quite different from what we’ve experienced in Sevilla!

Our host father is a doctor in Rabbat, so he was very popular around town. He gave us a walk through the market, and told us about himself and his family. I was a little apprehensive when I heard that we’d be visiting a Hammum, a traditional Arabic bathhouse. It ended up being one of the most fun things I’ve done thus far. Who would have thought having super hot water poured over you while scrubbing yourself raw would have been so fun! Camels have been my favorite animal ever since watching Planet Earth; finally riding one was a dream come true.

(I also got to ride this donkey, really random, but really cool!)

Chefchaouen was the last town we visited, and we spent one night there. If I ever come back to Morocco (scratch then, WHEN I come back) I’ll need to hike the mountains surrounding this town.  We spent the night in a quiet little hostel, but before resting up, we shopped all throughout the market and had a nice relaxing dinner.  Couldn’t have asked for a better night; this entire weekend blew my mind.  For a little of the scenery, check out the video below!


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