… and as I stared, I counted…

This is my last night in a hotel (homestay family tomorrow)… and reliable-ish internet.  Woo.

Schedule for the Day

8:00-9:00 Breakfast at Hotel

9:30-10:30 SIT Program:  Schedule and Policy, SIT Study Abroad Morocco, Lahcen

10:45-12:15 Student Safety and Security guide lines, and contingency plan, Lahcen

12:30-1:30 Lunch at CCCL

1:30-3:00 Family Life and Homestay Issues, Doha Lmachichi, Homestay Coordinator

3:15-4:15 Student Handbook and Group Norms, Abdelhay

4:30-5:30 Meet homestay families

5:30-6:30 Visit CCCL library

6:30-7:30 Welcoming dinner CCCL

Today was long, but good.  Long, yet the days are feeling shorter and shorter (and more tiring).  Maybe because it seems like we did a lot today.

We went over the syllabus and all the things that we will be doing, which sound amazing (we are visiting so much of Morocco… like everywhere).  We are traveling to a lot of places, and encouraged to travel on the weekends…. So wahaa.  Oh, and I found out that we are in fact riding camels.  We don’t ride them until week five, but it doesn’t matter – Camels have been confirmed in my experience.

To be honest I know SIT has its ups and downs, but this is exactly the kind of experience I was looking for, so I am happy.  We have Arabic everyday from 8:30-11:45am and then all our other fun academic stuff.

We are encouraged not to live with our homestay families during our month long ISP (Independent Study Project) and to actually find the place on our own…. So I guess I have to start thinking about it…. and finding a place to live for three weeks to a month.  Woo.

I got a cell phone today, pretty small crappy one that cost 250dirhams.  I will only be using it to call people in country but I feel better having that method of communication in the chance that things go awry.

I learned a couple of things about Moroccan home life I did not know before.  One of which is that Moroccans only showers once a week in a public bath called a Hammam.  I knew Hammams existed, I just didn’t know that everyone used them, and that they used them only once a week.  Also a lot of Moroccans do not have hot water (or if they do they have to turn it on) or western toilets.  Instead they have Turkish toilets, which is essentially a hole in the ground that you squat over.  Happy aiming.  Also the Moroccans did not use toilet paper.  As I talk about these practices, while completely different from my own, I want to make it clear that this is not to say that the Moroccans are dirty or smell bad or weird…. just different. It is just the way it is.  However, although I will go to the Hamm am, I’ll be honest I’ve been devising ways I can shower more often.  I am thinking I can was my hair in a bucket (they often do not have sinks) every morning.  Then I can just rinse with water and a lot of perfume.  I also might (and by might I mean probably) will find a cheap gym and shower there as well.

Also, no washers and dryers.  Even in the hotels.  LOL, we have been hand washing our clothes (specifically underwear) and hanging them around the room.

Oh and the Moroccans use bread as their silverware.  So no forks, just carbs.  I think I might be in trouble… but also maybe heaven?  I am unsure.  But I am not looking forward to seeing what this will do to my already stressed waistline.  LOL.

After tonight my internet access is going to decrease significantly.  So we’ll see how this all plays out.  My blogs might just be lagged like a day or so?  Well, if I continue to write every day.  I am not really sure.  Eh.

So I met my host mother and brother today.  LOL, we don’t speak the same language at all.  She seems very nice and it seems like everyone in the family is hosting students from SIT so that should be fun.  I am kind of worried about the for real language barrier, but only in terms of rules and regulations of what I can and can’t do…. Not to mention letting her know when I am going out, coming home, leaving for another city?  But luckily for me she speaks fus’ha (formal Arabic) and has been responding in kind…. So we could have a like a half conversation.  I mean I am already horrible at small talk in general, but it seems I am even worse in Arabic.  LOL.

So tomorrow we have out drop-off and then a bus tour of Rabat, and then we will be dropped off with our families in the medina.  I am not really sure how this weekend is going to go.  Oh, apparently Moroccans also do not think people should be alone.  They think that people that spend time alone are either sick, upset, or have a problem.  I might be in trouble there too considering I really value time spent by myself just being alone with my book or thoughts to decompress and recharge.  We’ll see.  Also apparently I am going to a Moroccan birthday party this Saturday with my host family.  🙂

Oh and our dinner at the CCCL was amazing…. man, there is just too much to put in this blog.  Fo sho.

I think we might try and go out tonight since this is the last night before a great number of restrictions are put into place, so I might take a nap before.  Or I will maybe use this night to get some alone time before I don’t have it anymore LOL, I am pretty tired.

These are the days….


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