First Day – “You are here with only one agenda: Learning”

Schedule of the Day – Monday Feb 1st

8:00-9:00 Breakfast at Hotel

 9:00 Meet at hotel lobby walk to CCCL

9:30-11:00 Health Issues, Dr. Mohamed Hassar

11:00-12:30 Introducing SIT Morocco Programs: Orientation Outline, Fears and Expectations, ADS

12:30-1:30 Lunch at CCCL

1:45-2:30 CCCL Regulations and hotel regulations, Nawal 2:45-4:15 Islam: Fundamentals and Issues, Said

4:15 SIT (Darija & Fus’ha) Programs & Arabic Placement Test for non-begginers, Bouchra Sahimda, Arabi Department Coordinator

6:30-7:30 Dinner at CCCL

 Orientation… ugh. I understand the concept, and the merit of orientation, but it is so draining. Not to mention the loss of independence can be suffocating. But I am in Morocco, so I suppose I should get used to it. We got the orientation schedule this afternoon…. Looks like a week of what seems like the same “safety” and “orienting” kind of stuff. Woo.

The day was good however…. Lots of lectures and intros and class stuff. I was tired all day so absorbed only half of it. The unexpected Arabic placement test was rough (probably because I haven’t looked at Arabic since my last final). But the oral interview, which I was unaware we had was much worse. LOL. Apparently I write MUCH better than I speak.

Today in lecture we heard a man yelling outside, the Professor stopped to ask us if we knew what he was about. He was a beggar, begging for something very specific: bread. Our Professor told us that Moroccan families make a lot of bread, but instead of getting rid of it when it gets old, it is recycled – into the hands of beggar or some other use. In many ways this is one of the first experience of contact I’ve had with any Moroccan outside the rigid structure of the program so far. However, it has offered me a lot to think about for such a short and limited encounter.

 Thursday we meet our host families and Friday we move in with them. I am excited about Thursday (at least I think it is Thursday) when we have what they call the “drop off”. We all ride the bus and one by one are let off and must find our way back. Yay. Actually getting to explore and experience.

A lot of people are going out tonight, but I am far too tired. I feel that I should get my rest when my body tells me to knowing how my body’s immune system likes to leave at the slightest provocation. So I will be retiring soon. All in all, a good day. Can’t wait until my body adjusts and I actually get to see anything of Rabat other than the CCCL and the hotel. Maa salaama.

Here.

I am so dedicated to this blog.  I am actually gonna for sure do something I set out to do :).  So I haven’t slept in a long time, so I will soon retire.  I am in Rabat, in the Texuda hotel lobby (the only place internet sort of works).  We arrived about 2:30pm Morocco time.  From the airport, a group of us took a huge tour bus to the hotel, which gave us a glimpse of Rabat.  In this city, old and new, poor and rich, seem to converge in a truly unique way.  The ocean is “right there” and the old city (medina) is something else.  We walked there this evening for dinner and to see the CCCL (Center for Cross Cultural Learning) where we will be taking some of our classes.  The old city (what little I’ve seen) reminds me of the archaeological site of catal huyuk with the enclosed city and walls.  The architecture is amazing (even in our crazy hotel room)…. and I’ve only been here six hours.  I can’t wait to explore more.  But in the meantime…. goodnight world.

On the Way….

Here I am in Charles De Gaulle airport, which actually sounds surprisingly sexy when said by the French.  The flight here to Morocco has been… well…. yes.  Dan came home with me last night to Front Royal.  The plan was supposed to be: get up, shower, last minutes stuff, meet Margaret and Tricia for lunch (me, Chuck, and Dan), then Dan take me to the airport.  What really happened was: got up, started freaking out because of the large amount of snow outside the window, rush around and print things off and then going down the ice covered hill Dan crashed his car.  No one was hurt but I felt horrible because I had invited Dan home.  So instead we waited in the crashed car and Margaret and Tricia came and met us to take me to the airport.  I got to the airport, but while on the way, another car crashed into the back of Dan’s car while waiting for the police.  Then when I was at the airport Chuck fell in the snow while waiting with Dan and they had to be ambulanced to the hospital so Chuck could have xrays.  Apparently, just a sprain :)… but total 😦 thumbs down.  Worst start ever.  Also my flight was delayed.  I am soooooo moving to California.  “Hello Sunshine”.  Because my flight was delayed to Paris, I did not get to see the Eiffel tower or the Louvre like I wanted but alas…. I am waiting in France for my flight to Rabat literally surrounded by my fellow classmates (I met my first classmate Becca (adjoining seats) on my flight to Paris.  I’m actually not forgetting names as much as I’d thought.  A little overwhelmed but getting excited.  And also exhausted, considering I haven’t slept and it is 5:58am on the East Coast but 11:58am here in Paris.  Yikes.  And so, here is to the beginning of this adventure, and to my first actual blog post.  I can’t believe I actually posted one.  🙂  Wish me luck world, my Karma can only look up after this morning. 🙂

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