So this last week has been a week of firsts.

I went to continent of Africa for the first time as I visited Morocco for the first time. Morocco is definitely an experience I will never forget. I learned so much in my short four days there not only did I learn about the language and culture, but also more about myself and what I want to do. I know, starting to get a little deep there, but seriously, if I ever have the chance to go back I would.

First, let me start off by teaching you a few words that I learned whilst in Morocco.
Salam– Hello
 B’Salama– Bye
Koolhay– eat
Sabah– 7
Shrukan– thank you
Layla Saida– Goodnight

Smiti– My name is…

Waha– Okay

I don’t think I have ever experienced a language barrier (I am a native Spanish speaker so being in Spain is no biggie), but while I was in Morocco I had absolutely no idea how to communicate. I have huge respect for my fellow classmates that have little to no Spanish in their vocabulary. Trying to talk to my host family while in Morocco was a great experience and I picked up  on a few words and thoroughly enjoyed it. My host sister did speak some English so I was not totally lost.

This link will show you exactly how I felt throughout my Moroccan travels.

I want to give an overall schedule of what happened during my stay in Morocco.

Day One: Tarifa – Algeciras- Rabat

  • Boat journey across the Mediterranean Sea from Algeciras, Spain to Tangier, Morocco
  • Visit the women’s center, DARNA, including informal conversation with Moroccan students
    • This was one of my favorite activities. We talked a lot about cultural diversity, education, and women’s rights in Morocco. You would think that Morocco, being an Islamic country, women would have little to no freedom but that is not the case! Women are very educated and sometimes may even have more freedom/opportunities than men.
  • Lunch at DARNA
    • Uh, extremely delicious!
  • Drive to Assila along the Atlantic coast
    • WE RODE CAMELS!! And for the record, camels must really like me since they were trying to eat my hair and even chased me across the beach!

      Can you tell that I am very excited? (sorry it might be a little dark)

      Can you tell that I am very excited? (sorry it might be a little dark)

  • Walk through the Medina (old town) of Assila
  • Dinner with home stay families
    • Also delicious. Also, our bedrooms were freaking awesome and so was my host family! Sending them lots of love!

Day Two: Rabat

  • Breakfast
    • Did I happen to mention that Moroccan food is delicious??
  • Conversation with Moroccan students
    • Again this was very educational. It was interesting learning their point of view on things. For example, Moroccans have free education yet even with a PhD, it is extremely difficult to obtain a job. Also despite the fact that their education is free, it is not A+ quality. It is amazing to think about all the opportunities we have and yet they go unnoticed. To be completely honest, I was a little jealous at first at hearing about their free education and how they are taught English and/or French at a young age, but even then they are hard-pressed for a job.

Some of the Moroccan students who spoke with us.

  • Visit the Roman ruins–Chellah and the Mausoleum of King Mohammed V
  • Lunch with host family
    • Need I say it?
  • Exploring Rabat’s Kasbah (old fort), street life, and the Medina market with Moroccan students
    • This was a memorable night. #IHAAAAAB (inside joke) *see video attachment*
    • Again, spending time with these Moroccan students is very insightful. I cannot stress enough how important it is to learn about every culture you come across! Please take the time to learn something about the next country/city you visit. It will be worth your while, I promise!!
This is us yelling "IHAAAB" as we take the picture.

This is us yelling “IHAAAB” as we take the picture. (excuse the blurriness on my pictures, for some reason they upload that way)

  • Hammam
    • I definitely got to know my classmates a whole lot better after this. I suggest you research this activity on your own. I highly recommend it, though maybe in a lesser public setting. =)
  • Dinner
    • YUM!

Day Three: Rabat – Rif Mountains – Chefchaouen

  • Breakfast
  • Drive to Rif Mountains
  • Lunch with family in a mountain village
    • This family was absolutely precious. They were so open to us and friendly. They were also very curious about our culture as Americans. This was also a very different experience from all of the other cities we visited. Mostly in the way that the family lived because they were in a more rural area. #SquatPots
  • Drive to Chefchaouen
  • Settle in hostel and explore the Medina
    • Time for bargaining and henna!
  • Dinner
    • Umm…DELICIOUS!!
  • Reflection time
    • We all spoke about what we had learned and what had surprised us the most. It was an intimate moment for us as we sat around two melting candles wrapped in our blankets.

Day Four: Chefchaouen – Ceuta – Tarifa

  • Breakfast
    • Unfortunately, I was becoming deathly ill at this point (must have been all the delicious food I had been eating…overdose?) and I did not have any breakfast that morning. I was having some gastrointestinal issues otherwise known as traveler’s diarrhea, a fantastic thing really….NOT!, and I was dehydrated and eventually received some medical care. PIECE OF ADVICE: PLEASE KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED WITH BOTTLED WATER!!
  • Drive to Ceuta
  • Boat journey across the Strait of Gibraltar
  • Arrival in Tarifa, Spain

My trip to Morocco is something that I will never forget. I learned so much and from my time there I can tell you two things:

  1. Muslims are NOT terrorists. They are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. It is not part of their culture to blow things up or terrorize people. In fact, they are afraid of what ISIS might do next. Please do not let the media dictate your thoughts towards places you have never visited.
  2. Never be afraid to experience different things or go out of your comfort zone. Enjoy life and the opportunities while you have them. Privileges.

Morocco was fun and adventurous but I never thought that I would be so happy to be back home, because that is what Granada is to me now. Home. And I never want to leave.