Friday, February 4, 2011

Morocco: Roots in Africa, branches in Europe

Post on Feb 1: (because I didn't have the internet until now)
Hello everyone! Guess what? I'm in Morocco right now in the beautiful town of Tangier (also spelled Tanger). The start of the journey started this morning when we left our hotel and boarded the bus for a four hour ride to the edge of Spain. Hopped on a ferry for an hour to finally stepped foot on Africa. It is *amazing****. I am super excited for this trip and am very very pleased with my decision to choose this study abroad. What's really exciting is that tomorrow we will be touring the town of Tanger and finally heading Meknes. I will finally know my school schedule Thursday night :D.
Post today:
Yay! I just got the internet! So I survived my first day of school! Hurray for me!!! Today I had class from 8:00-11:15 Moroccan history and culture. That class is so cool but it's at 8 in the morning. Then I had Arabic 1 from 11:15-1:30 and Derija (Moroccan Arabic) from 3:30-6:30. Let me tell you, my brain is fried right now.
So Moroccans have a tradition that every Friday is Couscous friday :D. Yum! The food is amazing, the people are amazing, the clothes are amazing, the water is . . . well I have to get used to that still but once I do, it will be amazing. Yesterday we took a tour of the Medina (old city of Meknes) and in the city center they actually had acrobats, snake charmers, drummers, and the list goes on and on. I live in Meknes (the new part) and it's called Ville Nouvelle. I would describe Ville Nouvelle as downtown Grand Rapids. There are tall buildings, traffic, people all over, and it's quiet at night.
One big culture shock is the driving! There are lanes in the road but no one obeys it so in a two lane one-way road, there are at least 3 cars trying to get through. The traffic lights really don't work, there are no walking mans, you can do u-turns in a middle of a 4 lane road, honk your horn at a pedestrian if they aren't going fast enough when they cross the street, if a car is stopped in front of the taxi and the taxi realizes that it's to soon to stop, they will drive around the stopped car and continue on, and they drive in the middle of the road if they feel like they want to. Good thing that I don't drive here! One key advice: let the locals drive.
Tomorrow I have a free day so I think I'm going shopping with some of the girls and I'm going to give myself some time to relax. We seriously haven't had time to sit and think about nothing on this trip.
I'm posting my pictures of Tangier and Morocco on photobucket so make sure you check it out! (probably check it out tomorrow).
Oh and one more thing that you wouldn't expect from a country in Morocco. Days are warm but nights are freezing! In each of our rooms we have a space heater and like 5 blankets on our beds to stay warm.

5 comments:

  1. i'm jealous, i wanna learn arabic!

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  2. I am so excited for you Heather. I hope someday I can visit Africa. What an amazing experience for a bellydancer. It would be so fun to see drummers, snake charmers and such on the streets. I am enjoying your blog, thanks for sharing your experiences with us. We miss you.

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  3. Heather, everything sounds so fantastic! You are going to learn so much! Enjoy it!

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  4. Love your blog, Heather! I am looking forward to learning about this part of the world through your eyes!!

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  5. I've been following you with great delight. I pray that as knowledge of your world grows your God will demonstrate His grandness and sovereign rule.
    God bless you. Aunt patty

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