I have finally arrived now in Meknes, Morocco and have settled in safely at my apartment. First, I landed about a week ago in Casablanca. I had a successful and safe flight. The airplane food is nothing too special and I sat next to someone who we could not communicate at all. The language barrier begins! That night I met everyone from my program and was fascinated with everyone on who they are, their majors, and where they are from. Many of them are international relations majors or major in a language. I soon found out my language skills are very behind. This was my first encounter with not hearing mostly English and not being able to read street signs or menus. We went to our first restaurant after travelling and the time change was beginning to mess with us. I had an authentic Moroccan dish called a tagine , and I got the vegetable tagine with Moroccan mint tea. Casablanca is a crazy busy town and the do not follow the lights or road signs it was like chaos walking around.
Next up was more on the road travelling. In Casablanca we had got to experience the Hassan II Mosque, which was sooo beautiful. Also, we had stopped in Marrakech, Ouzoud with the huge waterfalls, and Beni Mellal then Meknes (my new home). In Marrakech it was amazing with all of the new things to see and to try. There were many shops and we stopped in the big medina. The medina was crazy busy with many people, mostly Moroccans. I unfortunately lost my phone in the hotel and have not found it. So I have not been able to take my own pictures, however I have been using photos from other friends in the program. I will share more photos later and they will come!!
It has been quite an adventure adjusting to the culture, navigating the unknown places, and not understanding the language almost at all. I have learned how to read menus better from the other students who know Arabic or French. The biggest change and most frustrating thing thus far has been the language barrier for me because I do not know how to read anything or talk to the people. I have learned some words in French because it is very common here for the menus to be in French, so soon enough I will pick up on it! Overall, I am loving all of this and the other students are lovely. I have made it to my apartment and am all safe and sound. I can’t wait for classes to begin here soon and will keep in touch! Salam 🙂