Mission Update:أربعة) ٤ -four)  15/07/2022

Mission Status: Concluding

Skill: Saying ما سلامة (goodbye)

Status: In Progress/Extremely Difficult

Over the past six weeks,  I have had an extraordinary time in Morocco, which makes saying goodbye very difficult. As a self-proclaimed, wanna-be Moroccan, I am being parted with a nation I have grown to love. My second, hardest, and longest goodbye is to the people I have come to know and love. 

First is the wonderful people from the AALIM institute where I studied and learned so much. From my decision to join the program and my close to 20 preliminary emails to my orientations all the way to the end of my time in Meknes, the people from AALIM have been nothing but welcoming and supportive. Moreover, my استاذتان (two teachers) were so encouraging and motivated in helping my classmates and me learn and succeed in becoming more proficient in the Arabic language. 

My second goodbye was that of my host family. والدي، امي و اختي (my sister, father, and mother) were the sweetest people. From listening to Fairuz every morning at breakfast, having my host sister thread my roommate and I’s eyebrows, drinking lots of tea, and having my picture taken at every critical occasion for memories, my host family treated me as if I belonged and truly made me feel like I did. I became one with the family so much that at one point my host mom made fun of me because I bought a bunch of peaches and two of them were no good. Afterward, she told me she never buys bad ones and is the expert at picking the best peaches, which I have no doubt in my mind that she is. Moreover, my host sister and I got very good at entertaining each other with only a look from across the small dining table, and at least half the time we did not know what we were laughing about. 

This particular goodbye become one of the hardest when my host mom and sister took my roommate and me to the street to find a taxi that would take us to the train station for the last time. As we stood on the corner with all of our luggage, my host mom and sister became to cry which caused my roommate and me to cry. So then, there were two Moroccan women and two American tourists crying on the corner as they try to hail taxis in the middle of a busy intersection and spend over five minutes hugging and exchanging goodbyes and extended thank yous. 

My last and hardest goodbye was with my cohort, fellow students, classmates, travel buddies, and most importantly my newest friends. As my roommate and I prepared to leave our newfound friends from these past six weeks, she commented that although we were partaking in an intensive language program we also were participating in an intensive friendship program. She could not have been more right because over six short weeks I made great friends who I studied, learned, traveled, and grew with. One of the hardest portions of the entire trip was that I knew when I returned back to the States that I would not be separated by entire country from my newest friends, but I would still be multiple states away, which is almost a worse feeling because I know that we are in the same country but still so separated by place. 

Although I am still sad that I will no longer be able to see my friends every day, I am beyond grateful for the memories that we made together. From eating egg and cheese sandwiches to traveling over the entire northern portion of Morocco in one whole weekend to traveling 9 hours on a bus to spending the night in the Sahara to late nights studying and learning Eastern European dances, there are countless experiences that are completely unforgettable and untreatable. So, although this may be goodbye, for now, I have no doubt that the people I met in Morocco will reappear in my life again. 

Camel Ride in the Sahara