Morocco was so full of weird and wonderful. I was afraid before I went, because so many people told me about how dangerous it would be for a solo white female traveler to be in a Muslim country. To be honest, I was harassed there, but I was also shown kindness beyond mere hospitality. Men made kissy noises at me, tried to get my attention by hollering at me, looked me up and down, one tried to grab me, and my friend Callie has been followed home on multiple occasions. This experience isn’t unique to Morocco, though. Men in Italy, Greece, and the US have treated me in a similar way. I do think that men are more forgiven for those disgusting actions here in Morocco than other countries I’ve visited. Those terrible humans should not keep anyone from visiting this beautiful country, though, because Morocco has much to offer visitors.
Rabat felt like home quickly as the smells, streets, and winding passageways quickly reminded me of Guatemala. I loved getting to know the different paths through the maze of the medina by memorizing land marks like a mosque door way here, a mosaic there, the place where that one creepy dude is always standing, or a sequence of different colored walls. Callie’s host momma definitely made me feel at home as well. Jouharra is a beautiful women that started learning English by watching Oprah, which is amazing to me. The rest she’s learned from students she’s hosted over the years and from her job. Jouharra made us dinner every night we were in Rabat and welcomed me into her home one night. Two finches dubbed King and Queen also have free reign over Jouharra’s house. They fly in and out of the window she leaves cracked for them and have a couple of nests in the corners of the beautifully tiled walls.
We all went to Chefchaouen for a couple days in the middle of my Morocco trip, and the mountainous landscape was refreshing. We ate a wonderful diner at this restaurant Callie found us down in a corner of the medina and had a little adventure after a short food coma. I talked with a weaver in Spanish that day as well, feeling relieved to have been able to understand much of what he said.
The return to Rabat and remainder of my time in Morocco was restful, and I was thankful for the relaxed pace in the day. Upon my return, I received conformation that I would begin teaching in Guatemala in January 2017, and I’m excited to be spending ten months there. Knowing there is another adventure planned is always exciting.
I’m in Dublin now, and I already miss hearing the calls to prayer, warmth, and rawness of Morocco. I pulled myself from my hostel bed cocoon to make the short walk to Trinity College and see the book of Kells, and it was definitely worth the 10 euro entry fee to walk into that library, smell nothing but old books, and imagine climbing the narrow ladders behind the roped off isles to thumb through the volumes that filled the tall shelves.
Tomorrow, I wake up way to early to head to Barcelona. I’m hoping my time there is filling with sipping wine, eating tapas, and ogling at architecture. My travels come to pause very soon, and I’m both anxious and appreciative of the month off I’ll be receiving at home.