Tomorrow will mark my second week living in Morocco. With each day, the reality of me living here in Rabat sinks into a deeper place. I live in the old medina, which is the really old part of the city. Built in the medieval years. I live about 10 minutes from the beach (well without managing to get lost in the twists and turns of the medina). When I am shopping in the souks I sometimes feel like I just on vacation. But when I am forced to try and communicate with shopkeepers and vendors with my broken French and swiya Moroccan Arabic, and the frustration of being lost in translation hits me, and I remember what I have gotten myself into by moving to this country— my own personal jihad, inevitable growth through struggle. It is hard to stay grounded. But meditating, staying connected with my family, and deep breathing all help me keep my spirit firmly rooted.
My host family does not speak English as well so I really have to practice conscious listening as oppose to half-listening as I can easily get away with back in the states. We have resorted to charades and drawing pictures and most importantly humor. Within these two week, I have definitely learned not to take myself too seriously…laughing makes life sooo much easier. Inshallah, communicating will get easier as time progress. The food is just absurdly scrumptious. Fruits here are sweet and small, unlike the states where there are not even ripe and abnormally huge. So much for living in a “developed country.”
So you know that box of precooked couscous you buy at Trader’s? Ok so that’s not real couscous. The real deal is fluffy and light, and oh so delicious, usually made with chicken and a whole bunch of vegetables. We have it every week. It is a dish that is cooked for big groups because there is more than enough to go around (not that lack of food is every an issue). I will talk more about the food on the next blog…for now enjoy the pics!