This past weekend I traveled to Marrakech with two friends from AMIDEAST. We organized the trip ourselves with suggestions from the program, and on Friday afternoon after class I found myself on the train heading off to Marrakech for a busy weekend. The plan for the weekend included touristy activities in Marrakech like visiting the Jemma el-Fnaa a square located by the markets of the medina and the Bahia palace and gardens. Below is a photo with my two friends from one of the courtyards in the Bahia palace.
We also planned a day trip to the waterfalls of Ozoud on Saturday. I loved being more independent during this weekend and applying other skills like time management, communication, and self-awareness, that I have developed during my time so far in Morocco.
While on the train from Rabat to Marrakech, which lasts about five hours, I finished some of my readings for the upcoming week of classes. The trip gave me plenty of time to look out the window, read about comparative political theory, and chat with other people in the train compartment. I managed my time so that I could enjoy traveling to really beautiful places, while also balancing my academics. I am motivated to manage my time well because I am living in such a beautiful country.
Once in Marrakech I had the opportunity to practice some of the communication skills that I have developed while in Morocco. I put my Darija knowledge to good use while bargaining with taxi drivers to lower the cost of a fare and while bargaining for pottery in the souq– market. This weekend I also texted with my language partner about my travels and practiced more of my Arabic with her.
Throughout the weekend I tried to continue to be self-aware and to know myself more. This skill is one I am always trying to improve. I reach out for help when I need to. On Saturday morning this meant calling our program coordinator to help explain the situation to a taxi driver who would then take us to the waterfalls. Ozoud helped me to reaffirm how much I love nature and how happy it makes me. The long taxi ride back to Marrakech on Saturday evening provided me with time for journaling and self-reflection. By taking time to process all of the beautiful moments and also the harder moments, I discovering more about myself and what I love. This was the beautiful view of the waterfall.
Sunday morning before catching the train back to Rabat, I went to the Bahia palace and the Ben Youssef Madrasa. I spent time on the train reflecting the skills I practiced during the weekend, writing down research questions about public transportation, and scrolling through my camera roll. Here are some of the photo highlights of the Bahia Palace and a photo me at the Ben Youssef Madrasa.
Until next time!