This summer I will be spending five week in Morocco as an intern at L’Association Marocaine de Planification Familiale (Moroccan Association for Family Planning). During this time, I will be living with a host family in the Rabat Medina, which is the oldest part of town, filled with winding roads, street vendors, and historic buildings. I have been in Morocco for just over two weeks and have already learned so much about the culture (although I’m still struggling to say “hello” in Arabic).
I chose Morocco for several reasons. First, couscous was one of my favorite dishes growing up (given, couscous out of the box in America is very different than couscous in Morocco, but both are incredibly delicious). The second reason is that I wanted to experience an entirely new culture while abroad, which Morocco has proven to do so far. Lastly, I wanted to work with an international Non-Governmental Organization to gain experience in potential career fields since I am majoring in International Studies and Political Science, so when I found the opportunity to work with AMPF in Morocco, it seemed like a good fit for me.
Since I am only in Morocco for five weeks, I expect the breadth and depth of my contributions to be rather limited. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to aiding this organization in any manner that I can. Throughout the past week, I have primarily been given the task of familiarizing myself with various issues associated with reproductive health, family planning, and abortion in Morocco. As a result, I was asked to read a 100-page book (in French) about abortion in Morocco and then write a 50-page report comparing women’s economic and social empowerment in Canada, India, and Morocco, based on the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations. While this sounded like an incredibly daunting task at first, I am nearly finished, and have learned a significant amount about each of the three countries. However, I still haven’t figured out how to connect to Wi-Fi at the office where I work, so instead I go to a small coffee shop called “Café Wi-Fi Twitter Snacks” every day, where the waitress invited me to eat couscous with her family last Friday.
Throughout the remaining few weeks, I’m excited to learn more about the Moroccan culture, learn how to say “hello” in Arabic, and begin working on tangible projects at AMPF. The best two weeks have been a difficult adjustment, but I can’t wait to see what will come throughout the rest of my experience in Morocco!