This past weekend we visited Chefchaouen, which was a very welcome change of pace from Rabat. Things moved a little bit slower, a lot bit quieter, and my favorite part, no motorcycles racing through the medina. I definitely wish we had a couple more days to explore the city before boarding a bus and taking the winding trip five hour trip back to Rabat.
It’s crazy to think I’m already more than halfway through my month in Rabat. When I first got here, a month felt like a really long time, but as I look ahead to my remaining week and a half (which includes a quick weekend trip to Madrid), I know it’s going to fly by and I’ll be back in Michigan before I know it.
Ramadan started on Saturday, so Rabat feels a less hectic than normal, as all food stalls and restaurants are closed until after sundown and fasting seems to make people move a little slower and sleepier. Chefchaouen is a more touristy area, so we had no problems eating during the day there, but Rabat almost completely shuts down. The only restaurant open during the day is McDonald’s, so that has spurred a little bit of a problem for me and the other volunteers, but we are working through it by going to the market and eating a lot of fruit. I have been eating bananas and peanut butter for lunch for the past three days now, but Ramadan is definitely a really interesting thing to witness in a country like Morocco. The commitment seen by an entire country is incredibly fascinating and inspiring. Plus, the meal when the fast is broken is incredible.
Teaching remains a new experience everyday, as students come and go depending on the day. Sabella and I are working to introduce new vocabulary and identification between Arabic and English, which is something that I wasn’t previously able to do since I don’t speak Arabic. We now only teach one afternoon class a day to accomodate for the midday prayer, so I’m making a list of things left for me to explore in Rabat on my mornings off, including the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which is the first contemporary art museum in Morocco and the first major museum built since they gained independence in 1956.