Goodbye, Morocco!

Jess presents our Arabic teacher, Mohammed, with a box of cookies and some thank you gifts from St. Olaf.

Tonight, we’ll drag our sandy bags up the steps of our Zamalek residence in Cairo. We’ve had a fantastic excursion in Morocco, but our fondest memories of this country are of Fes. Thanks to our patient darija teacher, we’re leaving with a firm foundation for continued study of the arabic language, a skill we honed through playful conversations with students from all over the world at the Arabic Language Institute in Fes.  Daily insight into Moroccan culture and society provided our welcoming host families and engaging course taught by professor Sadiq Rddad from the University of Fes made for a captivating five weeks in l’Maghrib. Above all, living in the medina challenged and compelled each of us to consider Prof. Rddad’s signature assertion: it is through knowing another culture and way of life that we come to understand our own.

Expect more updates from excursion soon, as well as our first impressions of Egypt. We really appreciate keeping track of who’s following our blog, so please leave a comment when a post strikes you or you have something to share!


About stotime

14 young adults, two fearless leaders, a multitude of language barriers and a world worth exploring.
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5 Responses to Goodbye, Morocco!

  1. Christa Anders says:

    Dear Stotimers (is that a word?)-

    I am Duncan’s aunt and I am following your blog. I love it. I adore your willingness to share your experiences and particularly your perspectives as you immerse yourself in your travel. Your professor Rddad is correct – knowing other cultures and ways of life are the way to understand your own. The day after the elections here in the United States I am hopeful for what is ahead. I believe that having one-day leaders (that is you guys!!) live and learn in Islamic countries is a key to our country’s future.

    As an aside, I went on St. Olaf’s Global Semester program many years ago (OK – it was 29 years ago) and it changed my life in small and profound ways. I know your trip will also change you as well.

  2. Mary Ann says:

    Hi! I am Ben’s mother’s cousin and I love reading your blog and am always telling people about it. I have been captivated by your stories of living in Morocco. I wish I had had the resources/initiative to do something so brave and mind changing when I was your age! I did visit Egypt back in 2009, and I am curious to see how your impressions compare to mine. One of our highlights was a multi-day cruise down the Nile. Our little tour group were some of the few Westerners on board, and it was fun mixing with the locals as they vacationed!

  3. Trish Thompson says:

    I am a friend of Jessica (I actually did some day care for her younger sister and brother about a thousand years ago!) and I have been fascinated with her journey and her marvelous descriptive writing of Morocco. Though I will never personally visit this destination, I do feel that Jessica has given all of us a taste to this marvelous place. I salute Jessica and her fellow travelers as they continue to explore this region of God’s world and wish them well in their next adventures in Egypt, God bless you as you, Jessica, as you go forth to make the world a better place to be.

    Thanks for sharing your stories with us, Jessica and continue to travel safely home to Minnesota!
    Much love from Hastings is coming your way – feel our biggest hugs to you!

  4. Kathleen Bozis says:

    I am Christina’s aunt and have loved hearing all about your experiences. I have never done what you’re doing, but have spent enough time living and travelling in Latin America to know how much it teaches you. I found out on my trip to Japan eons ago (when I was your age) that there are things you like and things you don’t about every culture, and you just have to learn to take it as it comes. No place is perfect but all are wonderful in their own way. Love to Christina! Kathy Bozis

  5. Anonymous says:

    I copied your teacher’s quote into my Anth theory journal. its so true. and, i’d like to add, its through learning another’s language that you come to understand their culture. I’m glad you have the opportunity and time to be learning languages as you travel. It must be hard to only be able to dabble in them before moving on.
    thanks for writing for us : )
    -Molly (Ben’s friend)

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