I am, like most others in the group, finding myself still adjusting to my new surroundings. I am constantly reminding myself (and everyone else) that we are in Africa — it has not set in yet. However, Morocco has definitely exceeded my expectations. I am very pleased to be here and now can see how the time will fly by.
The most interesting part of this trip, to me, is living with a host family. I have never done this before. I feel as though I have adjusted surprisingly well to living in someone else’s home. Despite the language and culture barriers, only a small handful of miscommunications have occurred. It is extremely helpful to have someone else there to go through the transition with you and to discuss your observations with.
Learning Darija is another interesting part of the trip. I never thought I would be so eager to learn and practice another language. With Spanish and French it was easy for me to go to class and do the homework but then not think about the language at all outside of that. However with Darija it’s completely different. When you are immersed in another country and culture, a need to be a part of it develops and the only way to satisfy that need is to learn the language and interact with the people of that country. Knowing absolutely no Darija coming over here was really difficult for me, not to mention frustrating. The first class was frustrating too; it was much more difficult to grasp than I imagined. However, the way the class is intructed and the amount of interaction makes it easy to stay focused and learn. Plus, in two days I can have a pretty decent conversation with someone which is unusual this early in learning another language. I am eager to see the progress I can make with the language in the next few weeks.
As I said before, Morocco has been way better than I had anticipated. The architecture, madina, flowers, trees, and wide variety of French pastries are keeping me extremely content.