The morning after arriving in Rabat, we attended orientation at AmidEast for a quick lesson on the cultural practices of our Moroccan host families. The piece of advice from Abdellatif (our program director) that I found most helpful while adjusting to life in Morocco is to “watch and react”.
These words of wisdom were especially helpful during the fist few days of living with my host family. For example, at breakfast, when I was unsure of the correct way to eat the flat, pancake-like bread, I watched as my host parents spread jam on one side and rolled it up, and then I imitated their actions. By observing my family members activities, I am able to understand their daily life and customs, and act appropriately in a wide variety of situations.
I’ve really enjoyed the first few days in Morocco. Even small things, like navigating the streets of Rabat either by taxi or foot and ordering lunch using a mixture of Arabic and French, are great successes. As our first week here ends, we are all so excited to see what else Rabat has to offer!