Tomorrow marks one week since we left Milwaukee. It feels like we’ve been here so much longer than that. I think it’s because we fit so much into each day. The trip has been both wonderful and exhausting so far. I’m not used to having such a regimented schedule everyday, especially one in which I wake up at 7:30. Getting up much earlier than I normally do and still staying up until at least 11 allows tons of time for activities of all sorts but it also makes for an extremely long day. So far the madina has been the only “after school” excursion Caroline and I have had but we manage to keep busy at our homestay.
It has been really cool being a part of our homestay family. Last night we were able to feast with them after their weekly pre-Ramadan fast. It was the first time that we actually all enjoyed a meal together and it was really nice. The food was different from any food that we’ve had thus far and we finally got to eat the fresh figs that everyone talks about. Then today we went home for lunch and our homestay’s housekeeper, Habiba, made us couscous which was excellent. I could definitely get used to that on a Friday afternoon.
Something I’d like to see myself overcome in my time here is the language barrier. Although we are rapidly learning Darija and it is not a severe language barrier, it is still a struggle at times to convey simple concepts to the locals. I have fallen back on French (and at times English) which has been extremely helpful, especially with our host mom, but there are of course people who don’t speak anything besides Darija. I hope this language barrier will become even smaller as time goes on.