Quoi? What? Shnu? Que?

When I decided to come on this trip the part of the program that I was most excited about was the maternal/infant health aspect. Learning Darija (Moroccan Arabic)  was just an added bonus and not the my main concern. That all changed the second we arrived at the airport in Casablanca. Language is such a key part of the culture here in Morocco and not just Darija. My host parents speak French and Darija, the father speaks very broken English and Tamazight (the language spoken by the Berber population in Morocco). My saving grace on this trip so far has been my roommate Alie, who speaks French and Fusha. I speak English and Spanish. So far my main form of communication as been the pearly whites and my personal translator, Alie. Darija classes are three hours long and by the end of it my head is spinning, but I desperately want to learn. So every night this week after class I have sat on the couch with my host mom practicing my pronunciations. That has been the hardest part about learning, the sounds, because they are so foreign to me it sounds like mush. We crawl up on the couch together and get right in each others faces then repeat the same words over and over again. This is my host mother who I do not have a single language in common with. She is so kind and patient that we get by just fine without spoken language. I say the same word about 50 times, saying it correctly about 3, and she never gets frustrated or asks to stop. My host mother has become my inspiration on this trip. I hope that one day I will be able to speak with her and the other beautiful people of Morocco. Updates to follow! Bslama!

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