I celebrated my 22nd birthday this month. Before I arrived to Morocco, I was warned that after you become an adult, birthdays are not really celebrated. Either way I did not expect anything for my birthday. My host family on the other hand thought otherwise. When I arrived home from school, my host father Abdullah smiled at me and said they would return later. My roommate and I watched several hours of “Say Yes to the Dress.” I even got a nice nap in since the house was so quiet. (They have 3 younger sons who love to wrestle around) At about 8 pm I heard a knock on my bedroom door, my host mother Nadia yelled “Hurry Viri, Hurry” As I opened my bedroom door, I walked into the living room to find it lit up only by birthday candles. My host family began to sing Happy Birthday. I was very surprised and happy! On the living room table there was a heart shaped birthday cake with several bowls of pumpkin seeds (my favorite), raisins, ale nuts, almonds and gummy fish! They had also bought me a very large bouquet of flowers, full of Sunflowers (also my favorite). I had been in this families home for less than two weeks, but it felt as though I was celebrating my birthday back at home with my own family. The hospitality in Morocco is wonderful. It seems as though everyone is a stranger until they invite you in for a glass of green tea! I have never felt so welcomed. They gifted me the most beautiful silver ring and told me that I was now part of the family. I know now that when I return in a year, I will have a home and family to visit. By far one of the greatest birthdays I have ever had.
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