Reflecting back on my first week in Morocco, it seems nothing goes as planned. As soon as I arrived at the airport I got dreaded cramps, the first sign of coming down with a stomach bug. I brushed it off as my stomach simply not agreeing with the lunch I had on the airplane. A few days later, the sardine tangine I had for dinner was not settling down and then I got sick. In the morning, my body and stomach ached. The dehydration of being sick overwhelmed me. My head hurt just like my body. I thought to myself “It’ll pass in a day or two”, which it thankfully did.
All the while, I learned to appreciate my host family immensely. My host parents didn’t speak English. The few years of learning French in high school, if you could call it that, was lost to me. I barely could construct a sentence and could only listen and understand their French at a bare minimum. Despite the language barrier, acts of kindness possess the ability to transcend it. My parents checked up on me regularly, ensuring I had enough water and asking how I was feeling. Even though I only could respond with broken French and nods of my head, I could still see and appreciate their concern for my well being. Regardless of the fact that their words had little meaning based on my poor French, their actions are what meant the most.