Distance Makes the Heart Grow

It’s been just over a month since we waved goodbye to our friends and the entire country of Morocco, and returned to our daily lives in Canada. This, of course, does not mean that our work is over – our final research papers are due soon, and thus the past month has been one of long hours spent at the library, tracking down elusive primary sources, and cursing every time a journal article foolishly asked us broke students to provide 35$ as an access fee. In the midst of this, it’s easy to forget why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Though my host family, the kids I tutored in Zawiya, or the cab drivers that drove me to AMIDEAST every day won’t be affected by my report on the impact of the socioeconomic development of women on rates of syphilis in Morocco, it remains an interesting topic with it’s own merit.  But it is, admittedly, difficult to remain motivated about something that seems so removed from Hamilton.

Just as it’s easy to respect people when they’re right in front of you – we were always modestly dressed, greeted people respectfully, and tried to help in any way we could – it’s equally easy to forget that I still owe something to the people of Morocco. They put their all into helping me make the most of my trip, and I wish to respect that by putting my all into what will come out of it, namely my report.

As I rouse myself from bed way past when I wanted to be up and working, I know that it’s fuel to the fire, lit by the kindness of the people of Morocco and kindled by my enormous respect for them.  This report will get done by the deadline and through my research, it’s really been reinforced in my mind that you are a marvel, Morocco.  Here’s to you Morocco, Arabs, Amazigh, tourists, travellers, and students: thank you!

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