Medina LifeRabat, Spring 2012
Though I’m sure to my friends back home, study abroad life appears adventurous and exciting every second of the day compared to studying in their school dorms; even life in Rabat can become routine. While my average day here is pretty different to a day back home, the cool thing about study abroad is that a place once completely unknown too you can become your home. There is a kind of beauty to adapting to something that once seemed so different and new and having it become a norm. The sights, smells and sounds of the medina are some of my favorite things now and it’s hard to imagine returning to Minneapolis and taking a quiet 8 AM bus to class, on a road that obeys traffic laws, with students who all speak my language and without different animals and children racing past me, that almost sounds… strange. Though I still miss home every day and returning will be a beautiful thing as well, I think I’m going to miss the chaos of the medina most and how much more colorful it makes my everyday life.
Daily life in Rabat has similar patterns to home but just with different details. I wake up and walk to school, attend class, eat lunch, go to my internship, go to cafes with friends, do homework, chat with my family and then typically repeat that pattern the next day. But when my walk to school is past hanging goat heads and Malawi makers, it’s just not the same as Minnesota. Same goes for my classes taught by Moroccan professors with hands-on learning and field trips around the city, my lunch of fresh fruits and vegetables from the market, my internship at an NGO in Agdal reading and translating French articles to help the organization counter corruption, or the cafes where I can get (honestly) the best juice in the world that I will probably go into withdrawal from once I’m home.
My days feel so normal to me now and looking at my schedule for next semester, it’s almost hard to imagine how normal my jam packed days on campus once were to me. Though I’m sure they will be once I get back into the flow of things again, I’m anticipating a pretty drastic reverse culture shock during the first few weeks back, something I was told to expect before I left but nothing I could have really understood until I experienced life here. It’s easy to read about but hard to really know until you’ve lived it. Hopefully some photos of day to day life will offer a little more insight than just words:
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