The largest mosque in Africa & Red Light Green Light: A two week recap.Rabat, Spring 2012

It’s hard to sum up 2 whole weeks in one post when I feel like I could write a post about each day, but with so many experiences to be had and the leftover time being used for Arabic homework and sleep (…mostly sleep), it’s hard to keep up with documenting all the memories!

About two weeks ago, a handful of people in the program decided to set up an “American Day” at a local orphanage in Kenitra. We played name games and red light green light, made chalk murals, and tossed footballs. Dar l’Kebira, the orphanage, treated us to a delicious couscous lunch and we made the kids dirt pudding cups (chocolate pudding, oreo crumbles and gummy worms) for dessert. Hours were spent getting to know the kids and having an absolute blast outside, teaching them games from our playground days and enjoying their company. I was 100% wiped after chasing 20 kids around for hours but you couldn’t have wiped the smile off my face if you tried. The center housed both underprivileged children (with and without parents), as well as homeless adults, working to be able to reintegrate themselves back into society. They had a full house and a large task at hand but I was amazed by all of the wonderful staff and inhabitants there, making a beautiful home together for those who didn’t have anything else. It was an incredible experience and I’m so glad I went.

Following that weekend, myself and a few friends took a trip to the famous Casablanca. With only a few hours to explore, we spent our time gazing in awe at the Hassan II Mosque along the water – the largest mosque in Morocco and following that, a trip to the famous Rick’s Cafe from the movie “Casablanca”. Though it was a short trip, it was absolutely worth it as the mosque was one of the most beautiful structures I’ve ever seen in my life. Half of it is built on the water, based on a line in the Qur’an saying: “the throne of Allah was built on water.” We spent two peaceful hours just chatting, listening to the waves crash and enjoying the splendor of the mosque in front of us. A spendy but delicious lunch at Rick’s Cafe gave a nice close to the evening and we raced back to the train station to catch the next ride to Rabat, all of us making it onto the train right as it was pulling away… except me. I got to watch my friends roll away on the tracks and hang out at the train station for an extra hour but I guess some extra time watching the sunset in a new city is definitely not the worst I could do.

The weeks have been flying and have been filled with class, family fun, friends and medina adventures. More in-depth updates on everything soon!

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