Friday, December 12, 2008

lessons learned

So like every great adventure, I came to Morocco in hopes of finding answers. As my trip comes to an end, and I have a looming train waiting for me tonight at 2 in the AM, I'm pretty sad to be leaving Rabat...but on the bright side, I still have two weeks of solo traveling, then a much anticipated 12 days with Caroline in Italy. While I'm still trying to figure out what this trip means to me, and look back on all the experiences I've had, I do know one thing for certain. I wrote a blog at the beginning of the trip, talking about Zen, and if I would rather go through life feeling only content, or if I would rather feel magnificent highs met by pain-staking lows, and all the feelings in between. I know full well now that I would prefer the latter. Though sometimes its hard, I'd rather feel the lows of missing a place, or saying good bye, because I know i've felt the highs of the days spent there. I would rather feel lost without someone, then never have felt whole. I would rather feel the pain of scrapping my knees as I fall, then never having felt the exhilaration of the jump. I would rather feel the entire spectrum of emotions, then feel nothing at all. Thats one lesson I'll take to the grave.

But until I figure out the other lessons, here is a list of things I'll miss in Morocco as well as what I've really come to appreciate about America.

  • haggling prices
  • having no rules
  • being able to plead ignorance because i don't speak the language
  • living by the ocean
  • Kasbah's, Medinas, fancy tiles and doors
  • relying on a foreign language
  • traveling every weekend
  • using "Enshallah" like its my job
  • my host family
  • stray cats 
  • Marrakech night clubs
  • Broing Out
  • Walking forty-five minutes to school
  • Hearing the call to prayer five times a day
  • long lunches
  • Ramadan (well the nights during Ramadan)
  • the desert
  • Islam
  • Islamic Holidays
  • Essaouira 
  • Western Sahara
  • Bocce ball
  • silly nick names
  • Bab al-heb after the sun set
  • sun sets in general
  • train rides
  • under $100 flights to Europe
  • having a new roommate every weekend in my host house
  • packages from loved ones
  • watching nuggs highlights instead of paying attention in class
  • Bramadan, Broctobro, Brovember
  • cous-cous
  • dirham prices
  • cheap wine
  • sweets
  • bread and cheese
  • best chwarma
  • wearing the same clothes over and over
  • checking the exchange rate at the bank
  • not relying on the internet, but appreciating it
  • to be continued...
  • toilet paper and soap in every bathroom
  • being able to communicate what I'm thinking
  • public transportation thats reliable (Morocco makes the 204 look good)
  • Broing out with my ex-roomies
  • a plethora of choices to eat at
  • having a campus
  • the mountains
  • a fixed schedule
  • insulated buildings
  • Qdoba
  • trivia night
  • CEB
  • Exercising
  • Colorado
  • Wifi everywhere
  • mustang sally the red rocket
  • my takamine
  • an extensive network of people
  • illegal petes
  • quesadillas
  • warm showers
  • my aging bed
  • my parents paying for my cell phone (thanks mom and dad!)
  • having a job
  • being in (or near) the same time zone as people I care about
  • above all else, Friends, families, and loved ones
Though it had its highs and lows, and there were times were I couldn't wait for it to end, I'll never regret my semester abroad, or my choice to come to Morocco.

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