Worcester State University Faculty Led Morocco Trip – 2013
Our Final Day in Morocco
Everyone was a little subdued this morning when we gathered for breakfast in our hotel. We all took extra precautions packing up our Moroccan treasures to take home with us because we are going to be heading to the airport shortly. We stopped briefly at the Brahimi household in Casablanca to say one final goodbye to Mohamed’s family.
—- *Blog Photographs are Courtesy of Christopher Lippmann, one of thirteen WSU Morocco 2013 Travelers | **Video Links are short ‘clips’ uploaded from the entire WSU Group to our WSU Flickr Account to enhance the blog experience. —-
We washed all washed up with this magical soap. After a while, we walked out and were accosted by a couple of women working in the main room with the tables. Even though we couldn’t communicate at all in Arabic or French, there was a woman inside who helped us translate a little bit back and forth for us. We all got incredible massages — we felt bad because we were taking longer than Mohamed asked us too but we just could NOT resist, especially after our long journey. After that we wanted to sleep for a month. The massage was only a little dirham extra and well worth it. I could write for hours about this magical oasis of rest and relaxation but it is time to move on to write about other, more important things that we were able to do on this trip.
The boys were a little antsy when us ladies emerged from our royal treatment. Everyone piled into the van again and took off to the school before we needed to go to the airport. We went to visit Mohamed’s family member who worked at the Deroua School.
Those of us who spoke a little Arabic were able to converse with the children. It was a nice, short visit to the school and we took photos with the children in their classrooms. I could not help but be amazed that children at this age are taught to become multi-lingual. It was impressive and really puts the U.S. to shame. High schools here in the United States struggle to teach students a second language as required courses and these students were so eager to learn and show of their language skills to us while we visited with them.
After the visit to the school, we drove to the Mohammed V Airport to check our bags and we walked around a little bit. Most of us still had a bit of cash left so we bought some last minute gifts for friends and family. We said goodbye to Olivia who was taking a different flight on to Spain for her extended journeys abroad.
Leaving Morocco we flew over the Hassan II mosque and marveled that we were able to visit such a wonderful place. Everyone was extremely tired from our 10 days of incredible journeying in Morocco, but ask any one of us and we would tell you we would go back in a heartbeat. I could not believe how welcoming and warm every single person was. From Mohamed’s family welcoming us to the Brahimi home on day one to our new student-friends in Meknes, Ali in Rabat, and everyone else in between — no one could say that we are not welcome back again. Ali always tells me to come back next year and I really hope to do so!
Visiting Morocco with the WSU Study Abroad Program was one of the best choices that I made. Yes, it is an investment — but you need to think that you are investing in memories of a lifetime and you are creating new friends, seeing an entirely new country that you may know very little about, and you are making a difference in many different lives of people you will meet along the way. The history, culture, religion, food!, friendship, hospitality is so overwhelming that you really need to take as many pictures as you can, write it all down and just soak it all up.
By the time we touched down in NYC, we were on our last legs of this trip and feeling a little tired, but relaxed. We took some photos but we were all feeling a little depressed about saying goodbye to one another. We drove back to Massachusetts and pulled into WSU later at night – somewhere around 10pm, grabbed our bags one last time and gave a round of hugs.
Man, what a trip! Lets go again!