I’ve been living in Morocco for six months now; four of them with a host family and two on my own. A couple of weeks ago I realized the honeymoon period of living abroad had come to an end. How did I realize this? Small, petty things started to frustrate me. I’m not going to list those here because they ARE small, petty things.
We recently had our In-Service Training (IST) and my spirits were lifted from being around the other volunteers and talking about our ups and downs, as well as discussing ideas we have for working in our communities. This time at IST helped me remember why I was here and the importance of our work as Peace Corps Volunteers.
A few days ago, I was asked what I liked about living in Morocco. Here’s my list:
- People – Moroccans are very nice and innately curious
- Hospitality – Moroccans are extremely welcoming, always inviting you in to eat and for tea or just to sit and chat
- Sense of family, community & closeness – family is very important to Moroccans and they will easily adopt you in to theirs, sharing what they have, sitting close to you, and greeting you with enthusiasm (as well as cheek kisses) every time they see you
- Food – couscous, tagine, oranges/peaches/strawberries/pomegranates in season, fresh veggies purchased weekly at souk, and warm bread with olive oil
- Atay (tea) – I admit it…I’m a fan of Moroccan Mint Tea and miss having it multiple times a day now that I’m on my own
- Diversity of the landscape – like America, Morocco boasts beautiful coastlines, mountains, grassy plains, desert, large cities and small villages
- Weather – I haven’t experienced the summer in the desert yet but I’ve been warned about it; however, so far I’ve enjoyed the mild fall, winter and spring I have experienced
- Hammam – there’s just something about how clean you feel after going
- Walking in the Palmerie – it’s very calm and peaceful
The honeymoon is over but thankfully, my list of likes outweighs my list of frustrations. I love living in Morocco, learning more and more about the culture and customs and getting to know my community. The next 21 months are going to fly by.