Tuesday, July 27, 2010
In a word, Morocco is paradise. I'm about five hours away from leaving the hotel in Casablanca and heading to the airport, and I'm so sad. Dinner was a bittersweet mix of everyone's funniest memories and fondest farewells. Stargazing in the Sahara, having so much fun in Marrakesh that you (Tara) lose your pants (!!), connecting with kids in tiny L'Mahamid, having no communication skills in either French, Berber or Arabic, yet still getting your point across on a human level. These are all the things I will miss. I'm grateful for my new friends, both Moroccan and American, and my new-found love of this place that is such a dynamic mixture of new and old, urban and rural, traditional and progressive. Like Kim said, it'll take a year just to synthesize and put into perspective everything we learned here, laughed about here, and are now tearing up over. I only hope we'll make that 1st anniversary reunion in Boston/Boulder actually happen. Being in the calmest, most charming, quaintest of all places in Morocco yesterday (Essouiria -- my favorite city by the sea), I dreaded coming back to Casa today, and can't believe that exactly a month ago I wished we had more time in the cities and couldn't fathom what we'd be learning while focusing on the south. How stupid I was. Sure, each place has something to teach us, but it's in the south that we saw true hospitality, warmth, and friendship. Jake, just say the word when you're ready to buy that Moroccan timeshare - we might have to fight over whether it's Ifni or Essouiria, but either way, I'm in on it, brother! And when you and Bill and I create our NGO that promotes education/sports/internationalism amongst kids -- or whatever we settle on -- we'll use that condo as homebase. Shukran Bizzef to three of the craziest Berbers we'll ever have the pleasure to befriend. And an even Grander Shukran thrown in for good measure, Abdullah. We will return to this place, -- Maghreb, Maroc, Morocco -- if not physically, at least spiritually for a long, long, time. En shallah. Layla Saida. "Pray to Allah but tie up your camels."