15 July 2010

Packing the Schedule!

I really want to apologize to all of you out there... I so thought that I would have more time available to update this blog, but I have found myself working - or being present and "on" - from 8am until 7pm most days except for Sundays. And Sundays I have been using to visit friends and family, so I haven't had time to sit down and reflect on my experience here yet. At least in any meaningful, written way.

Things are going well, last week we were in Rabat, learning 5 hours of Arabic a day, and taking side trips to other locations. The goal of going to Rabat was twofold, one being to show the kids another side of Morocco, and the second being to give them a chance to focus on their studies in a cool, host-family-less environment. My personal preference would be to have as much time with the host families as possible, but because these students are here to learn as much Arabic as they can, they do need time to focus solely on their studies. Many of you who have visited Morocco, or who have at the very least talked to me about my experiences in Morocco will recognize that living with a host family can present certain problems for those who want to study.

This week, we are back in Marrakech, and are spending just 3 hours a day in our Arabic classes. We are also, however, exposing our students to more in-depth looks at Moroccan society. So far this week, we have attended lectures on the experiences of various ethnic groups in Morocco, the new family code and laws regarding women's rights in Morocco, and on Arabic calligraphy. Today we took a trip to the Jewish Synagogue in Marrakech (a visit worth a whole blog post in itself...) and this afternoon, the students are divided into two groups - one visiting an orphanage to provide smiles and cuddling to babies, and the other revisiting and learning more about calligraphy. Tomorrow we will inchallah be attending a lecture on the education system in Morocco, which, having known many teachers in my time here, I am excited to hear. Maybe I'll learn something new!

After that, we have one full week in Essaouira, and then a few days to pack up and say goodbye... The kids are talking amongst themselves about how fast this has gone, and how little they are looking forward to leaving. I empathize, because I have felt that way so many times before... thank goodness I'll be returning.

I hope this helps you all get a slightly more clear idea about what I've been doing. Hopefully when I'm back in the states in August, I'll be able to post more, and express this experience in more detail.

Until next time, take care of your heads!

No comments: