When I received the invitation to participate in the GPA Morocco program, I remember a flurry of emotions, assumptions, expectations, and questions hitting me at once. This was nothing unusual. I feel blessed to have had opportunities to travel. Whether independently or through different programs, I’ve seen parts of the world that I never imagined I’d ever see growing up as a child in Los Angeles and each of these experiences have been absolutely priceless. But there was something different about Morocco, something mysterious, intriguing, and even alien about the place. For one, Morocco would be the first African country I had ever visited (not to mention the warmest!). It would also be the first Muslim nation I had ever visited and a country that seemed a world away – geographically, culturally, linguistically – from that of my own.
Our journey to Morocco was pretty gnarly. I’ll spare everyone the details, but in short, 32 long hours from the point of arrival at LAX to stepping foot into our hotel at Fes: Los Angeles to Amsterdam, five-hour layover in Holland, Amsterdam to Casablanca, two hours to collect luggage and pass through customs, and, unexpectedly, a four-hour drive to Fes… whew! Exhausted, we checked into our hotel, “ooohhh’d” at the sight of our accommodations, and fell asleep only to wake up a meager four hours later. (Ironically enough, however, falling asleep was a challenge for some – like when you’re so tired that you can’t sleep? Yup, like that.)
Currently listening to: The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible