Discover what some of our Park Scholars abroad are doing.
Monday, April 29, 2013
By Peter Quandt, '15
Youssef yanks my arm and pulls me through the tight alleys of Rabat’s Old Medina section. A quick left and we’re in the middle of Mohammed V Avenue just in time for the 6 p.m. rush. We can barely move amongst the swarm of street salesmen, beggars, and shop keepers all shouting and vying for the attention of potential patrons. The street market is vibrant and diverse, filled with everything from iPads to sheep heads, and suit coats to boiled snails. We take another left and I’ve completely lost my bearings. The twists and turn continue until we reach a small brown door towards the back of a dimly lit alley. Youssef turns to me and says, “Welcome home.”
It’s my fourth day in Rabat, Morocco and the small levels of comfort and familiarity, which I’d developed, just went straight out the window. My group’s first four nights were spent in the semi-luxurious, Western-style, Hotel Darna, where we grew familiar with the sounds and sights of the city but were insulated from the full cross-cultural learning experience.
But here, somewhere between Mohammed V Ave. and Hassan II Blvd., I’ve found myself fully immersed. The city that I’ve Google Mapped dozens of times is below my feet, the host family that I read about months ago is standing in front of me, and the language gap which I’d shrugged off in December is suddenly very wide and very real.
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