As I write, I am on the train to Casablanca, where we will spend the next week. The rules around the vehicle in which Yvonne will be traveling prohibit me from joining her. So I am spending the hour-long ride writing. I bought a $7 first-class ticket and this car is as nice as anything you’d find in the U.S.
This morning I went back to the kings’ mausoleum to get a couple of better photos. One of the great things about this trip is that I have so much time and flexibility. I’ve now been there 3 times! It is an extraordinarily beautiful place. Continue reading “Nothing Is Free”
We’ve been in Rabat for 2 days now, still adjusting to the 8-hour time difference. Yesterday, we had a pleasant all-day walking adventure.
One thing I’ve been struck by is the contrasts in the ways women dress. One might see a woman in a kaftan and hijab, walking by another woman in torn jeans and long, flowing hair. Many women wear a hijab with western clothes. And we see them socializing together, not separately. I find myself wondering if there is a deeper cultural significance than just how strictly they practice Islam. Or maybe I just have preconceptions to let go of. Yvonne talks about culture being like an iceberg: What is visible is a very small part of it. Continue reading “First Impressions”
Days ran into months as we awaited the final signing of contracts before travel arrangements could be made, about a year after Yvonne first applied for this project. But now, it’s really happening! We are leaving for Morocco for 2 months, on April 18!
Yvonne is nervous about how to successfully train new career advisors at 3 Moroccan universities, collectively serving a few hundred thousand students at any given time. I am nervous about how I’m going to avoid feeling obligated to buy a really expensive fez, in some shop I never would have entered had the proprietor not invited me in for a cup of “the best mint tea you’ll find in all of Marrakesh.”