1. This picture was taken inside of a beautiful hotel in the urban city of Rabat. Though I did not stay in this hotel, the story about how I got in is very interesting. My friend Kat and I went to get some groceries in the city, but we were stopped by some hotel employees trying to advertise the hotel to us. We began speaking to them in Arabic in order to practice our speaking skills, and the employees were instantly in shock of how much we knew. After being impressed, they invited my friend and I inside of the hotel while also providing us with complimentary drinks and snacks. They also told us that we can come anytime to hang out or use the pool, and we even exchanged information. I thought this was interesting because though this could have just been good business for the hotel, it was interesting to experience how far you can get as a white American who knows the language and culture of a region that is often so demonized in the Western media. I have noticed so far that when I am able to showcase my knowledge and openness to this culture, people become thrilled and welcome you even more.
2. This picture was taken after several of my friends and I surfed. In the picture is my friend Atalie, Luke, myself, Roanne, Abigail, Lily, and our surf instructor Hamza. I love this picture not only because it’s beautiful, but also because it highlights a fun experience my friends and I shared. This was also the first time some of my friends surfed and went into open water as it is some of their biggest fears. It was a moment of pure joy and overcoming adversities. While being in Morocco, I have also stepped out of my comfort zone in order to overcome fears similar to my friends. For example, I was terrified of flying and being so far from home, but since being here and desensitizing myself, I would say that I no longer have these fears. I also believe my time here has solidified my dream of wanting to work abroad and in the foreign service.