I've decided to pass over most of our study abroad orientation (boring), and move to the time I spent traveling this last Sunday-Thursday. But before that, I want to describe where I'll be living for the next four months! Interestingly enough, جامعه الاخوين feels a whole lot like Haverford. Campus is gorgeous and secluded, full of well maintained greenery and a thoughtful layout of academic and residential buildings. They even have an Olympic sized swimming pool (I'm just waiting for that Haverford faculty pool expansion...any day now...). My room just happens to overlook the three tennis courts on campus (happy coincidence), along with a large open space for club sports. While the few roads on campus were extremely crowded when everyone was moving in, traffic is usually rare; in short, slap a 13 mph sign down (after converting it to kms, of course) and Fords would feel right at home....until they encountered some other facets of life at a Moroccan school. First, dorms are strictly divided by gender; no male can enter any female dorm at any time, for any reason, and vice versa. They even have little signs for men and women above the doors, in case I was to forget. This social conservatism also manifests itself in other areas; for example, while students can generally wear clothes of their choosing on campus, most everyone wears long pants during the day (yes, even in summer when it's really hot). Similarly, while 'lightly' holding hands (whatever that means) is appropriate on campus, it is frowned upon to be as close or touchy as students in the U.S. tend to be. And there is even a dress code for that wonderful swimming pool (swimming caps and suits without pockets? are required). The final major difference is the impressive mosque located at the center of campus (at Haverford, the equivalent placement would be Founder's Hall). I'll throw up some pictures later, and explain why I haven't yet done so in the following post.
مرحبا! (Welcome!) After a few days of rather mild peer pressure, I have decided to join the club and write a blog about my travels in Morocco. I know I have never been the best about keeping in touch, so it is my sincere hope that both A) this blog is regularly updated with pictures/thoughts/stories, and B) that anyone who wants to read about my (mis)adventures will be fully satisfied by what they find here. Questions, comments, and suggestions are more than welcome (actually, they're required, especially if you want something from Morocco...;), so feel free to contribute! I miss all of you already, but I'm excited for a semester in Morocco, and I can't wait to share what I find with everyone in the U.S.!