When I was thinking of ideas for my next post, I thought it might be interesting to share what an “average” day for me looks like. No two days are the same of course, but each day goes a little something like this:
I first wake up at around 7/7:15 and take a shower. After that, I eat breakfast which our host mom prepares for us. The food’s always zween bzef! For breakfast, we usually have baghrir (almost like a crêpe with holes on the top of it), m’smen (somewhat similar to a crêpe but with more layers), toasted bread with La Vache qui rit, fruit, and sometimes even cake! To drink, I either have coffee or milk.
After breakfast, my roommate and I walk to the nearest tram stop. We take the tram from L’Ocean to Agdal, and so does everybody else it seems like in the morning. The tram is a great way of getting around Rabat and Salé, it’s just that sometimes the tram is ridiculously crowded. Usually, in the morning we are all packed in like sardines. And the funny part is that the vast majority of us all get off at the exact same place, Avenue de France in Agdal. Of course, some people get off at the other stops along the way, and quite a few people also get off at Nations Unies, the stop right before Avenue de France. (I want to dedicate a whole separate blog post just about the tram because that’s how crazy and interesting it can be!)
After me and probably almost half the other people in the tram get off at Avenue de France, I walk to my school which is just 2 blocks away. Arabic class starts at 9 each day and goes until 12:30. The class is pretty much just like any other language class but is more intense because it lasts for 3 hours each day. (Luckily we get two 15 minute breaks within those 3 hours!) After class, I either get lunch with my friends or head home for lunch.
What I do after class pretty much depends on the day and/or what I feel like doing.
Monday: On alternating Mondays, we have cultural classes, Moroccan Culture & Society and Global Citizen. As the name suggests, in Moroccan Culture & Society we learn about the culture of Morocco, including things like religion and social behavior/interactions. Global Citizen focuses more on culture in general.
Tuesday: Sometimes on Tuesdays, we have cultural activities. Some examples of things we have done include going to a Moroccan tailor’s house/shop and seeing her designs and how she makes the clothing, and (attempting) to do some traditional Moroccan wood painting! Additionally, every Tuesday and Thursday I have French classes. While my reason for coming to Morocco was to study Arabic, I decided that I also wanted to continue my study of the French language. The class I take is through the Institut Français and is focused mainly on communication. Each class lasts 2 hours, with 2 classes per week and will go until the end of December (40 hours total). The class that I was placed in is the “Moroccan” class versus the “International Class,” which is amazing because that means I can meet more Moroccans! (And it was a lot cheaper than the International one!) The people in my class are all very nice and I like them a lot! My current level in French is B1.5 which translates to upper lower-intermediate, or lower-intermediate but almost to upper intermediate. I’ll be interested to see if I go up at all after these 2 months!
Wednesday: Every Wednesday and Saturday I volunteer with an organization called Ardes which helps Sub-Saharan refugees to start a life in Morocco. The purpose of the organization is to teach the refugees various skills that they can use for a future career in Morocco. What I do there along with another student is teach English. They are all from French-speaking countries, which means that I am able to practice my French a little bit. The class is fairly informal and relaxed with the students telling us what they want to learn based on what is important to them. Various students have asked to learn vocabulary centered around the skills that they are learning at Ardes, for example, some of them wanted to learn vocab centered around cooking and the restaurant business. We also clarify or explain everything and anything that they might have questions about or not understand. It’s a fun and very rewarding experience!
Thursday: Each Thursday we have a group meeting right after class. We fill out a worksheet where we reflect on our week: things like funniest and most frustrating moments, biggest accomplishments and challenges, and what we are most looking forward to next week. Later in the day, I have my language partner session. As I mentioned in a previous post, each student has their own “language partner,” a Moroccan who helps us work on our Arabic. During the session, we speak in arabia fuqat (only Arabic) in order to practice. It’s obviously a great way to use what we’ve learned in class and also a great way to learn new things! After that, I go right to my French class, which usually messes with my head because my brain has to switch to French after an hour of only Arabic.
Friday: Usually on Friday I don’t have anything in particular to do. After class, I go home to eat couscous with my family. It’s a Moroccan tradition to eat couscous for lunch and/or dinner every Friday. I don’t think I will ever get sick of it because it tastes amazing, especially the way my host mom makes it!
Saturday: Saturday is another day set aside for cultural activities and trips to other places. Some things we have done include going to Casablanca and traveling to a traditional souk (market).
Sunday: Sunday is our free day where we rarely ever have anything planned. It’s a great day to stay home and just relax!