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Monday, 05 May 2008

An American in Morocco - Page 3

Written by Kristin Cantu
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It’s human nature to want to explore and discover as much as possible about the world around us. Some of us use vacations to exotic destinations to get our fix. Others take part in community service projects abroad, whether it is for one week in the Dominican Republic or a couple of years in the Peace Corps.

INTRAVEL: What cultural differences did you find the most challenging to accommodate to?

ME: What I call the "Insha'Allah" attitude.  Insha'Allah means, "If God wills it" but I think translates more to "maybe yes, maybe no, I won't commit,” and it's the response you get for most yes or no questions.  Like, "So, we'll have lunch on Saturday?" "Insha'Allah." So, probably yes, but maybe no.  Or, "Will the printer be fixed tomorrow?"  "Insha'Allah."  It's culturally ok to be totally flaky.

INTRAVEL: How well do you speak the language?

ME: I speak some French and have been learning the Moroccan Arabic dialect, Derija.  I'm by no means fluent in either, but if I combine the two I can get by just fine.

INTRAVEL: Do you have Moroccan friends or are your friends mostly non-Moroccan?

ME: My closest friends here are non-Moroccan.  I have a pretty great group of American and British ex-pat friends, and I guess enough Moroccan acquaintances that I don't feel too much in a bubble. An American in Morocco, Maura Ewing, studying in Morocco, study abroad program in Rabat, Rabat Medina, teaching at an international primary school, Marrakech, Moroccan lifestyle

INTRAVEL: What do you miss the most about the United States when you're in Morocco?

ME: My family and friends of course.  And oh, random things... I get cravings for silly stuff like peanut butter, or bagels with cream cheese.  And I miss going to the movie theater.

INTRAVEL: Are there any traditions or pieces of the Moroccan lifestyle that you will always keep with you no matter where you live?

ME: I have some items, like my beautiful Moroccan carpet and a mirror that my wood working neighbor in the medina made for me.  And I have a few favorite Moroccan recipes I'll definitely keep on making.

©Kristin Cantu

Maura Ewing currently lives in Morocco and has plans to move back to the States this summer.

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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