Bailey Carkenord Blog Post 6 – Final Reflection

After seven weeks abroad, it is my first night back in the United States. It feels different to be back in my home country, almost surreal, but also not so different from my nights in Morocco; I’m still laughing with my best friend Molly, still exhausted from a long day, still cranking out homework. As I reflect on my trip with friends and family from home, there is almost too much to process, too many wonderful memories and new experiences to retell in a single night. But, at the same time, my journey was not without its flaws. I will miss seeing cats snoozing on the sidewalks as I walk to school, but I will not miss the catcalls I received on those same walks. I will miss hearing the beautiful calls to prayer, but I will not miss the pressure I felt to wear long pants and skirts every day (see: the catcalling). I will miss having sunny day after sunny day, but not high temperatures of 110 (see: the long pants and skirts). And I will miss my loving Moroccan host families and the hospitality they showed me when I was so far from home, but I am also eager to see my American family after so much time apart.

I am not sure if I will ever return to Morocco, mostly because there are so many other countries I want to visit, countries I have never traveled to. Even so, I feel that I have been treated to a good survey of the country, hitting most of the major cities and interacting with countless locals as I practiced my Darija. I feel that I have observed the best of what Morocco has to offer and, also, as I mentioned, some of the flaws of Moroccan society (again, see: the catcalling). But it has reminded me that every society has its imperfections, and I have garnered new observations and new perspectives to take with me as I travel to different countries and compare and contrast different cultures.

Me at the graduation ceremony at Qalam wa Lawh – my last full day in Morocco.

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