December 5, 2012

B’slaama (Farewell)

Goshen’s first Morocco SST is now complete. Only the final grades remain to be tallied, and the final reports filed. The 14 weeks have passed by as in a dream. We have experienced so much, yet remain novices; seen so much, yet overlook the obvious; learned so much, yet struggle to comprehend the most basic features of this engaging culture. It will take months, years, decades, a lifetime, to process the cacophony of images we carry away with us. Some of us will return, ‘insh Allah. All of us will carry a piece of Morocco within, a cherished enigma.

Service assignments took us to the towns and villages of the Middle Atlas and to the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. This part of the term, shortened by the Eid Kabir holidays, was also truncated in some cases by vacationing local supervisors, wary local officials and frustratingly ephemeral assignments. Some worked great. Some worked hardly at all. But in every location the experience with host families was a highlight. Bonds were formed that made leaving bittersweet.

But the time came for us to return to Meknes for presentation of final projects and leave-takings. A few final nights were spent with Meknes host families, culminating in a farewell party in which students and families sang, danced, took pictures, hugged and said their goodbyes. One final stop for tea at the Riad Zahraa, where we had spent our first night in Morocco, and it was on the road to Rabat, an evening on the town, and a very early flight toward home the next morning.

Enjoy these pictures from the final weeks of the term, of service and return, of farewell and flight. Thank you for being our travel and learning companions. As they say in Morocco, “B’slaama!” Go if you must, but go in peace.

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