Recent Posts

December 5, 2012

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…

Read more »

November 6, 2012

As the time of formal language and culture study in Meknes came to an end, students prepared to celebrate the Eid – the Festival of Sacrifice (or, the Great Festival) with their host families. Many travelled to be with relatives. Others stayed home and received many guests. All participated in this important religious holiday for Muslims around the world. In Morocco, the ritual slaughter of a sheep (or goat) initiates several days of homecoming, feasting and celebration. As soon as the holidays had passed, it was time to get on the bus and head for our service assignments. Thanks especially…

Read more »

October 19, 2012

Taking advantage of a free weekend in the schedule, Morocco SSTers arranged to travel north to the “blue” city of Chefchaouen in the Rif mountains. The students traveled in several groups, some exploring the city itself and the surrounding hills, while others did some serious mountain hiking. These pictures were taken by Liz Core and follow one of the groups into Chefchaouen and the stunning landscape around it.

October 11, 2012

We had come through the mountains on our way to the desert two weeks ago. But this time the Middle Atlas was our destination. Only an hour’s drive from Meknes, it feels like entering another world. The forested slopes are interspersed with green valleys, arid plateaus and rocky gorges. This is Amazigh (Berber) country, and the scattered towns, villages and isolated settlements anchor the local agricultural economy. We pass through heavily forested hilltops, domain of the famous Barbary apes, and arid slopes, alive with flocks of sheep, goats, cows, donkeys and the occasional horse. We pass through the picturesque town…

Read more »

October 1, 2012

The Sahara

“The sky was as full of motion and change as the desert beneath it was monotonous and still,–and there was so much sky, more than at sea, more than anywhere else in the world. The plain was there, under one’s feet, but what one saw when one looked about was that brilliant blue world of stinging air and moving cloud. Even the mountains were mere ant-hills under it. Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky. The landscape one longed for when one was away, the thing all about…

Read more »

September 20, 2012

Having settled into our home city of Meknes over the past week and a half, we were ready to explore other important places in Morocco. We started with the amazing city of Fes (Fez) and proceeded to the site of the ancient Roman city of Volubilis (Arabic: Walili). We then returned to Meknes for a guided walk through the old city. Here, in reverse order, are images of our first foray beyond Meknes and back – ending with a wonderful group experience in the scarf market of old Fes, where we each got headgear for our upcoming trip to the…

Read more »

September 14, 2012

This week we started classes. In addition to daily instruction in Colloquial Moroccan Arabic (Darija), there were also three excellent lectures on Moroccan History, Moroccan Culture and the Linguistic Situation of Morocco. We also watched a video to prepare us for our first field trip this weekend, to Fes, Volubilis and back to Meknes. 14 year-old Ian is with a class of first graders for a couple weeks, learning Arabic with them, until he integrates into classes with his peers. He is in the same building as the SSTers, so he sometimes goes out to lunch with them. After class…

Read more »

September 8, 2012

Orientation Days

Having made our way from the airport in Rabat to Meknes, the group’s first stop was the old city, where they spent their first Moroccan night in the lovely Riad Zahraa, a traditional Moroccan house turned into a travelers’ refuge. Students checked into their rooms, stowed their gear, and after a bird’s eye view of the old city from the rooftop, we were ready for a walk to Restaurant Salma and the traditional dish tajine. The pictures speak for themselves. After our wonderful culinary introduction to old Morocco, we walked back past the Bab Mansour and the Plac Lahdim to…

Read more »

September 6, 2012

Students Arrive

The Morocco Unit 2012 arrived today. Flights were on time and we made the bus transfer to Meknes without incident – fortified by sweet Moroccan cookies. We checked in to our hotel, located in the Medina (old city) of Meknes, on a street where the buildings date to the 11th century. After getting settled we walked through the crowds of the old city, past the Bab Mansour, to a wonder supper on the terrace at Restaurant Salma. Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we start orientation. This is going to be heluw!

September 6, 2012

Students will soon be on their way from Goshen to Meknes. Though they have studied more than one form of Arabic already, they will encounter the unique features of Morocco’s own spoken dialect, Darija. They will live with Moroccan families, study the language, visit the main regions and cities of the country, and complete a service assignment at a second location. Unit leaders, Paul and Julie Keim, along with their 14-year-old son, Ian (Arabic name: Amin), arrived in Meknes in early August and have been preparing for the arrival of the students along with the invaluable assistance of in-country Program…

Read more »

Page 1 of 212