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 to our partners in the Moroccan American Association for Communication and Cultural Cooperation, we were able to place most students in towns and villages of the Middle Atlas, working at NGO’s, women’s cooperatives, schools and farms across the region. Most students travelled to their assignments together in a bus, stopping at Sefrou (Vanessa, Sam, Joe, Kate), Tazouta (Clare, Micah), Boulmane (Liz, Austin), Azrou (Stuart) and Ben Smim (Suzanne, John). In addition, one student is living in the medieval town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun (Rachel), close to the ancient ruins of Volubilis, and two others in the villages of Ait Hamza (Lauren) and Guigou (Michael).
As an interlude, we see what happens when the women of Morocco SST gather in the kitchen of Dar Goshen to bake cookies!