"What I'll Miss Most" by Mallory Mrozinksi
Learning to love being abroad was not an event, but a process. There was no one moment where a switch flipped and I was completely comfortable in this completely new environment. Instead, I found little signs and signals one-by-one telling me that I was making progress and settling in.
While I never quite got used to the taste of Leben (drinkable fermented milk), I did get acquainted enough with the language to charm shopkeepers and waiters. This feeling of being so completely immersed in a place where I understand so little is unique and fleeting. While I’m excited to go home and see my parents, time is quickly running out on so many things I’ve come to love about Rabat and about being abroad.
Something I’ll really miss is the juxtaposition of the modern “ville nouvelle” and ancient history that is present all throughout Moroccan cities. One of my favorite places in Rabat is Chellah, ancient ruins that date back to the Roman Empire.
This beautiful site is no more than 15 minutes from the AMIDEAST building in Agdal, the European-style downtown of Rabat. I can’t imagine a place in America that has such aesthetic contrast so close together. What’s more, I can’t imagine anywhere in America with such a plethora of adorable stray cats!
All my friends would attest to the fact that I am fascinated by every “exotic” animal we come across. From donkeys to camels to ponies on the beach, Morocco has given me plenty of opportunities to gush over new “friends”. There is no shortage beautiful nature to be seen in every place in Morocco, and such a diversity of landscapes. One of my favorite trips was to Merzouga, in the Sahara. Here my friends and I spent a weekend (and a very, very, very long bus ride) without wifi, playing games in the sand and singing songs by the fire.
The last thing I want to emphasize in this blog is how joyous the opportunity to travel and explore Morocco has been. Not only is it easy to find a train route, buy tickets, and go - it’s also a phenomenon that will never be so convenient again! Spending so much time with friends and embracing public transportation is something I may not have anticipated, but it is most definitely something I’ll be cherishing when I go home to the US in one week! Oh, and I suppose living down the street from the beach and the kasbah wasn’t too bad either.