We made it to Rabat, Morocco! It was a long day of traveling, which included 3 different flights, but the cohorts of 15 teachers are finally at home base, The Golden Tulip Hotel.
After relaxing for a few hours with my legs extended, which may have seemed like an eternity, we walked along the Bou Regreg River to dinner Sunday evening. It reminded me of a small-scale urban Ocean City board-walk with popcorn, roasted nuts, battery operated big wheels for rent and children flying kites with their families. We finally stopped at Le Dhow (sounds like dough) for dinner. This was a huge ship altered into a hang out, which attracted the most probable sightseers. The ship was what seemed to be an old pirate vessel converted into a restaurant with a small music venue at the bottom deck. The sound system carried Shaggy, “It wasn’t me,” followed by the top 90’s hip-hop songs through out the beautiful hard wood ceilings. Before dinner we were given some lovely Moroccan tea, which was poured at great heights…the more bubbles in the tea the better it tastes. Afterwards, we had dinner inside the ship and began to realize no one was loosing any weight while visiting Morocco. Our dinner continued for two hours until we needed to leave because of sleep deprivation.
On the walk home we passed 3 men patrolling the park – two military and one police officer, in the middle. I asked our guide, Meriem, about this and she mentioned it helps the people of Morocco feel safe during the time of a heightened awareness. They patrol like this around every public place just as we would have police in Washington D.C.
So far the language barrier has not been difficult, we have been taught a few catch phrases and have a sheet of paper with many more. If you can speak French, then you’re set here. The Moroccan Arabic is a different dialect than Arabic. Trying to speak the language is a little tricky being the words are filled with consonants.
The title of the post means I am a teacher in Moroccan Arabic
Here is a little background about Rabat and Morocco.
- The Moroccan currency is called a Dirham. Roughly converted as 10 dirhams is $1.
- A Fun Fact: Morocco was the first country in the world to recognize the independence of the United States in 1777. Morocco remains one of America's oldest and closest allies in the Middle East and North Africa
- Being located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Bou Regreg River, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat one of the most important cities in the country. While the issues with silt have diminished the role as a port, it is still very strong in the textile, food processing and construction.
- The medina of Rabat is listed as a world heritage site, and I believe we will be going there at some point.
- What is a Medina? The old Arab or non-European quarter of a North African town.