Home away from home in Rabat, Morocco
Our motivation in choosing CCS was to give meaning to a travel experience through engagement in meaningful work. We were motivated by a desire for impact, personal growth, and community.
The defining moment for us was, interestingly enough, the END of our second week in Morocco. Let me explain.
We had volunteered, with pleasure, for a week teaching English to a fascinating group of people of varied ages and English skills. It is always fun for Marc and me to work as a couple, engaging in dialogue, exchanging ideas and materials, and sharing/dividing the class. Were we to do this again we would spend more time conversing with the students and asking them to identify the topics of each day.
Each afternoon the cultural activities – history of Islam, the Moroccan Arabic language – were well conceived and expertly delivered, thanks to Mohamed. The trips to explore Rabat were much appreciated thanks to our knowledgeable guide Abdellah. Khadija’s cooking class was a highlight.
The second week was our chance to tour, and we headed to the Atlas Mountains and the desert. Traveling by grand taxi we were delivered into welcoming hands. Waiting outside our riad were two camels, ready to take us into the desert for a night of beauty and mystery in a Berber camp. Sunset, desert drums, sunrise – just us and our two guides – magic!
And then we were back to Fez to explore that ancient city and visit the craftsmen there. Our second week was ending and it was time to return to Rabat. We were thinking about spending one last day going to Casablanca and then returning home to the US.
We had left luggage at the Home-Base and so went to retrieve it. And here was the surprise. When we arrived at the Home-Base in Rabat it felt so comfortable, so familiar. We were home! The staff had created a home for us, a safe haven in a land very different from ours. And they had helped us become a team, a community of shared purpose.