Posts Tagged ‘exam’

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Tyler: New Years

January 2, 2012

The past couple of days have been insane. I have constantly been on the go. There is just so much to do here!! Okay so I will start with New Years Eve day…

On New Year’s Eve day we had our first test. For 2 hours before the test, we just had a review session which was really nice. We pretty much quickly covered all the things that we had learned during the week right before the test. For me, I thought the test went pretty well! I hate the anticipation of waiting to get a test back. 

One thing that was really different and that would never happen in any school in the United States is that after our test, they had a ton of salsa and chips for us. They also had bottles of real champagne for us after we got done with our test to bring in the New Year! It was insane! All of us were like, “Is this really happening right now?” It was a lot of fun just hanging out with the teachers for a while.

During the week we have to write one journal entry in Spanish and turn it in to be graded. The first one we had to turn in was on last Thursday and it was supposed to be about the first 3 days that we were in Cuernavaca. My housemates and I all turned ours in together. When Saturday came around and people were getting theirs back with grades on them, I noticed that I hadn’t gotten my back yet so I went and asked one of my teachers. There ended up being a note for me saying that I hadn’t turned it in but I could still turn it in on Monday but lose some points. This is where it gets really complicated. The woman who is in charge of grading them only speaks Spanish, just like the rest of the teachers. I went and saw her and had to explain to her that I had turned it in with my roommates and that they could they could vouch for me. She then asked me to go look in my backpack and notebook again to see if I had it so I did just that, knowing that it wasn’t in there. After “looking” for it, I headed back to her office and told her that I know for sure I turned it in and that it was on notebook paper with my name on it and everything. After she kind of got frustrated with me arguing with her, she finally said that she would look around for it a little later. After the test we all just hung out around the pool at the school for a couple of hours. Right before I was going to leave Nancy, the teacher, comes out with my journal entry graded and said that it had fallen behind a desk or something (I didn’t really understand). There that was a win for me! It is so hard to have a conversation like that with someone when you can only speak a little bit of the language that they only speak. It has definitely been really difficult here at times with the language barrier but it is also a lot of fun as well.

After that mess in the afternoon, we headed back to our house and hung out there for the rest of the day until it was time for us to head out. That night we went to this club called “Juarez Cuatro”. It was the recommended club for us to go to because the head of the school knew the owner of the club. It was really expensive but it was also a lot of fun. This is where a lot of people may have made their New Year “mistakes” that night at the club (haha). It was really packed. They pretty much only played American dance music which was cool because we knew all the words.  Here are a few pictures of me throughout the night…notice how sweaty I am, I was definitely dancing a ton.

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Kadie: Fassi familiarity

March 16, 2011

So somehow over the course of my first month here, Fes has become “home.” It has those aspects of certain familiarity that, upon returning after weekend away, just make me feel like I’m coming home. Its also everything I associate with my day-to-day routine, including the ever-stressful and ovewrwhelming class schedule. I know my medina streets, at least in and out of my little neighborhood, the rest of the medina is still a mystery, but the woman who owns the corner shop down the street from my house nods hellos of recognition to me now whenever I walk by, and the owner of the sweet shop outside the center we all study at welcomes us with smiles and ‘how are yous’ every day now. It is a phenomenon I’m beginning to get used to, when the “foreign” becomes the “familiar.” And I couldn’t be more in love with it. Of course, there is still too much to learn about this city and this country, and I don’t by any means claim to know evem a small fraction of the culture yet, but I do know that it already feels like home, that the roots I’ve laid down so far are going to be hard ones to rip out when its time for me to leave again.

And those roots I’m talking about aren’t just embedded in to this city and culture, but with my family and with all my fellow students as well. This last weekend some of us took a trip to Chefchaoun, which is “easily” accessed by a nice 4 hour long bus ride through the Rif Mountains in northern Morocco. This little city is BEAUTIFUL and tucked away in the most picturesque of valleys. The air was noticeably cleaner, and the weather noticeably wetter, and the people noticeably far less concerned with our presence…except of course when they wanted to sell us “kif.” Kif and hash are EVERYWHERE in this region, and I’m guessing it was offered to us ohhh, 30 plus times over the course of the weekend. Its sad kind of, that this beautiful mountain village is being tainted by such a horrible industry. But, if one ignores all the hustlers, and the police always walking around trying to catch them, then Chaoun can be really fun.

The history of the town is fascinating, and I’m not going to attempt to summarize it here, as I’ll probably get some details wrong, but it has been inhabited and controlled by almost every group of people one can imagine in Northern Morocco, and it’s now famous because the Jewish immigrants that arrived in the 20th century decided to paint the ENITRE town blue. So, walking through the streets, its as if we were dropped in to someone’s technicolor daydream…so many shades of such perfect blues, all attempting to erase all worries of the rain and the cold, and open our eyes to how beautiful our surroundings were. Wandering the streets was impossible without a million and a half stops to take pictures. And when we found ourselves with a few hours without rain, hiking up the closest mountain was the surest way to be absolutely blown away by the most picturesque scenery I have ever encountered. I found myself, once again, extremely frustrated at how the pictures I was capturing on my camera just were NOT doing the real scenes justice. The hiking felt amazing, and the friends I was with made it that much better, and, as everyone who knows me would guess…seeing more of the world always puts me in a better mood. 🙂

So it is with such a mindset that I returned “home.” And now, not even today’s exam can get me down…this next weekend we’re headed south, to the Sahara….and this one is sure to be EPIC.  Can I get three cheers for seeing the world?? Hip hip HOORAY! Hip hip Hooray! Hip hip hooray!! 🙂

Liz and I next to some of the waterfalls we encountered on our way up the mountain trails!

Soooooo BLUE!


ME! In front of a panoramic view of Chefchaoun below…

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