The idea of writing this final post has been, in a word, overwhelming. I have certainly struggled throughout this experience with how to best articulate all of the complex experiences I’ve had into accessible and engaging posts for this blog, but this is on a level all its own.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the recap.
This is the last post I will write regarding my life-changing adventure in Morocco. It is also the first post that anyone visiting this blog in the future will see. Embracing that duality, if you’re curious about any specific topics regarding my time in Morocco, here is an abbreviated list with shortcuts to the accompanying posts:
For fun travel reviews, click here and/or here. Morocco is a safe, welcoming, and economic travel destination for solo travelers as well as family vacations! Tourism does a great deal for their economic development too, so PLEASE consider planning a trip soon!
Above is the amazing local staff of my nonprofit, Cross Cultural Solutions. They were my encouragers, challengers, and protectors. But most of all, they were my dearest friends and confidantes in the volunteer house. Two of these staff members are former PeaceCorps employees, which was a terrific resource for me to explore as I continue to pursue next steps in postgrad employment. The other two staff members did not speak much English, which makes their friendships uniquely valued to me. These are people who have only communicated with me through a common second language. The reason this is so special to me is because I have a theory about how our personalities change based on how we are able to communicate in any given language. (I’m not the only one either... check it out!) In my first language, I can express a seemingly infinite amount of nuances and emotions. But that’s much more difficult to accomplish in a second, third, or fourth language. So to have been able to make friends despite the limited self-expression of a second language is quite meaningful to me! Overall, my wonderful experience in Morocco would not have been possible without these four incredible individuals.
Cross Cultural Solutions is an exemplary nonprofit that I am grateful to have called my sponsoring partner in executing this project. If you have any interest in volunteering abroad, I strongly encourage you to investigate their programs on their website. They have well-developed programs working toward sustainable impact in Morocco, India, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Ghana, Peru, Thailand, and Guatemala. They provide excellent customer service before, during, and after their programs, and they do a particularly great job ensuring the safety of volunteers while abroad. Please feel free to ask any questions about working with CCS if you’re interested!
Shukran bezzaf, thank you SO much, for being a part of this adventure with me. I was motivated that my women’s empowerment project indeed addressed a profound, ongoing problem in this country, and I can only hope that the work I did over the last three months made an impact on at least one person I interacted with. Education is the key to empowerment, and I am so grateful to have had the platform I did with so many different audiences to initiate these tough discussions. Sometimes it was difficult to change classes, but at the end of the day it was for the best. My impact was much further spread as a result. Please continue to share this blog with your friends, your family, and anyone else you may come across that could benefit from these stories. One of the primary goals of the Lumos fellowship is to continue to advocate and share about your experiences, maintaining an infinite cross cultural dialogue. So I invite all of you who have so kindly taken the time to read this blog to join me in pursuing that. Inshallah, or God willing, this is not where the adventure ends.
Finally, in true Belmont fashion, I’ll conclude with some fun music recommendations of songs I couldn’t stop singing during my time abroad. Check them out! “Zina” by Babylone, “Maria” by Faydee, “Habib Galbi” by A-WA, “Sahranine” by Carole Samaha, and “Kolly Melkak” by Sherine.
For those of you in Nashville, stay tuned for the date of my project presentation on Belmont’s campus later this fall. Looking forward to seeing you all soon! All my love!