A Semester in Morocco
From January to May 2015, I lived in Rabat, Morocco's capital city, studying Arabic and journalism at the Center for Cross-Cultural Learning.
These events happened independent of one another. That should probably be clarified from the beginning. My tooth cracked last week during our village homestay... St. Patrick's day wasn't until nearly a week later. The catch is, the tooth incident happened in the middle of a dinner where the main dish was flava beans. Soft and mushy - nothing that even needed to be chewed.
In retrospect, I probably should have realized that the tiny, bone-like piece in my mouth wasn't some ingredient from the tagine in front of me. It didn't make sense, but I was more focused on what was going on around me that with what I was eating. So yes, thinking that this was nothing out of the ordinary, I swallowed a small piece of my tooth. If it counts for anything, I didn't know that's what it was at the time. I didn't even notice it was missing until after I finished eating and my tongue caught itself on the relatively sharp edge of the tooth that remained at the back of my mouth.
What better way to really immerse yourself in a place than to check out the dentistry scene?
The week and a half leading up to our second excursion was a change of pace, both at the homestay and at school. In other words, just as things began to pick up at the CCCL – Arabic exams and oral presentations, story pitches and assignments – everything quieted down at home. Literally. A week after I arrived home from the southern excursion, everyone except my brother left for Marrakech to visit their grandmother, my host mother’s mother, in the hospital. I was under the impression they’d be back the following afternoon, but they arrived home the following Friday — a week later. From what I’ve been told by my host brother, their grandmother has been sick and after the death of her brother (my host mother’s uncle), my family wanted to see and spend some time with her. With my home now only occupied by myself and my brother (at least as far as immediate family goes), the house was much quieter. I never thought I’d miss the noise and constant distraction of the girls after school, or the sound of my host mom calling up to me when dinner is ready, as much as I did. Everyday after school was a bit of a guessing game... would I walk into an empty house, or would it be another day of just my host brother and I?