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.
I still remember my Irish dancing teacher’s last words to me before I left for Morocco last January.
“Of all the people I know, I’d have never thought it’d be you to go all the way to Africa,” she said, grinning wide. “If you told me you were going as far as Revere [MA], I’d have been just as surprised.”
For 16 years, I feared Rita O’Shea about as much as I admired her. From a young age, I knew that dance class time wasn’t the time to fool around... she made that pretty clear to me the day she kicked me out of class for misbehaving on the dance floor. I was only 4 years old and probably hyped up on sugar, but I was wasting her time and she wasn't afraid to tell me. During the years I danced under her name, Rita’s propensity to speak her mind is what scared me most. To be fair, it still scares me. She has never been, and probably never will be, one to sugar coat things.