Our mornings this week have been centered around self-reflection (through daily journaling) as well as discussions concerning American and Moroccan culture. The students spent time defining what service-learning means to them and how to contribute to a sustainable project in a community that they’ve just arrived to. Through this they highlighted the importance of a mutual exchange/understanding between themselves and the Moroccan students they’d be partnering with over the next few weeks. CIEE students broke off into groups and thought about their individual communities in the US and came up with a list of what could be done to improve conditions around their neighborhoods. As they presented this information, the Moroccan students were shocked to see that our very diverse group represents such a wide range of issues. They also found similarities to their communities in Moroocco such as; access to quality education, unsafe public spaces, and littering/pollution. Next, it was time for the Moroccan students to do their community needs assessement and while multiple groups presented, one point was constant. They all wanted access to resources and opportunities which would improve their English level.
Lucky for all, 16 talkative English speaking CIEE students have just arrived to Mohammedia! CIEE students conducted on one interviews with each Moroccan student to measure language levels and classes will begin tomorrow. The day had an extra special ending as we invited all students and host families to the American Language Center (where we conduct classes everyday) for a World Cup watching party. After celebrating France’s victory we decided to have our own sports night with the families, playing soccer and volleyball late into the evening.