Shaping the experience by our own hands!

Authored by:
Nihal Bouabida

Nihal Bouabida

First week: check. And what a first week! After an insightful session on Ethical Volunteering, our Service & Leadership group visited Mohammedia's Youth Center and had a blast with the children. They played badminton, Haba - a Moroccan version of tag, and worked on designing a mural for the center. The experience allowed them to bond with and know more about the children they'll be working with for the next two weeks.  

On Friday, the group visited Rabat, Morocco's capital city which is bordered by both the Bouregreg River and the Atlantic Ocean. They first went to the city's famous Hassan Tower, a 12th century minarat which was left uncompleted by Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, the third Caliph of the Almohad Caliphate. They also visited the Kasbah (citadel) of Udayas, located on a hill overseeing the Bouregreg River. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with other sites in Rabat. Afterwards we visited the Oulja Pottery and Mosaic Artisanal center. Both forms of art are representative of Moroccan architecture. The wonderful staff took the time to teach us how to make artisanal cutlery and vases using clay, and helped us with our handmade Zellij tiles. We concluded the day with an awesome karaoke road trip back home; music was blasting, voices were singing and arms were waving in tune! 

On Saturday, the CIEE group met with Moroccan buddies once more for an intercultural session in which they discussed the importance of self-awareness in how we characterize the world around us. The discussion was followed by a Peer Mentoring discussion led by the Moroccan buddies who shared their extensive service experiences in the Mohammedia community, and answered great and thoughtful questions from our CIEE group. After that we first had a wonderful collective lunch at the American Language Center; the famous Chicken Tajine with fries - a real delight! Then we played a fun volleball game with the buddies and the ALC staff members. 

It was truly amazing to see the wonderful work and growth our CIEE group has accomplished so far, and their commendable efforts to immerse in the culture and understand the community.

Week 2 is here and we're ready! Follow us for more. 

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