Seaside

It’s been nice to have a break and hangout by the seaside in Rabat this week. While I love my town and its people, escaping the heat for a bit is helping to renew my spirit. As volunteers, in order to better assimilate, we were prohibited from leaving our site for three months. Near the end of that time, it was difficult. Being prohibited from something … Continue reading Seaside

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Morocco’s Southern Coast

First, let’s be clear, since I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding. There is an extensive coastline along Morocco’s most southern coast that, as of yet, I am not allowed to enter as a current Peace Corps volunteer. I want to visit Dakhla and Laayoune, insha’Allah, but I can’t. Not yet. So, this is not about the Moroccan/Western Sahara, rather this post is about … Continue reading Morocco’s Southern Coast

Albert Camus on the Merits of Travel

“Without cafés and newspapers, it would be difficult to travel. A paper printed in our own language, a place to rub shoulders with others in the evenings enable us to imitate the familiar gestures of the man we were at home, who, seen from a distance, seems so much a stranger. For what gives value to travel is fear. It breaks down a kind of … Continue reading Albert Camus on the Merits of Travel

Pena National Palace

High atop the tallest hill in the Sintra Mountains sits the storybook Pena National Palace. It’s an amazing sight to behold. What used to be the remains of a defunct, simple Hieronymite (followers of Saint Jerome) monastery was severely damaged in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 and left in disrepair until it was renovated into an elaborately decorated royal palace by the then King of Portugal, Ferdinand II. The expansive grounds … Continue reading Pena National Palace

Volubilis, or وليلي‎ (Walily)

For those of you back home, here is a VERY brief overview of our trips to an amazing archaeological find. Take this information with a grain of salt, as they say, for I am not an expert. Consider this merely a solicitation for further exploration. It’s an ancient city just outside of the town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, located in the middle-north of Morocco. Based on … Continue reading Volubilis, or وليلي‎ (Walily)

Teach Me English

Louis C. K. has an insightful comedic bit about being a white, middle-aged, English-speaking, American male. He discusses the uncomfortable intersection of guilt about having all the unearned privilege each of these identifiers offers him while simultaneously being grateful for having them. He admits that, if he was given the choice, he would certainly choose to have them again. Who wouldn’t? Why would one choose less power? … Continue reading Teach Me English

Rural Road Safety

Though my town is relatively small, it has a serious road safety problem because of a major highway that runs straight through its middle. Traditionally a group of villages spread throughout the oasis that surrounds what used to be a river—but that is now dry most of the year—much of the town has grown to envelope the thoroughfare. “Centre,” as it is called, is where one find the regional … Continue reading Rural Road Safety

Luxembourg and Its Castles

Oh my, what a lovely little country. While driving through rural Luxembourg, I thought, “This is what suburban America strives to become.” Every village looked like it was straight out of a planned community brochure. Every little village is pristine, spotlessly clean, immaculate. Every little village is picturesque framed by green rolling hills. Every little village has a satisfyingly organized infrastructure, like buses and community centers. … Continue reading Luxembourg and Its Castles

Essaouira

After three months in site, it was nice to head out for some away time. The three months of mandatory integration was fascinating and fulfilling. We met innumerable amazing people who brought us into their homes and offered us friendship. But, Morocco is a large and diverse country, so I’ve been chomping at the bit to see more of it. While Erika returned to site … Continue reading Essaouira