Another great day! Hard to believe it’s already Friday and that tomorrow morning we’ll be on the train to Fes!
School was so great today! I was in with the 12-16 year olds, which was slightly terrifying going in after my last class with them, but it actually went so so well! There was another girl teaching with me, but I mainly led the class. They love team games and competitions, so we started with a few games, and then I had a spelling bee! That worked really well because there is a variety in the kids’ levels of English, so I could give harder words to the kids who are more advanced, and then easier words to the ones who aren’t quite as good.
The words ranged from “pretty” to “thorough” all the way to “psychology” and it was really fun! A few of them said they were happy for the challenge, and I actually felt like I was teaching them something. They struggled with the words that I thought would be easier, and then could spell some words that I figured would be harder. In the afternoon I was on my own with them,
and we played hangman, and one girl came up and made her sentence “Heather’s mother is Kelly.”. It was so cute! She spelled my name without the A, but I let it slide.
We have these helper people in class who only speak Arabic who are there to make sure the kids behave, but they really just disrupt the class. Today it was especially annoying because my class was so good and well behaved and she kept yelling at them. Meanwhile, when we actually do need the help, she’s always nowhere to be found. Today when class ended she wouldn’t let me or the kids leave on time, and kept holding up her hand, saying, “Five minutes.” She kept on doing that, until finally Sebastian, one of the other volunteers, came and rescued us.
After work Mom and I went to the Thaqafat office to use the Internet so that we could book a hotel for Fes! We went on Tripadvisor and ended up booking “The Blue Room” at a Riad called Riad Laaroussa. It looks incredibly nice, way nicer than we intended, but booking Moroccan hotels on an IPad with limited Internet access is a bit of a challenge. It will be nice to have a real shower for a night!
We also stopped at the train station on our way back and bought out tickets to Fes for tomorrow morning at 9:17. We splurged and bought first class tickets, costing about $14, which means we are guaranteed a seat. The trains are apparently air conditioned and pretty nice, so that will be good. It’s about a 2.5 hour train ride.
We came back to the house to drop off our things, and then headed out again to explore a bit. One of the main shopping streets in the Medina, which opens up to a few different souqs, runs parallel to our street one street over, so we wandered down there. People weren’t really as pushy as I expected, but people tend to be very low energy by late afternoon after not eating or drinking all day. We sort of browsed the little stands, taking note of a few things we might want to take home as souvenirs. All the men wear these little yellow slippers that are really interesting, and I really want a pair! They sell all different colours and styles, but I really just want the traditional yellow ones. I’ve only seen men wearing them, but oh well, I’ll defy gender roles and wear them anyways. Mom’s quite set on bringing home one of the traditional silver teapots, but we’re both trying to hold off buying anything until we go to Fes!
We wandered straight down that same street, and ended up in a much poorer area that sort of functioned as a flea market, that eventually led down to the boardwalk. It was really interesting to see what everyone was selling, and even though there was paint chipping and it felt a lot dirtier, it was really beautiful. We went down towards the water on the boardwalk, which was quite a bit emptier than when we were there at night. There were so many boys all standing by the edge taunting each other to jump in, and we watched as a bunch of them pushed one of the smaller boys into the water. There were also all these beautiful blue fishing boats out on the water, so we watched them for a while too.
At dinner we didn’t have a Tajine tonight, and I missed it! It was of course still amazing, though. Every night there’s some of the same things, but then there’s also usually something new. Tonight it was this weird new fruit full of seeds. We still aren’t sure what it was.
Tonight was our first night out by ourselves! Abdulmajid’s brother is in town, so I think he was really busy with that. Friday is also the holy day, so it could have something to do with that. We went back down the main street, and this time did some serious shopping. I bought some loose black pants, and mom and I both got skirts.
Now we’re sitting at Arab Cafe, which has wifi, drinking tea and checking in online!