Ben Garnitz Arcadia in Granada, Spain


October 26, 2017

A few weeks ago I, and five of my classmates, ventured to Morocco. I wanted to go for several reasons.

  1. I’ve never been to Africa before and I wanted to crush the stereotypes in my head that Africa is either desert or Jungle like it’s shown in The Lion King.
  2. It seemed like a great opportunity that I may never get again.
  3. Finally, the itinerary for the trip looked like it had a fair amount of interaction with locals.

While getting there wasn’t complicated, it also wasn’t easy. We took a four hour bus to Algeciras and stayed overnight in a hostel. The next morning we took a ferry past the rock of Gibraltar and into Tangier. Leaving Spain, as my cell service became nonexistent, I realized I was actually going to Morocco. I was focusing only on the positive we walked around Tangier for a few hours exploring the markets and parks. It was nothing like I had pictured. It was a normals city with less roads and traffic laws. No tigers or lions rather mosques and restaurants.

Over the next four days we spent time in Tangier, Rabat, and Chefchaouen. We spoke with refugees, farmers, youths, muslims, and many others. I learned so much about Moroccan life and Islamic life. I knew the basics of Islam from my religion courses but actually talking to muslim men and women allowed me to ask questions my professors couldn’t answer.

While in Rabat, I stayed with a host family. They were kind, fun, and happy to have us. The only problem was that they didn’t speak any English or Spanish. Despite this language barrier we were able to communicate with hand signals, and the few corresponding words between Spanish and French. Myself and the 6 year old boy had a blast playing games like hide and seek, peekaboo, tag, and arm wrestling. Even though we did not speak a word to each other the whole time I was there, we were sad to see each other go.

Overall my time in Morocco was unforgettable and mind opening. I consider myself a pretty open mined person but actually seeing a city in Africa gave me a new world perspective.


Semester Spain Travel