Day 4 - Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Trip Start Apr 20, 2003
Trip End Aug 13, 2003

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wow, what an experience this has all been so far! Monday night I arrived late at the Casablanca airport around 6 pm Moroccan time. There I met Autumn, who is a member of the missionary group. We had a wonderful talk, althought I was extremely foggy from the past 30 hours of traveling. Thankfully, she spoke Arabic, which helped me in the airport. My first "culture shock" was while I was waiting for my flight to Agadir. I have never been in an airport like it! There I sat, surrounded by women in long dresses and scarves covering their faces. Everyone knew I was American. I felt so alone. All the studying I had done trying to learn Arabic went out the window. They spoke too quickly and I couldn't catch anything. I heard a woman's loud voice speaking Arabic over the intercom and everyone suddenly rushed at once toward the front. There was no organization, no lines, nothing. I didn't even know if this was my flight! I looked to find someone kind that could help me out. I saw a young woman sitting with her two children and I went over to her, holding out my ticket. "Agadir?" I asked. She nodded her head. We got on the airplane and arrived in Agadir after a flight spoken completely in Arabic. I met my host father, who took me to their home. I have a living space, a bathroom, and my own bedroom. I slept until noon on Tuesday and then met the children and the mother. They are a very sweet family but very, very different. I am not only getting accustomed to Moroccan families, Moroccan culture, food, and clothes, but I also have to accustom myself to the family's way of living. They are Chinese-American and they do things very differently than what I am used to.

In the afternoon, Lee (the mother) and I went to a Moroccan family's home, whose uncle had died. They served us Moroccan pancakes, lots of sweets, and hot milk with coffee. A custom in Morocco is to have a pair of outside shoes and a pair of house slippers. Once inside, you slip off the outside shoes and into the house shoes. Then, once inside, you slip off the house shoes when stepping on any rugs inside the home.

This morning, Lee and I went to Luc's (son) school and taught a craft and a Bible story. I met a young, single, Muslim girl named Amina. She spoke a little English which was very refreshing! After playing games, we left, went home, had lunch (thought I would die when eating a cucumber salad!), and then left to go to a silver jewelry store with Jen and her daughter, Neda. 

A custom in Moroccan culture is when greeting another woman, to kiss both cheeks, once on the left and twice on the right. I have noticed how Moroccan men eye women more than any other culture I have been in. In America, it mostly goes without saying, and only in rare instances is a man very verbally foward. In South Africa, menm are verbal but not all. Here, just looking at a man makes them think you are interested in them. I was told that I must avoid eye contact at all costs.
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