Class of 2015
Major — Political Science
Hometown — Atlanta
Madeleine is a political science major with a thing for words, bagels and her hometown of Atlanta. She is in a loving, committed relationship with the Kenyon Collegian, of which she is editor-in-chief. She is currently having moderate success training for her first 5K, and she wants to be a journalist when she grows up.
Before Morocco, I was pretty Type A. I liked knowing what I would probably be doing next week on any given day, I liked plans, I liked staying inside the lines. I hated being late, I wasn’t a fan of change, and I didn’t go out of my way to try new things. Morocco forced a lot of that rigidity out of me.
For my second to last post from the Maghreb (I leave on the 14th!), I thought I’d write a guide to something that is an essential skill here: bargaining. I have yet to master the art of bargaining, which essentially amounts to the right combination of charm and disgust*, but I’ve come a long way since the beginning.
I realized the other morning, as I was drinking tea on my terrace and looking out over the ocean, that I’m going to miss Morocco when I leave. It was the first time I wasn’t wrapped up in being challenged or where I was headed next, and I got a serious feeling that this country had finally gotten under my skin. Maybe it’s the freedom and independence I have now that my two-month homestay is over, or maybe it was the gloriously red tomatoes I saw in the market today, but something made me suddenly wish I could rewind to that first night when I couldn’t sleep because of all the strange noises.
In the last week I’ve experienced two key cultural aspects of Morocco, both of which I was previously afraid. This first was going to the hamam, or public bath, and the second was the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), during which families kill and eat a sheep, goat or sometimes camel.
“So what the hell are you doing in Morocco?” you might ask. Fair question! At times even I feel unsure of the answer, but I can say with certainty that I’m exploring and that I’m having an amazing time doing it.