Magnificent Marrakech – A Mini Student Directed Travel!

Written By Eliana Hello friends and family, We are just finishing up our short but jam packed pit stop in Marrakech, which was filled with lots of good food, laughs and, of course, dancing. Our fearless captain for the week, Tori made sure that our days were chock-full of activities and had something for everyone. Day one started with a stroll off the beaten path to one of Morocco’s oldest… Read More

A Week In Tetouan

Written By Geoff Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s Carpe Diem Salaam dancing in a circle and singing the ESPN theme song! Why, you may ask? Dancing in a circle and singing the ESPN theme song is not only deeply rooted in Moroccan culture… Who am I kidding. It is our “passing the torch ceremony”, a peaceful transfer of power from one captain to the next,… Read More

Bab L-Bwiba! 11 days in RABAT!

Written By Kayla Hey everyone! Week 2 coming at you! This week has been such a different experience compared to the last. We stayed in Rabat and had the opportunity to stay with host families! From what I heard, all our experiences in our homes were great! Definitely blew my expectations out of the water. We ate amazing home cooked meals, like couscous which is usually ate on every Friday,… Read More

Orientation in Fes!

Written by Kayla Salaam friends and family! Kayla here aka the cool one. Just kidding everyone here is the coolest. It’s honestly like we’ve all known each other for 3 months already! I just have to put out there that our diet is superb. Bread and sweets (and I mean 4-sugar-cubes-in-a-cup-of-tea kind of sweet.) Staying in the City of Fes for the beginning of the trip was amazing. The streets… Read More

Salaam Has Arrived!

Greetings friends and family The Salaam group landed safely in Rabat, Morocco on February 14th. The crew was in good spirits and made their way to a hotel in Rabat for their first night. On the morning of the 15th, the Salaam crew got their first taste of life in Morocco by heading to the nearby town of Fes. Their first task was to navigate one of the biggest Medinas… Read More

Marhaba Salaam!

Dear students, A week for now we’ll be meeting at JFK International Airport in New York to start our three-month journey of growth and adventure. Soon we’ll be immersed in souks and Arabic and mint tea (not literally), but in the meantime take the time to enjoy the precious last moments of home with family, friends, dogs, cats, hamsters, your favorite coffee shops, parks, and favorite foods (unless it’s tagine,… Read More

Rayah’s final blog, OE edition!

Written by Bria and Sheldon Bilbo Bloggins here. Not quite back at the Shire, but down from the High Atlas in Morocco and found a ring with some writing on it, looks like Arabic. One Couscous to Rule Them All, or something like that. Anybody missing it, you know where our Hobbit Hole is. We started as eight individuals and somehow ended as three groups of three. (I’m counting Nate’s… Read More

Last student written blog…

Written by Owen The final week of our trip started as the group left Rabat, starting Student Directed Travel, headed to the blue town: Chefchaouen. We hopped on the 1:15 bus and, after 5 hours of driving, a short break, and a shorter taxi ride, we arrived at our hostel around 9:00. We settled and had a lazy night, worn out from a day of traveling. Our first of two… Read More

A Biography of Ady’s Traveling Pants

Written by Adalyn Chapter One: The story begins with the Flowy Pants Patrol (FPP) roaming the streets of Tarifa, Spain in pursuit of— you guessed it— flowy pants, an article of clothing that is not only culturally appropriate for Morocco but also exceedingly comfortable. Emily, Leighton, and I wandered into a small boutique, where the FPP made its first purchase. I bought a pair of lightweight, loose, red pants— a… Read More

Sahara

By Emily Bates Spirits were high as we left an amazing three days in the remote mountain village Taghzhirt to head to the Sahara for Festival Taragalte, a celebration of nomadic culture and music. We were all pretty blown away (haha… keep reading) when we first got to the festival grounds and looked at the rolling dunes of soft sand surrounding us. It didn’t take long for us to throw… Read More

Sights & Sounds in the Moroccan Village

By Owen Kumasaka I’m sitting right now on the ground level “balcony” that serves as the roof to the bottom floor of our homestay house as well. The bottom floor is inhabited by the big animals that belong to our host family, a cow and a mule. They both share time in the little patio (pictured), however, aside from those animals, it is difficult to tell which animals belong to… Read More

Our Culture of Music

By Adalyn Richards Our Rayah group is a lot of things. We are a tight-knit, adventurous, international (thanks, Cole!) group with a sarcastic sense of humor. We collectively speak 7 languages: English, Spanish, French, Arabic, German, Japanese, and Hawaiian. And we may or may not have a benign addiction to chocolate-covered digestive cookies from Spain. But snack preferences aside, we are also a fairly musical group. Despite our hefty travels… Read More

Lost in the Medina

By Nate Crystal The Rayah group left Spain and crossed the heavily guarded border of Spain and Morocco. Journeying over the border was an interesting experience for the group. When crossing the border, the group saw a vast line of people that were waiting to hear if they were allowed to enter Spain, or have to stay in Morocco. It was there that the Jamal of the week, Ady, had… Read More

Exploring the Medina of Tetouan: A Photo Story

By Emily Bates Yesterday, after Arabic studies, we went on a guided tour of the Medina of Tetouan, a labyrinth of residences, markets, and religious sites situated within the old city walls.The architecture of the medina has strong Andalusian influence, as it was built by refugees from the Reconquista.A shop in the medina.After walking through the portion of the medina where sheep skin is cured and dyed, Read More

Walking El Camino in Spain

By Leighton Katz Rayah’s third week in Spain has come to a close, and the group has opted for a well-deserved rest day in Córdoba. We’ve all been reflecting on our experiences, namely the ones we’ve had over the past week. Our short time in Granada came to a reluctant close on Friday. Starting with a crack of dawn wake up, we embarked on our journey on El Camino Mozarabe… Read More

From Malaga to Granada

By Cole Daniels-Heald Another week gone by for the Rayah group and the number of stories to tell has been steadily increasing day by day. After our time at La Semilla, we traveled to a permaculture farm called El Molino del Guadalmesí, where we learned alternative group building exercises and goal visualization, all while questioning whether or not we were being unknowingly assimilated into a cult. We all participated in… Read More