Student Directed Travel

Written By Clemente

38 hours of travel and 5 travel days later, the Salaam carpe diem group has completed our week long SDT (Student Directed Travel).

Our week started off with a trip to the Sahara, led and organized by our fearless captain Geoff. After a 13 hour bus ride to the Sahara, we arrived to the hostel where it was so late that we were thrown into cars to take us to the tents in the desert. What followed could only be described as one of the most exciting car rides that Geoff, Vanesia, Gina, Kathryn, and myself have ever been on; the ride consisted of high speeds in the black of night (not to worry friends and families, the leaders were watching and made sure the ride was safe as well) with a driver that was bumping Pitbull music at maximum volume. The following morning we woke up greeted by camels which Tori mounted cautiously. Brandis was unlucky enough to get the angry camel that she later named Wanda, and to this day believes that Wanda hated her. We rode camels through the sunrise of the Sahara desert for 2 hours before returning to our hotel. When we arrived back to the hostel we checked into rooms and did a tour of the city and the nearby sand dunes and later, much to Tori´s delight, we got to swim in the hotel pool. The following day we took the bus back up to Marrakech where we ate at a group favorite L´adress restaurant. Some of us may have gotten sick that day but it will forever have a place in our hearts.

The next morning we left Marrakech and went to Tangier. Sheldon had told us that we could see Spain from across the ocean and we actually could which was really cool. He also showed us a coffee shop with that same view which Kayla, Vanesia, Geoff, Sheldon, and myself enjoyed the next morning. In other news I am now the proud owner of fake crocs which Gina and Eliana were so kind to help me find.

Tangier was great, but as with all places we had to move on, our next destination was Chefchaouen, a town built with almost entirely blue buildings and home to a few funny stories. Gina walked into a store where the owner turned off his music as she entered, she told him that it was fine to keep the music on and he replied, ¨oh ma’am do I have a song for you,¨ and he proceeded to play a Pitbull J-Lo colab. We could not escape Pitbull music this week. Eliana was too good of a bargainer and got the man so low on a price that he told her that she disgraced the people who made the item, himself who was selling it, and the country. When he was done with this rant he then agreed to that very same price. That evening, the group all made the commute up a hill to the Spanish Mosque, which over looks all of Chefchaouen. From there we watched the sun set over the blue city. That night for dinner Vanesia, Kayla, and I went to the 3rd and final Clock Café, completing the circuit of all Clock Café restaurants in Morocco, ending our time here in the best way possible.

And so our time here in Morocco ended. We are currently in Algeciras, Spain going to Malaga today to begin our homestays which will be discussed in the next blog.



Enjoying the blue city.


Sheldon and Eliana rock the casbah.


Camels resting before our camel trek.


Walking to Merzouga, the desert town we stayed in.


On the ferry crossing the Strait of Gibraltar to go to Spain.
Kittens and our Chefchauen hostel owner!


Geoff and Gina and a really grand view, oh my!


The group taking in the view from the Spanish Mosque


The view of the sun set on Chefchauen from the Spanish Mosque. Other mosques are well lit throughout the city.