Photo by Anna
Today we headed back to the circus school on our way out of Rabat in order to drop off some donations that we had brought with us from New York. Our next stop was Chefchouen, also known as “The Blue City”. Here we had a tour of the old part of the city, known as the medina, and took some fantastic pictures. (I saw an adorable corgi/dachshund mix puppy as well). Our guide explained to us that the city only adopted its blue color 20 years ago when they noticed it was bringing an influx of tourism. He also explained that people freshly paint their homes three times a year. Women in the town have a lot of responsibility and are in charge of a lot of the upkeep of the town. The guide told me that most homes are only painted up half way in blue, signifying that women had painted it. If the house was painted blue to the of the house, that meant their husbands had finished the job. We also had our first authentic Moroccan food on this day, which was a chicken tagine accompanied by fresh mint tea and sugar. Our guide, Ghali, told me that it is traditional for Moroccans to serve their mint tea with sugar. He explained that if he went to someone’s home as a guest and they did not serve their tea with sugar he would think that they were mean.
Photo by Aaron
On our second day in Morocco we went to the circus school where we were invited to attend a dress rehearsal of their new show. The actors-acrobats are all alum of the circus school. The skills and talents of the performers were extraordinary! They told a story of love and harship through wire walking, ropes, balancing, juggling, clowning, and contortion. It was beautiful and enchanting.
After the rehearsal, we went to the tent where the younger children were training and learning new circus skills. Because it is now the official National Circus School of Morocco, the students are able to attend the school for free. Most of the students are from disadvantaged homes, and would not be able to take classes if they were available for free. We brought Ross donated clothing and soccer balls to leave with the school.
At the end of our visit, many of our Ross students were courageous enough to try to walk on the slack rope. They proved to be determined and talented!
– Dale Scott
– Photo by Bevis
At 11 in the morning, tired yet ready for adventure, we arrived in Morocco and the smells of turmeric, oranges, and saffron embraced us in a new culture. We made it through customs and retrieved our many bags, mesmerized by the new faces surrounding us. We boarded the bus and traveled about an hour into the heart of Casablanca, gazing out the windows at the stunning white buildings, lush green landscapes, and colorfully clothed peoples. We finally disembarked at a restaurant area on the Atlantic coast. The views were mesmerizing and many of us had never before seen waves as big as these. The white sprays of the water launched into the air as they hit the rocky coastline in a melodic symphony of roars and booms, the tiny excess water droplets cloaked us, frizzing the hair of many. Everyone immediately pulled out cameras to capture the wonderful sight before us. We sat down at a beautiful, semi-outdoor restaurant where we continued to witness the massive waves crashing along the coast through enormous windows as we dined on an array of Italian and French cuisine. As we drove to Rabat where we would spend our first night in Morocco, we watched the sun set on our first day, our beautiful surroundings only the beginning of a great adventure.
Photo by Hannah Dayton
– Amanda Mintz