Casablanca

Reflection from day 2 in Casablanca. We are once again in Casablanca, tomorrow saying goodbye to Morocco.

The sun generously beams down luminescent rays upon our group. We continue on into our second day in Morocco. We are in the city of Rabat, preparing ourselves for the adventures to come. Jet lag is visible as we stumble onto the leather-seated bus, one heavy foot followed by another. The engine rumbles signaling to us that the day has now begun. Off we go! We arrive at our first monument of the day called Challa: ruins of a river port that once was. It was constructed by Muslim’s in the 1st century A.D. and again by Romans in the 14th century A.D. Storks now occupy these beautiful ancient ruins which also make for even more aesthetically pleasing photographs. The birds lay in massive nests, resting upon the worn down fragments of the river port. In addition to the storks, the river port is now home to many upon many of cats—those of which are very friendly. Not only is Rabat’s diverse historical past visible through the monument but even through the cats themselves. The felines are mysterious and most positively come from an ancient decent. Next stop is to Hassan Tower. Hassan Tower is a minaret of an incomplete mosque. The mosque was never completed because the architect who was commissioned to build the mosque died; however, the city decided to keep the columns that were built to support the structure. In addition to these columns that are impressive within themselves, there lies a shrine opposite the mosque that sits upon a staircase, both made out of marble. When I place my camera at the bottom of the marble steps on the opposite side of the intricate turquoise gate, it makes for a very interesting composition. It turns me into a chameleon, allowing me to discretely photograph people walking around the area. Not only does it help me capture the shots I desire, it makes for an aesthetically pleasing photograph. The angle is interesting— it’s an angle I’ve never played with before. I continue experimenting with different angles as the day moves forward. We arrive at the circus school and the gentlemen who runs the organization welcomes us to come inside the tent to view the performers rehearsal. The level of flexibility, endurance and strength on display is truly astonishing. The acrobats contort into shapes unimaginable to most—it’s shows true dedication. Natural light ceases to penetrate through the circus tent. The little artificial light inside the tent illuminates the acrobats in the most mysterious and romantic way. The dim fluorescent color brings out their seemingly perfect physique producing the ideal setting for both photography and film. My eyelids are peeled open as I watch them in action: dancing, acting, climbing, twirling, preforming. I’m unable to look away from the performance aside from the occasional glimpse into the viewfinder of my camera. I cannot look away—they are exceptional! The rehearsal ends and we’re now walking to a larger tent to meet the “mini acrobats”. By this I’m referring to the local children of Rabat who come here to train and hopefully make it into the circus. I watch the kids mimic the actions I previously witnessed on stage. The older performers are beyond helpful, patiently working with the children allowing time for trial and error. Hopefully one day I can come back to the circus school in Rabat and watch the children preform on stage just as I did their teachers.

Written by: Ella