Packing is monstrous! Usually, I am lucky and fly with an airline that allows me two free checked bags at 50 pounds each… and usually if I’m a few pounds too heavy in one bag, I can adjust at the airport by shifting the excess stuff into my other bag. Not this time however. This time, I have one fifty pound bag and a second is $200. I spent 15 minutes weighing and re-weighing my one suitcase and staring at the scale as it said 50.75 pounds. Then I went back and removed hair things to make it light enough! It looks like I’ll be doing without my hair straightener while abroad, which is probably a good thing since there is no guaranty that I won’t cause it to blow up.
On the positive side, by keeping busy with my packing, I have thus far avoided becoming too nervous. I have also been busy allaying the nerves of my family and friends! Apparently, the idea of me being in a foreign country is a bit nerve-wracking for my mom and dad. Although, since I go to college over 2,000 miles away from home, they won’t see me any less than they do during a typical semester. All I can say is that I have been to the safety briefs at my school, and there are more safety briefs scheduled upon my arrival in Morocco. The first few days of the program take place at a hotel in Rabat and cover safety, cultural adjustment, and survival Arabic.
I have to say that the language component of the program is my biggest worry though. Languages have never been my strongest area and I have heard that Arabic is one of the more difficult languages to learn. I have never studied it before. Hopefully my Spanish will be of some help in communicating to the people around me until I can speak simple sentences in Arabic. Of course, that also depends on the family that I’m placed with. We won’t be told anything about our host family until we’re in the country during orientation. That is nerve-wracking for me since I like to try to personalize my gift to the hosting family as much as I can. I wound up making a batch of homemade English butter toffee with my mom: simple, delicious and something people of all ages can enjoy.
Just under 14 hours until departure now and spending my final night relaxing at home with friends watching a pirate movie marathon. Please wish me well on my journey, and I hope you all enjoy reading along with my travels!