2.13.15 - 2.15.15 62 °F
Wow, what a weekend.
On Friday, Nikita & I started off the weekend with a delicious lunch in the marché. At night, we brought a cake with us to La Paix and celebrated Najoua's birthday. It was a fun night with a great group of girls!
On Saturday morning, Nikita, Mary Kathryne & I got an early start and headed straight to Rabat. Once in Rabat we had sushi for lunch then we went to Oudayas, which is an old kasbah on River Bou Regreg. We explored the medina and I fell in love with the white and blue walls of the town. Later, Hajar (a student at AUI) and her brother came and showed us around the town. Afterwards, we got a mint tea and cookies at small cafe that overlooked the ocean.
The ocean was absolutely beautiful to see and we could not have asked for better weather when we arrived!
Around 4pm, Rania (my roommate) and her mom picked us up and took us to Kenitra. On the way there, we stopped at a Moroccan cultural history museum that featured ancient furniture, jewelry, wedding gifts, horse saddles, carpets, and more. Afterwards, we arrived to Rania's beautiful Moroccan-styled home. Her family surprised us with pastries, cookies, coffee, and tea when we arrived. Rania then took us to the center of Kenitra and showed us around her hometown. My goal for every weekend now is to try a new/weird type of food, and this weekend snails were on the menu! When we got back to her house we had a huge couscous tajine meal. It was a lot of fun hanging out with her family; however, they only spoke French & Arabic so it was difficult to talk to them. I did get some practice in with my Arabic though and they seemed to get some entertainment out of it!
On Sunday morning, I woke up to a large Moroccan breakfast and was served coffee, steamed milk, tea, boiled eggs, deli meat, cheese, french baguettes, pastries, cookies, olives, fruits, and an assortments of jams. After filling up on a week's worth of food, Nikita, Mary Kathryne, Rania, Rania's family & I went to Surfcamp Mehdía in Kenitra and Rania's aunt's friend got us an amazing deal for an hour of surfing! An instructor lead us through a short run and exercises, then we hit the water. Nikita and I were excited that we were able to stand up for one of our waves. This was definitely my favorite part of the weekend!
After surfing, we went to a beautiful park in Kenitra known for all of its birds. Then after the park we did what I have been waiting for - we went to the hamam! A hamam is a traditional bath in Morocco. In only our underwear, we walked into a steam room and lathered ourselves in an olive-based soap. Then, an older- and very much naked- Moroccan woman came and exfoliated our skin with a cloth that felt like a cheese grater. Layers of skin later, I felt as if my skin could blind people when sunlight reflected off of it. It was definitely an interesting experience and Nikita, Mary Kathryne & I entered a new level of bonding. Once we got back to Rania's house, her family served us another traditional tajine meal with lemon chicken, salad, bread with eggplant dipping sauce, artichokes, and dessert. We never knew what being hungry felt like thanks to Rania's generous family! Her family spoiled us and I cannot thank them enough for their hospitality. Overall, we had an amazing weekend and it was definitely my favorite adventure-filled weekend so far.