Saturday, June 21, 2014

Back in the States!

I'm back in the States! Leaving Morocco was difficult and stressful, but our entire group arrived in D.C. last Wednesday afternoon. We spent a day and a half with our D.C. based coordinator visiting the State Department and AMIDEAST offices. I enjoyed having time to decompress and reflect before saying the last goodbye to my fellow YES Abroad-ers! In the airport, we ran into some returning YES students (who had spent their year in the United States) on their way home. The instant connection we shared, no matter how short our conversation, fueled my excitement and gratitude for the K-L YES program.

Reentry has been one of the most challenging parts of my exchange experience. I miss my host family deeply and because they don't regularly use Facebook or email, snail mail it is! After spending a year in Morocco, the United States can feel very busy and rushed. Interacting with people in stores takes some adjustment--in Morocco I found that shop owners chatted with me easily, after they saw I was open to conversation and interaction. I appreciate the automatic friendliness of store owners here, but it can sometimes feel impersonal. Adjusting will take some time and I'm grateful for everyone's understanding.

I've loved catching up with friends, family, and food that I have dearly missed. My family greeted me with a wonderful sign and flowers in the airport.


I feel very far from Morocco and my life there, which is unnerving because my experience was/is so meaningful to me. Morocco will always be a part of me, and I need to find a place to channel my energy from this year. Thankfully I have several opportunities--the first of which is next week: I'm going to be attending the pre departure orientation in D.C. for this year's YES Abroad students as the group leader for Morocco! (I'M SO EXCITED). I'd also like to do some volunteering with AFS, an organization that brings exchange students to my area. In between catching up with people and places, finding a job (inchallah), and completing an online math class, I have a full summer ahead! Until next time, I'll be dealing with my Morocco withdrawal by making copious amounts of Moroccan food. 

With rafeesa, one of my favorite foods. 

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