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Surfin' Morocco

Last weekend, we got to take a trip to the beach in Temara –– a smaller city just south of Rabat –– to take surfing lessons. Unfortunately for me, my stomach is not friends with the sea, so I didn't surf with the others. Fortunately for you guys, this means I got to take some pictures of the Americans learning how to surf together with our Moroccan buddies.


Before the surfing instruction actually started, the surf instructors led the group through some exercises so that they could practice their "pop-ups" before they even got their surfboards.


However, once they got their surfboards, it was only after a few practice jumps that the surf instructors deemed our group ready to go in the water.



Some people got to the point were they could actually surf!


It was an amazing day and everyone had a great time. Even those of us on shore, who taught the Moroccan buddies who came back from surfing how to do the shaka sign.


And to remember it by, some of us got sunburned.

Check back soon for pictures from our trip to Essaouira and Marrakech, which we leave for tomorrow!



A Moroccan Wedding with CIEE

On one of our very first nights in Morocco, someone's host sister got married. So all of us CIEE kids got to go attend the wedding!

As part of attending, our host families lent us traditional Moroccan clothing. For example, my host mom lent me this beautiful caftan, which despite being a little big on me, was amazing.


We met up and headed to a building that is rented out exclusively for big events. It was done up to look like a castle. A band was playing traditional Moroccan drums, while another band with violins was setting up in the background. A white couch was set up on a pedestal in the corner for the newlyweds, although they had yet to enter.



As we sat at the balcony, suddenly, the program assistant asked if we wanted to walk with the bride. At first, I wasn't sure what she meant. And then, after a bit, the bride came in.


Before the bride was held aloft on her guilded platform, she had a team of ladies' maids helping to make sure she looked flawless. The maids followed her around the entire night.

Of course, part of every wedding includes dancing. Moroccan weddings are no different. I and some of the other girls tried copying the hip and arm movements of the Moroccan women. In Morocco, people of the same gender tend to dance together, so there were groups of women and groups of men.

Moroccan weddings are also very loud. One of the tables up on the balcony with us had a group of women who would chant and ululate to express their happiness for the couple.

Another large part of the wedding was the food. Although the party started at nine, the food didn't start arriving in full until midnight. And it was delicious. It came with fresh squeezed fruit juices too, that basically tasted like liquid versions of the fruit from whence they came.



The first bit of food to come out was a selection of chocolate and nutty pastries. Quite a bit different from the American wedding cake, but still incredibly delicious.

Meanwhile, the bride and groom would periodically leave to change clothing.


But the thing about Morocco is that when you're being fed, you never stop being fed. You keep getting awesome food in between the music and the ululating and the dancing.



The bride and groom at one point stopped by the balcony, and we got to see what a beautiful couple they were close up.


Anyway, we all danced and ate and had fun until 3 in the morning, when those of us who weren't in the bride's family went home (the party continued until like 7 am).

So, our first few nights in Morocco, and we have already learned that Moroccans can outparty us weak Americans.

Ma'a salama!