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Salam from Morocco: Shopping and Steam

  1. Salam!  We spent our time today further exploring the Media of Fez shopping for gifts for our families back in the states as well as souvenirs for ourselves.  Contrary to the business of the Medina yesterday during our scavenger hunt, it was fascinating to see how many of the vendors we closed today because it is Friday: the holy day of the week in the religion of Islam.  Many people were at the Mosque praying and the streets that were bustling yesterday felt more peaceful and quiet.  While today was a difficult day to go shopping, I believe that I can speak for all of us when I say that any time spent in Morocco exploring the maze of the Medina was a treat in and of itself.  After our time spent in the Medina we returned back to the Riad for a briefing on on out next activity.  We then walked to the Hammam.  The Hammam is a public bathhouse, a giant steamroom, that is divided by gender.  I was definitely a little nervous before entering the Hammam as I was unsure about entering a bathhouse in another country with little clothing on my body.  However, I was surprised to find that past the first awkward few moments inside the Hammam that I felt much more comfortable.  As a group of girls we made the observation that is it interesting that we wear short shorts and tank tops often in our culture but the second that we become exposed in front of those same peers how self conscious we get.  I feel that we all overcame this fear quickly and that we thoroughly enjoyed the hot steam of the Hammam.  It was such a fun and relaxing experience!  After the Hammam we returned back to the Riad for a traditional breaking of the fast where we ate dates upon the sound of the sunset call to prayer.  We enjoyed the sherbet sunset over the beautiful city and tall Minarets of Fez while the call to prayer echoed around us.  It’s interesting how familiar the call to prayer feels to me even though we have only been in Morocco a short while.  After the initial breaking of the fast we enjoyed a delicious dinner and spent time with our nightly reflections about the day and our 5 minutes of fame.  As we approach our final day in Morocco, I realize how quickly our time here has gone by.  I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend time here in this beautiful country learning bits about the culture, my peers, and myself along the way.