You would think that we instructors are used to it. The overwhelming feelings of connection and community, but also frustration and confusion, that come with homestays. The food is abundant, the people are incredibly welcoming and kind, the friendships are beautiful. And yet time is confusing, patience is tested when lunch is two hours later than expected, and my Darija is still in its infancy. And so even us instructors can feel emotions on high.
And so, as we walked to Ain Soltane, the local spring that is valued for its fresh water and respite from the summer heat, I could feel the emotions settle down and I finally found myself quieting down with each step. First the walk along the river, then the calm as we waited for the tea to brew and the students to journal. And the camaraderie in shared experience as we talked as a group over the ever-present ritual of tea in Morocco.
And the true calm came as we hiked up a nearby hill and greeted the sunset. The skies had been overcast all day, but the sun came to play just when we settled on top of the hill, overlooking the town of Imouzzer Kandar and the surrounding hills and farms.
With true quiet and the perspective, physically and emotionally, that comes with seeing something from above, spread before like a blanket, I took a deep breadth.
We are wrapping up our homestays in Imouzzer Kandar after a busy but fun orientation in Moulay Idriss. From here, we are heading out on a multi-day trek which also marks our mid-course. This moment of calm hopefully will give us all the opportunity to transition with intention into our next phase.