Labas (How are you) Dragons students?
It’s about time to start that first round of packing. This is when it all starts to feel real! It is less stressful when you consider that there is no “one way” to pack, just as there is no one way to travel. The three of us all have different styles of packing. You know yourself and what will make you happiest.
The Course Preparation Manual (CPM) will be able to answer most of your questions about packing, but we’d like to emphasize a few notes below. Many of these are suggestions, not requirements, so use your own judgement about what’s right for you.
The mantra for our trip is “travel light.” It’s not going to be the “stuff” that makes your trip. In fact, it is very freeing to travel without so much stuff. The culture on our trip will not be one of fashion-sense. We’ll be wearing our clothes repeatedly (and will learn how to wash along the way). Pack your bag with everything you think you will need, then walk around the block a few times. Is your bag too heavy? Will you be able to carry your pack around crowded cities, packed buses, and for multiple days in the mountains? Try to eliminate any ‘extras’ to keep weight to a minimum, creating ultimate ease and comfort while in Morocco!
Packing List Notes:
- Read through the packing section (pages 33-42) in your Course Preparation Manual (CPM) that you received from Dragons. You will find very helpful, necessary information that will prepare you for our adventure. Knowledge is power!
- Bring a Lonely Planet Moroccan Arabic Phrasebook & Dictionary. Having an easily accessible phrasebook and dictionary can have a magic effect on all your interactions in country. This item is a priceless tool for learning and integration. It is listed as optional, but we highly recommend bringing one.
- Pack a small notebook and writing utensils. Our program will include many academically focused engagements. Taking notes during Arabic language classes and reflecting on Moroccan diversity in a journal prompt are just two scenarios where you might find yourself utilizing a notebook and pen.
- Don’t forget your headlamp! Having the ability to move around at night and be productive is important to individual and group success. Flashlights are helpful, but headlamps create more freedom.
- Keep it simple, silly. If you pack light, you will be a happy camper. You are responsible for your belongings throughout the entire program whether we are trekking in the High Atlas mountains or transferring buses in a crowded station. The lighter your bag, the easier those activities will be. Do a trial run and examine your bag. Try to simplify. Please note we might have gear to divide amongst the team so you may be required to carry additional items in your bag after arriving in-country (e.g. tent pieces).
- Culturally appropriate clothing is required. As a part of our Focus Of Inquiry, we will be examining the diversity that exists in Morocco, and it will become apparent rather quickly that Moroccans dress differently throughout the country. In big cities you might find a more “western” style of dress, and in rural villages you might find a more traditional, conservative style. As Dragons, we will be mindful of our dress, paying close attention to being culturally appropriate for every occasion. Reference your CPM for specific guidelines, and always feel free to ask questions.
- Finally, feeling comfortable is key. Within the framework of culturally appropriate attire and our nine program components (e.g. homestays, trekking, and rugged travel), bring your awareness to the items that make you feel comfortable and pack them.
Well, now that’s out of the way, we’d love to hear from you. And in order to do just that and initiate the use of our illustrious Yak Board, we’d like to leave you with a prompt. In your very own Yak, please list one item you can’t travel without, tell us why you’d bring it, and explain what the item says about you. You can combine this with your introduction Yak or do a separate one.
Ma’a Salama (with peace),
The Morocco Instructor Team