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Exploring Fes: Moroc(k) Stars in the Big City

Hi parents! I’m writing this post in Esha, Syd, and my beautiful bedroom on the top floor of our hotel in Fez, tired but happy after an exciting first day in the biggest city we’ve been to so far.

We started the day with our host families, and Birney, Syd, and I ate one last breakfast of tea, bread, and jam in Hakima’s living room before saying goodbye. We had a great time in Azrou, but we were definitely excited to reunite with the rest of the group and embark on the next part of the trip.

Our first glimpses of the medina in Fez didn’t disappoint; the sprawling skyline of clustered buildings blew me away. Once we got out of our taxis, we entered into the crowded maze that is Fez’s medina. We navigated alleyways packed with people and countless things to buy and sell, from fresh fruits and vegetables to stacks of intricately patterned pottery. There was something new to see at every turn. I admit that the walk from the taxi stand to our hotel was a bit overwhelming with the hoards of people moving through tight spaces and vendors calling out to us from all sides, but it was a fun, fast-paced adventure compared to our everyday routines in Azrou.

In the afternoon, Badr led us through a crash course of Moroccan bargaining skills with vendors. After an hour of shopping and struggling to remember phrases such as “bs7al hadi?” (how much is this?) and “ana 8ir tlmida!” (I’m just a student!), we went back to the hotel and ate a delicious meal as a group on the rooftop, which overlooked the city.

The highlight of my day – and maybe even the entire trip so far – started after dinner. Using Philip’s great idea, we walked to a music festival in Fez. The crowd was huge and everyone was having an amazing time dancing and enjoying the night. We didn’t understand most of the Arabic lyrics, but that didn’t stop us from screaming along and jumping to the beat. I had so much fun with everyone and I loved seeing how close we’ve gotten as a group. I was friends with the majority of the people on the trip before, but after spending the past week with them, we’ve all bonded so much. I can’t wait for even more memories and experiences to come with our hilarious, loveable group.

-Hannah

Badr teaching a bargaining class.

Group at the concert.