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Trip to Meknes

Today we journeyed from Moulay Idriss Zerhoun to Meknes. In the morning, we gathered together to share a moment of silence before we started our day. This action was one of our five pillars of dragons that we made yesterday and modeled after the five pillars of Islam. This silence was a great time to reflect on our time in the beautiful Moulay Idriss. After another fantastic breakfast, we gathered together again to prepare for our homestays which begin tomorrow. We learned proper behavior and went over some scenarios to prepare ourselves. After that lesson, I felt less scared for the homestays and much more excited. Next, we had another Arabic lesson and learned useful phrases to help further prepare us for homestays. Before leaving we said goodbye to, Zakia, the owner of the hotel and our fantastic hostess. We took photos, gave a speech thanking her, and all signed a certificate thanking her. Then, with all of our bags piled on our backs, we walked across the city to the taxis. We made it there in one piece and jumped into three taxis headed to Meknes. Once Meknes came into view, everyone saw what they pictured Morocco being: Islamic architecture, colorful walls and many shops. Meknes contrasted the small city of Moulay Idriss but they both gave us a sense of what Morocco was. Once in the medina of Meknes, we found our hotel. Again, everyone was struck by its beauty as we walked in. The wall had beautiful carvings in them and were painted with beautiful colors; fountains sat in the middle of the courtyard, a beautiful skylight provided natural light to the building. We were all so excited to see what other beautiful things hid in Meknes. After dropping our bags off, we went to the town square passing small vendors along the way. In the city center, we saw monkeys, horses and some peacocks around the square. When we sat down for lunch, we got some much-needed rest and a break from the sun. After a good meal, we went out again, this time to the Gara prison, which was a built like a maze under Meknes. It was both terrifying and interesting to see this now-closed jail and to see the environment that the prisoners lived in. Next, we went to the Madras, an old Islamic school. The walls were covered with carvings in Arabic calligraphy. We explored the school while learning about it and took many photos. After that long day of travel and adventure, everyone returned to the hotel for a rest. Our day ended with one last adventure out to the square for an avocado smoothie and some exploring in small groups.