|"Don't be afraid to take that big step."|
A few months ago, Jacqueline received a grant from the US Fulbright Commission to spend an academic year studying in Morocco. Her research proposal revolves around some major legal reforms undertaken several years ago in the country, and the impact those reforms have (or haven't) had on Moroccan women.
On top of that, Jacqueline received a Critical Language Enhancement Award to study Arabic for up to six months, prior to the main grant. Altogether, we expect to be in the country about 15 months.
For the first six months, our home will be the northern city of Fes (also known by the alternate
spelling Fez, or in Arabic, فاس). There, we'll study both Modern Standard Arabic and the Moroccan dialect at the Arabic Language Institute in Fes (ALIF). After that, we'll go where Jacqueline's research takes us, most likely to the seaside capital, Rabat, and possibly to Marrakech for a time.
This year should be a great opportunity for me to get back into top form with my French and perhaps salvage my fading Arabic, and to focus on writing, photography, and other pursuits. I don't expect my savings to last too long, so I will likely find a job in one or all of our destinations.
With so little time before I leave the US on Tuesday, I'm in the midst of frantic preparations, and growing more excited by the day. Though I hardly need more encouragement, lots of advice à la "do it while you're young" from family and friends as well as the fortune cookie message I got tonight have been welcome.
I expect the adventure of the next year or so will keep me busy blogging, so check back often. Or better yet, subscribe here.