Goodbye Morocco, Until the Next Time

Thursday, December 17, 2009 | Rabat, Morocco (map)

The khemisa, a symbol commonly used for good luck in Morocco.
It has been 15 months and about a week since Jacqueline and I moved to Morocco.

The fact that we are leaving tomorrow morning, on a flight from Casablanca, feels extremely surreal. My arrival, and that first train ride to Fes, are still vivid in my memory.

In the last week we have packed our bags, sold our furniture, and moved out of our apartment. Yesterday I finished my last day of work.

I told co-workers that I would return someday, and despite my many frustrations with Morocco over these past months, a big part of me does want to visit again one day.

In such a surprisingly large country, we have inevitably left much undone, and many sights unseen. We covered much of northern Morocco last year, but I had hoped of late to spend more time in the south—a region I have only visited on my trips to Mount Toubkal and Essaouira. Tragically, the
southern roadtrip that we'd planned for the recent Eid Kebir holiday never materialized. (The holiday fell on a weekend this year, and my office gave no days off, even for the largest holiday in the Muslim calendar.)

To the same extent, however, I'm also looking forward to one day returning to many of the sites in Morocco that we do know. Though it seemed to change little over the short span we spent here, Morocco is very obviously a country in transition. The infrastructure projects, the simultaneous socio-cultural revolutions and backlashes, and the ever shifting international political winds are leaving few corners of the nation untouched. (Even "timeless" Fes has looked different each time we've returned from Rabat over this last year.) It will be fascinating to come back to Morocco one day; I wonder how much we will still recognize.

As I suspected from the start, it's been an intense, challenging, and unpredictable fifteen months. Thanks to all the friends who made it exciting.

To any fans out there, I hope reading about my experiences has been interesting, and also informative. Thanks for reading, and rest assured, there's much more to come very soon.

3 comments:

Clare and Boris from Fes said...

You'll be missed. See you again soon we hope

Uncle Ted said...

Andrew and Jacqueline: It has been truly a fascinating adventure from our "armchair" perspective. Thanks for sharing so many rich experiences with us. Travel safely, and see you soon.
Uncle Ted

Tammie said...

I believe you will really miss it. I HATED it the month I was there with eleven of my children. It wasn't the kids that I hated, it was the people. They were... But now two months later I really miss it there and can't wait to go back. I hope it feels like going home, and somehow I think it will feel just that way.

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