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This Time for Africa

The CEA excursion to Morocco was one of the most unbelievable trips I have been on. We ferried from Algeciras, a port city in the south of Spain, to reach a Spanish city called Ceuta in Northern Africa. It was crazy to think it only took 45 minutes to switch continents; when we arrived I couldn’t believe I was in Africa.
 Walking to the Hercules Grottos in Asilah.

The first day when we went to Tetuán, we toured an art school, saw how leather is made at a tanning house, and walked through the medina that consists of many narrow and maze-like streets that have street sellers who try to sell many things to tourists. At the medina, I saw dead chickens being hung on the market and saw how leather was really made. The smell of that leather was very strong and unpleasing… I bought two bags and now my casa reeks of leather.
 Watching how leather is being made at a tanning house.
 Art School in Tetuán.

The next day we went to the beautiful whitewashed town of Asilah where we saw the waterfront of the Atlantic coast of Morocco and walked through their medina. From there, we went to Tangier to visit the Hercules grotto and rode camels. We had free time to walk through the town and learn how to barter dirhams with Moroccans.

 My dream came true of riding a camel.
 For ships coming in, it looks like Africa and Madagascar - Hercules Grotto in Asilah.

The final day in Morocco, we visited Chefchaouen, the city of blue. When we went on a guided tour around the medina, I stopped at every artsy door and blue wall to take pictures. I think I had a personal photo shoot, I was amazed with how much blue was covering buildings, streets, windows, and the ground.
 Having a photoshoot with the beautiful blue backdrop.
 Exploring the streets of Chefchaouen with our tour guide.

The experience for me was definitely eye-opening. It was very interesting to see the completely different culture that Moroccans embrace in comparison to the Spanish and American culture. From what they wear, to what they eat, what activities they do for fun, and their devotion to their religion. Before leaving for Morocco, I had to make sure to pack clothes that covered my shoulders and legs because many Moroccans may be offended by clothes that do not fully cover parts of the body considered private, especially for women. I got to see Moroccans walking out of mosques, putting their shoes back on and one early morning woke up to the call of prayer right outside the window of the hotel where we were staying.
 Waterfront of the Atlantic coast of Morocco in Asilah.

I loved how friendly Moroccans were to our group. Passing through the streets as a big tourist group of 60 international students was quite the sight for locals to see. Little kids would wave to us as our big bus drove by and as we walked around many smiles were passed around.
 Happy to be in Morocco.

Daniella S. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Seville, Spain. She is currently a junior studying Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

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