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Jemaa el-Fnaa

[Marrakech, Morocco / July 14]

Marrakech Citi
[Marrakech, Morocco / July 14]

Marrakech Citi

[Marrakech, Morocco / July 14]

20th July : 2nd day in Marrakech

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Feeling more excited than nervous when I touched down at RAK, I was warmly greeted by various members of the orgsnising committee, as well as the hosts for my first night in Marrakech, Yassin and Sara.

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Everyone here is so warm and welcoming; settling down into this beautiful city feels very natural.

As it is currently the month of Ramadan, the time of fasting for muslims, most of the Moroccan youths turn nocturnal - sleeping in the wee hours of the morning and waking up at 3pm in the afternoon. Still jetlagged from my recent return from New York, my sleep pattern pretty much perfectly matches theirs.

I wake up at 1 on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. There is not single a cloud in the vast blue sky. Though it is a beautiful sight, the sun is unforgiving, beating down relentlessly on the parched land (and parched me).

Yassin and Sara invite me over to their aunt’s house for the day. Once again, I am so warmly greeted that it feels very comfortable simply lounging around in the living room with their cousins and aunt. This is my first experience living with a host family, and I’m very glad to surrounded by such wonderfully warm and friendly people.

 

Breaking fast is the highlight of the day during Ramadan. I can imagine why. Describing fasting from 4am till sunset as challenging, is simply an understatement.

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The women of the family start preparing food at around 4pm. Everything is made from scratch: from the dough of the bread, to the turkey filling that accompanies it. Delicious smells fill the whole house, and I am unable to resist pinching some of the sweet crepes that are freshly cooked off the skillet.

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One of the first warnings that I received when I arrived, was that I would surely have to buy new clothes a couple of dress sizes larger after my 6 weeks in Marrakech. Standing in the kitchen that afternoon, I could see (or smell/taste…) why that was a very legitimate concern…

Around 730pm, the whole family was gathered around the dining table. A bountiful feast was laid out before us, and all we were waiting for was the prayer call that signaled the end of their day’s fast. At 745, Yassin’s aunt cheekily said that if the Imam didn’t make the call soon, she herself would make the call.

 

When we finally heard the Imam’s prayer resound through the city, it took almost every ounce of my self-restraint not to jump at the food. I’d spent the past couple hours watching them being prepared, and almost 20 minutes simply looking longingly at it. When I finally tasted the various dishes, I really have to say that it was really worth the wait and the effort. Made from simple and fresh ingredients, each dish was simply amazing.

I felt really blessed to have had the opportunity to be invited into their house, and be a part of such an intimate occasion.

If this is just a taster of what my time in Marrakech will be like, I simply can’t wait to experience living here for the next 6 weeks 

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view from my window
[Boots Disposable / Oct 13]

view from my window

[Boots Disposable / Oct 13]

dressed up as Pokemon for a partyyyyy

[Tesco Disposable camera / Oct 2013]

Autumn @ the University of Warwick
[Tesco Disposable Camera / Oct 2013]

Autumn @ the University of Warwick

[Tesco Disposable Camera / Oct 2013]

Happy Birthday

[Tesco Disposable Camera/ Oct 13]

[Tesco Disposable Camera/ Oct 13]

[Tesco Disposable Camera/ Oct 13]

[Tesco Disposable Camera/Oct 13]

[Tesco Disposable Camera/Oct 13]

I am Asian, and therefore this is the mandatory food picture
[Vietnam / July 2012]

I am Asian, and therefore this is the mandatory food picture

[Vietnam / July 2012]