Let me tell you about my weekend in Ifrane.
Big Morocco Brother (BMB from here forward) and Big Morocco Sister (you guessed it, BMS) both go to Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane. BMS is doing her masters degree there, and BMB is a lecturer. The university prides itself on being ‘American-style’ – in fact, Americans come to study there even on courses which aren’t language related, because all the lectures are given in English, and are examined to the same requirements as American universities. It is a really interesting mix of cultures, because while you see very few women wearing the Hijab, or other aspects of life which are part of the norm in Morocco, the students are still in single sex accomodation blocks, and can’t go between them. If BMB wants to visit BMS, she has to come right out of her block to talk to him. Awkward.
My taxi journey to Ifrane was lovely, because I was cream crackered and so I slept the entire way. BMS met me at the gate of the uni, and we had a little tour, some food, and then a chill in her room where we had girly-gossip-times. And I discovered another interesting culture-clash fact. BMS has a boyfriend. But he’s a secret boyfriend because Halima and Aziz would be angry if they knew. And BMB has a girlfriend in Japan (which I knew about) and another girl in tow here. I met them both this weekend. BMS’s boyfriend is charming, and made a real effort to speak English to me, even though I explained that I speak French perfectly well.
We all went bowling, which was good fun. I came second, unexpectedly. I love doing well at things through sheer luck, which it always is with me. We also went up to the mountains, and then played Monopoly until 4am this morning. I lasted a long time, considering I only had the purple properties. Which though they look shiny and expensive, are always the wrong way to go. But I’m like a little child, and I don’t think before I act…which might be why I found myself kicking the crunchy autumn leaves around before remembering that I am nearly twenty, and that kind of activity is no longer acceptable, especially in company.
I enjoyed my weekend all told, even though it rained an entire lake on Ifrane today. I loved that everyone spoke to me in English, even though they didn’t need to. And I was happy at how much of the Arabic conversation I understood as well. The multiculturalism of Ifrane is fascinating. But now sadly I have homework and so I will leave you a picture of Akhawayn Campus.