Sunday, September 20, 2009

An Evening With a Moroccan Family

One of the great things about Semester at Sea is the excursions. They provide a safe, hassle-free way to see the countries we visit, and, in some cases, provide opportunities that would be near impossible in independent travel or traditional study abroad programs. One such case was the evening a number of students spent with Moroccan families. Because SAS was in Casablanca during the Muslim holiday Ramadan, all of the families fasted during the day, and broke their fasts after sunset. Students were able to share this meal with them, and also the bonding and socializing that takes place.
Most of the students were shocked at how much food they were served. The families eat several times in the evening during Ramadan, so most groups were able to sample several courses during the three or four hours they spent with the family. They also had tea, which is strong, made with mint and sweetened with sugar. This was a favorite with many of the students.
Another thing students weren't expecting was how much of a social activity breaking the fast turned out to be. The families had many visitors during the evening, some coming even as the students were making their farewells.
Family, friends and food. As one student put it, "It's like Thanksgiving at my house!" Check out the pictures from one of the groups evening below.

One of the family sitting rooms.

A quick game of chess in between courses. Hide and seek was another popular way to pass the time.

A group of students with their family.

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