My last few days in Morocco were great, but oh, so emotional. Imagine living with the same family for two months, getting used to the routine, the food, the funs and laughs with your ‘brothers’, and meeting a great team of colleagues. Luckily, there is a possibility that I will work remotely for Mayshad, and will be coming back to Morocco in June for the Mayshad festival, thus it’s only a short-term goodbye. As I said to my friend Eugenie, who left about a month before me, la meilleure façon de partir, c’est quand tu sais que tu vas revenir.
(“The best way to leave, is knowing that you will come back”.)
Now, without further ado, here is an account of my last days in Morroco.
Friday 22nd March
Today was my last day at work. It was an emotional one. It’s crazy how close you can grow to others in such a short period of time! The skills I have acquired since starting here at Mayshad are countless, from developing a new work ethic and new networking skills to practising a bit of my Arabic, it has been a good, productive two months.
I received a diploma from the foundation and said my goodbyes. See you all in June!
Saturday 23rd March
Today, I’m leaving for Marrakech, from where I’ll be flying back to Hamburg. I say my goodbyes to the kids, to Khadija, my ‘mother’, and Jilali, the father. Although he speaks neither French nor English, our ‘conversations’, which consisted mostly of hand gestures and many laughs, contributed to making my stay the uttermost welcoming. They are such patient and loving parents, it’s really beautiful to see. Khadija and I cry until we have no tears left.
I say goodbye to Mohammed, the 24-year-old son I got along with the most, and, you guessed it, it’s emotional. As we went out to movies, concerts, and to bars with his friends and other volunteers, we grew close. He shared with me that it sucks to get close to volunteers and to always see them leave, especially since travelling around to visit them is so intricate for Moroccans due to their visa situations. That’s something I’ll cover in another article, though.
I get onto the train and have to keep in the tears from flowing. I’m going to miss this place so much.
I arrive at the hotel close to the station and spend the evening downstairs writing articles. I know I have a lot of work to do for university, so I keep it together and try to cut out my emotions for about 2 hours.
Soon enough, it’s midnight and I leave at around 8 tomorrow, so I head back up to my room and get mentally prepared to leave.
Sunday 24th March
I wake up at 7, head downstairs for breakfast, and check out of the hotel. On my way to the airport in a taxi, I make sure to take in every detail, every person’s face, every honk, everything.
I sit at the airport café, work on an article while waiting for my flight. When it’s time to go, I feel something I’ve never felt before; I want to run out of the gates and go back. I’ve travelled a lot, but never have I had this feeling. There’s just something about Morocco.
I find my seat, look out the window while we take off, and can’t help but cry again. Man, when will this stop? I get that it’s only a country, and that it’s not the last time I’ll come, but I don’t think I’m ready for the life back in Germany. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country, but once you get used to Moroccan time, to the Inshallah mentality (“yeah… at some point, we will figure it out”), to the happy people smiling and screaming welcome through the streets, you realise that Germans are really quite cold and love their routine. It’ll take some time to get used to it again, that’s all.
I arrive in Hamburg and am glad to see my dad waiting for me at the exit. We do our usual tradition, get coffee and talk a bit, and head home. He is flying to Manchester tomorrow, and I’m flying to Geneva for a conference, thus we do have to hurry to pack (well, I’ll have to unpack first!). We have dinner at our usual Greek restaurant and head home.
Monday 25th March
I just arrived, and already I’m leaving again. I’m flying over to Geneva tonight for the Geneva Summit on Human Rights and Democracy. I hastily pack my stuff, head over to the airport, and soon enough I am in Geneva. I am staying at the IBIS in front of the airport, where the conference is taking place. It’s already 11 PM, but I still have some work to do. I get it done quickly and go back to my room to get ready for the upcoming day.
Tuesday 26th March
Today is the Geneva Summit on Human Rights and Democracy. I’m leaving tonight for Zürich where I’ll meet one of my old friends, so it’s another hectic day in sight!
I’ve made a detailed post about the conference, so head over here to read about it!
Wednesday 27th March
I arrived in Zürich late last night so I take the morning to sleep a bit. After all, I haven’t had a day off in two weeks with all the travelling going on. I’ll go settle down in a café for this afternoon to get some work done for university. I have exams coming up in about a week, so I have my work set out for me.
At night, I hang out with Philippe and we make a simple dinner. I’m leaving to go back to Hamburg tomorrow, thus I need to pack again.
Thursday 28th March
I’m flying back to Hamburg today. Honestly, I’m exhausted. It’s been a hectic week of networking, studying, article writing, freelance work… I could go on. I’m excited to get home to get back into a study routine.
I head over to the airport at around 9 AM, it’s pretty early but I feel super productive while waiting for a flight, thus I might as well go earlier!
Soon enough I am back in Hamburg. I unpack and call it a day.
Friday 29th March
The first real day back. I have exams starting in exactly 10 days, with the most difficult one being the first, of course. It’ll be a day of studying, going to the gym, and simply getting back into my old routine. I miss Morocco and my family, but the past few days have been so hectic that I really haven’t had time to miss it. If you want to know more about getting over being ‘homesick’ about a country you’ve visited, read here!
Well, that was it! As I mentioned at the beginning, this week was crazy busy. I love travelling, but also really am glad to be able to anchor myself again and to recreate a routine.