Best Day Ever.

10 May

I’m going to tell you a story about the best day ever. I didn’t bring my camera, so all photos are from Carson. (As usual, roll your cursor over the photos for captions!)

For the past few weeks Fatima, our fusHa professor (fusHa = formal Arabic) had been talking about having us over to her place in Kenitra, a beach town a half-hour train ride from Rabat. Finally, two Saturdays ago (so the 30th) we actually had our day. And it was, by unanimous agreement, the best day ever.

Saturday Carson, Wajida, Robin and I meet at the Centre-ville train station. We pick up our tickets and get on the train. Instead of grabbing seats apart, we go stand at the end of one car and I pull out my portable speakers and we listen to Vampire Weekend the entire ride over. Did some people on the train probably think, “What are those crazy Americans doing?” Yes, probably. But they probably think that anyway even when we aren’t dancing/singing along to music in the back of a train.

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We arrive in Kenitra, where Fatima and her sister pick us up. The car only seats 5 and there’s 6 of us, so backseat means fun times. We have a chat as we drive to the Jardins Exotiques that are between Sale and Kenitra (and like down the street from the Peruvian restaurant funnily enough). Fatima tells us how her and her sister the previous weekend had helped organize a beach clean up with 800 school children! With sponsors like Toyota and the Surfrider Foundation, it was a big deal!  Very cool.

The Exotic Gardens were HUGE. It was a bit overcast/raining on and off, so the gardens weren’t too crowded, but even if they were, the place is so large it wouldn’t matter. We spent a few hours there, wandering around. Good times.

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After leaving the gardens around 1, we headed to Mehdia (beach village next to Kenitra) to go eat at Merzouga (yes, like the desert), a pirate-ish themed restaurant. It was a feast. And Fatima footed the whole bill! WHOA (we’re still working on an awesome gift in return). The other main member of the organization also joined us (I’m horrible with names…so his can be Asine) and brought Fatima’s car with him (it had been in the shop). We all pile back into the two cars and head to Sidi Bou Ghaba, a lake/bird sanctuary on the other side of the essentially big foothill that separated it from the beach. And we are treated like royalty! They open up the sanctuary’s grounds just for us and give us a presentation and guided walk through the interactive museum. It was fantastic!

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While we didn’t see many birds (wrong time of the year), we did get to meet Obama.

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But I had more fun with Laura (what can I say I’m a dog person).

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We left the bird sanctuary and headed back to the Mehdia and the Surf Club. We all got suited up in wet suits, which was hilarious. I’ve been in wet suits a number of times (hello chilly Pacific Ocean!) but Carson, Wajida and Robin had never been in one. Everyone felt like penguins/seals/other such marine animals. We grabbed our boards and headed to the beach!

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After a short (read: 5 minute) lesson, we headed into the water and simply had a BLAST for the next few hours. We all were horrible at it (except Carson, and he was only moderately less horrible than the rest of us). But how awesome is it to say that we got to go surfing in Africa? Pretty awesome. Eventually, we headed back to land and the Surf Club. We peeled out of our wet suits and took showers, got dressed and headed to Fatima’s next.

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Fatima lives in a palace. If an apartment could ever be qualified as a palace, it is hers. Holy smokes. So zween. We have coffee and pastries then proceed to have a dance party.

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It got intense. My moves are just to crazy to handle.

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At this point, we all realized we were incredibly tired (it’s around 9pm) and Carson, Wajida, Robin and I get back to the station, grab our train and head home. Was it the best day ever? Yes. Could any number of words or pictures describe it to make you understand how awesome? No. But maybe this post gave you a small hint.

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Up next: Kayaking and how Moroccan family life is absolutely nuts.

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