I spent a good part of my Saturday putting together a slideshow for next weekend’s Rotary Foundation event. I’ll be tabling for the Ambassadorial Scholarship program, along with a current Scholar from Korea and a former Scholar to Tanzania and Kenya.
Almost all of my pictures are taken from the photo albums from the semester I spent in Morocco in 2005. It’s thrilling to revisit those times and imagine how it’ll be like to return.
Underlying that excitement is the anxiety I feel at the prospect of the Foundation sending me to my second or third choice host country. Normally I wouldn’t worry about this, as it doesn’t seem that Morocco is an especially popular choice among Scholars. However, I’m a little concerned that they might to take it upon themselves to “broaden my horizons” and send me elsewhere.
While I can appreciate that this experience is about expanding my mind, I think I’d be more useful to the Rotary in Morocco. With my contacts, derija, and basic knowledge of the country, I can hit the ground running. At the same time, having only gotten a little taste of Morocco during the few months I lived there, I’m sure my experience will be just as eye-opening as if I lived in Tunis or Cairo.
For now I’m operating under the assumption that I’ll be sent to Morocco, because
1) It’ll take a lot of time to fulfill my pre-departure requirements as it is and I need to get on that as early as possible;
2) I’m much better equipped to start laying the groundwork for a year in Morocco–reaching out to friends and academics, doing some background research;
3) I am so excited about the prospect of being in Morocco again and this motivates me to do the front-loading necessary to make the most of next year.
I’ll have no choice but to suck it up if they send me to Tunisia or Egypt because, I mean, there are worse tragedies. Still, I say a little prayer every time I think about it.
Plus, I’ve already told my ikhouati Marwa and Safa that I’d be around, and I miss them so much that if I don’t go to Morocco I think I might spend a few weeks in Rabat anyway just to catch up with them.