RW Morocco: MoROCKan the Desert

By Sukriti Nayar, Class of 2019

By Sukriti Nayar, Class of 2019

Picture yourself trying to navigate winding stone passageways. Each house indistinguishable from the next, the narrow cobblestoned roads all look the same and the only new landmarks are the ornate, carved wooden doors on either side of you. The midday heat is beating down on the medina but you’re thankfully saved by the cleverly engineered shadows. You’re alone – a small panic begins to arise – but you breathe a sigh of relief.

Your group is just around the corner.

Each one of the 18 Boothies who went to Morocco this year had a similar experience at some point during the trip. Fourteen first-years with their four kind and patient group leaders explored the culture and cities of Morocco. Marketed as a Random Walk high in the “cultural” element, the trip brought together adventurous and empathetic Boothies; the RW Morocco team bonded over our shared love for crossing cultural boundaries with abandon. (Though, that did get us into trouble at one point – half the group tried the same bag of dates and all got food poisoning.)

Group poses in front of an argan tree full of goats on the way to the seaside town of Essaouira

Group poses in front of an argan tree full of goats on the way to the seaside town of Essaouira

The trip began in Casablanca, where we ate at Rick’s Café – and a pianist played “As Time Goes By” – and we then made our way to Fes, Rabat, Marrakech, Essaouira, spent a night camping in the desert, and topped our trip off with a night out in Madrid.

Some highlights of the trip included:

  1. Visiting a local tannery and watching the leather dyeing process (also, being surprised by our ridiculous tour guide who tried to convince us first that he spoke no English, then switching to a perfect Aussie accent and then trying to convince us that he was from New Jersey – none of us know the truth to this day)

  2. Driving to an argan oil cooperative in Essaouira to watch argan oil being made by hand – and making a pit-stop at a tree filled with goats

  3. Riding a donkey up to our lunch, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in the mountains

  4. “Glamping” in the Agafay desert, complete with a DJ, fully functional showers, and some rather disgruntled camels

  5. Our 9-hour bus ride leading us to create and perform our dance “Get Your Morock-On” (check us out; we’re Insta-famous)

Group poses in front of one of the beautiful doorways of Fez

Group poses in front of one of the beautiful doorways of Fez

As with any trip we faced our challenges: the aforementioned food poisoning, heat exhaustion, motion sickness; but we supported each other with a sense of humor and a liberal dosage of over-the-counter medication. The Moroccan people opened up their lives to us and we were welcomed warmly by restaurateurs, hawkers, and passersby alike. We left with a greater sense of community and a love for the Moroccan people, history, and food. Tagine, anyone?

RW Morocco were the winners of the RW Photo Contest. Check out more of their adventures on Instagram @boothrwmorocco2017 and their music video on YouTube!