Spring Break Morocco: Bargaining and Barakah with Boothies

By Enrique Hederra, Class of 2018

By Enrique Hederra, Class of 2018

Who would have said that travelling with more than 50 unknown people from all over the world, in a country where you get lost in translation, and where you cannot drink tap water (but you always get a super sweet peppermint tea as soon as you step into a place) would have been such an amazing experience.

I participated in the Explore Morocco spring break trip, and this experience will remain vividly in my memory not only because of the magnificent country but also the friendships I walk away with.

The whole trip was a perfect blend of cultural visits, clubbing, relaxing and eating. We visited Tangier, Casablanca, Essaouira and Marrakech, each city offering a completely different experience; we walked through ancient medinas, did horseback riding at the sunset at a beautiful beach and climbed the Atlas Mountains on donkeys. We also ate like kings! Moroccan food has huge French and Spanish influence, which we were able to taste in lots of Tagines, including the meals we prepared ourselves in a cooking class!

Group enjoys the sites in the seaside town of Essaouira

Group enjoys the sites in the seaside town of Essaouira

The Moroccan sense of time, bargaining and barakah (good luck) were also some interesting learnings. Whenever we were told someone would arrive in 20 minutes they really meant one hour. Whenever somebody asked 800 dirham for something, you could easily buy it for 300. And you can attribute  to barakah nearly everything. I remember a friend buying a tagine. After getting the price down from 300 to 90 dirhams he found it full of dust. After complaining, he was told to better to keep the dust because it would bring him barakah.

As much as I was impressed by the country, I was equally impressed by the group of Boothies and their partners in the trip. I will honestly say that I have never been in a group with so many interesting people of so many different nationalities. Already in the very first minutes, I met people from as countries as far from mine as Botswana, Albania and Ethiopia. However, the conversations in the days that followed made me wish I could take more than just one spring break trip a year.

Finally, I want to thank Ziad Abouchadi who organized this trip to show us his beautiful country and its amazing culture.