Chelsea Yip | Tampa, FL — Computer Science, 2018
Chelsea is so excited to be participating in the OACS Global Service Program in Morocco this summer. Through a partnership with the Cross Cultural Center for Learning, Chelsea will be working with local NGOs focusing on human rights, education, and health care.
Blog Post One:
I have never had my concept of time so disoriented as it has been since arriving in Rabat. After one week, I simultaneously feel like I’ve known my cohort and host family for years, but on the other hand, I still feel a fresh wave of excitement at every new turn in the medina.
My host family has been the biggest reason why I’ve felt so welcomed here. With the majority of my relatives living in Hong Kong, family to me has usually just referred to my nuclear family of my parents, sister, and myself. The first day that Joanna and I arrived at our homestay, I quickly found out how different the concept of family in Morocco is compared to what I have at home. We were greeted by our three host siblings and host mom, who immediately pulled us in for a warm hug told us to call her Mama Rabia.
As we sat down in the living room counting down the minutes until Ftour, the breaking of the daily fast during Ramadan, the doorbell rang. And then it rang again. And again. Throughout the night and later on during the week, cousins and aunts and family friends waltzed in and out, some staying for Ftour, some coming just to say hello. Here in Morocco, there’s no need to call ahead if you’re coming over; you just show up.
Two other girls in my cohort are living with my host family’s cousins, making our family even bigger. Our siblings have taken us out to the carnival, outdoor festivals, and even to our cousin’s concert with his performing group. With a little over a week until the end of Ramadan, I’m looking forward to celebrating Eid with my ever growing Moroccan family.