In the meantime, I figured I'd give you some idea of what's on my mind with a series of Top 10 lists.
Top Ten Things I Love About Morocco:
1. Mint Tea.
2. The juices. Banana, avocado, mango, peach, you name it, they've got it, either fresh made or in a cheap paper carton.
3. The sun! It's so delightfully warm and usually around (though this week of rainy cold nasty makes me wonder what winter will bring).
4. Malawi- a greasy pancake-like food, sometimes filled with cheese, onions, meat, or eggs. Great for breakfast.
5. The smell of mint on the breeze as you walk through the forests.
6. How CHEAP everything is! A taxi anywhere in Ifrane is about $1.20, and a reasonable meal is about $3.
7. Moroccan hospitality. Somehow, Moroccans can make you feel rude if you don't eat twice as much as your fill and stay in their homes twice as long as you planned to.
8. Moroccan time. Thirty minutes can mean up to two hours. On a regular basis I get to soccer practice five minutes late and am the first one there.
9. The smell after it rains. I've always made fun of "mountain spring" scented soaps, but I now understand what they're trying to capture. Never a fresher breath of air have I breathed.
10. THE STARS. If I had come to Africa and only seen the stars at night, it would have been worth it. There are stars behind the stars behind the stars. Its absolutely incredible.
Top Ten Things I Miss About the US
1. Food. I could fill this list thrice-over if I were to list each specific food, but let's just say all of it. Especially broccoli and Subway sandwiches. And vegetables. Moroccan cuisine is largely composed of meat and carbohydrates, so you can see where I might struggle.
2. Having my OWN PERSONAL SPACE. There was only one other time in my life when I had to share a bedroom, and for anyone who knows about my experience with Dallas, it didn't end well. Its not so much that I have any specific issues with my roommate, its more that she exists in the same twelve foot square box that comprises my only personal space. I miss having my own bedroom, a couch, and a KITCHEN. Which leads me to how much I miss...
3. Cooking! There is a kitchen in my dorm, but it is small, crappy, and I have no pots, pans, spices, or fridge space to keep food in.
4. My kittens. There are stray cats all over this country, and not a day goes by that I hope that Woody or Panther will pop out of the bushes and beg me for leftovers.
5. Driving! I appreciate reducing my carbon footprint (though I'm not sure that's actually true with all the taxis I take) and all, but I miss the independence that comes with driving. Also the ability to belt out Billy Joel in the car knowing no one else can hear or judge me.
6. Fixed. Prices. Granted, there is a certain irreplaceable satisfaction to bargaining hard and well, but I miss knowing exactly what I will pay for something and that my price is not based on my hair color or ability to speak French/Arabic.
7. Beer. At home, it comes in a variety of brews, flavors, colors. Not so in Morocco. Speciale and Heineken. Take your pick. One in a while you can pay like $7 for a Budweiser. What a treat.
8. Going to school on a large campus. I won't go so far as to say I miss Mizzou (okay maybe I do a little, but only select parts of it), but Al Akhawayn is so small that there's really no place to get any solitude, not to mention to get anything to eat after midnight. I've gotten comfortably used to going to bed hungry.
9. Being out and Queer and recognized as such! I expected the relatively intolerant atmosphere towards Queer identities and have adapted to it more-or-less well, but it still amazes me that I can pass as straight here. Also, I having to sensor myself, regarding my identity or my feminist perspective on social issues.
10. My people. Friends, family, etc. Wish you could all be experiencing this with me.