While in Jerusalem checkpoints and security barriers became a part of my every day life. I didn't realize how quickly I had accepted this as fact. Now that I'm in Morocco it seems strange to think about. I walked through the Bethlehem checkpoint regularly and was frequently on buses when they were stopped and papers were checked. But that doesn't happen in Morocco. After a very long day of traveling from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to Istanbul to Casablanca we hopped on our bus to Marrakech. I had been dozing and felt the bus stop. When I opened my eyes I saw a gate-looking structure and automatically reached for my passport, assuming that our bus would be checked. But we weren't at a checkpoint, it was a toll booth. It only took a few seconds for me to figure out what actually happened, but I've been thinking about it for several days already. How am I going to feel when I get back to the States? How am I going to carry this experience with me? What questions am I going to continue thinking about for years to come? Am I being dramatic? I probably am being slightly dramatic, but I'm also being honest. It's occurring to me more every day that this semester is really just the beginning of a lot of things for me. And that's terrifying and exhilarating all at once.
On a different note: I'M IN AFRICA! This keeps blowing my mind. It's seems so surreal that I'm on another continent again! This country is beautiful. I'm loving every second of this new adventure. We've spent the past couple days in Marrakech, which is a stunning city! It's so incredible to me to see the blends of different cultures in Morocco. Because of the French influence here there are a lot of Western tourist. But at the same time Morocco is a much more conservative place than Jerusalem. I've seen more veiled women and women in hijabs than I'm used to. It's awesome to see that even though there is so much Western influence the authentic culture of this place has been preserved, at least in my opinion.