Anything can happen in Spain and Morocco

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Anything can happen in Spain and Morocco

Lynnsee Starr is a junior studying business sustainability and finance in the W.P. Carey School of Business. She’s also working towards a minor in communications and an international business certificate. When she’s not studying, she’s busy managing the Undergraduate Student Government West organization. This summer she visited Spain and Morocco with the Global Sustainability Studies Program. While there, Starr compared policymaking and gained global context of sustainable development.

What attracted you to the Spain and Morocco program?

One of the most important things to me when searching for a study abroad program is being able to visit a place I wouldn’t be able to visit otherwise. I wanted to visit a country that isn’t a typical vacation spot and for me, that is exactly what Morocco was. My interest peaked even more when I saw that I wouldn’t just get the chance to visit one continent, I would get the chance to visit two! If that wasn’t enough, I was also able to take a class required for my business sustainability major and be one step closer to completing my degree.

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Life after Morocco

Enjoying the rose festival in Morocco. Photo by Parker Helble.

Enjoying the rose festival in Morocco. Photo by Parker Helble.

Life after Morocco

By Jessica Welch

I am home, safe and sound. Life is back to normal. I wake up to take my dogs out and feed them breakfast. Then I get my coffee, have breakfast, check my email and maybe (definitely) watch some Colbert Report. I do a few chores around the house, run some errands, take my dogs for a walk and lay by the pool. I make dinner, watch a movie (or two) and then I go to bed. Summer break is great, right?

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Saying goodbye

Shirley serving tea-Morocco

I got to serve Moroccan mint tea!

Saying goodbye

By Shirley-Ann Behravesh

I sometimes feel in song. Not my own, but songs that I’ve at some point listened to and relate to at certain times. This is one of those times, and I can’t seem to get this song out of my head:

“Saying goodbye, why is it sad?

Makes us remember the good times we’ve had

Much more to say, foolish to try

It’s time for saying goodbye.”

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A different desert

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Getting ready ride a camel through the Sahara! I named him Humphrey.

A different desert

By Ren Andres

Greetings from Merzouga! We are currently staying at a beautiful hotel in this small town just on the edge of the Sahara desert. After a one night and day adventure in this desert, the swimming pool here has never been so refreshing. In the last 48 hours, we rode camels to our overnight stay among the dunes and had a Jeep tour of the desert the next day. After showering, the amount of sand on the bottom of the shower now could be its own desert!

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A city built for feet

cobblestone streets-Spain

Cobblestone streets add charm in Spain.

 
shaded walkways-Spain

Shaded walkways encourage people to walk.

A city built for feet

By Shirley-Ann Behravesh

Granada-Spain-webToday we left Morocco. In many ways I feel like I am leaving pieces of me behind, but carrying with me a new set of values and perspectives on life. It was an emotional moment, but I will not ramble on more about those, let’s move onwards to Spain—Andalusia, Spain.

Andalusia is the southern-most autonomous community of continental Spain. The area has been influenced by the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans and heavily by their Islamic and Christian conquerors. It is sometimes referred to as Moorish-Spain which makes Andalusia the perfect transition from Morocco to European Spain. Flamenco dancing and bullfighting are thought to be Andalusian in origin.

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The way the world works

At the top of the Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Sevilla.

At the top of the Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Sevilla.

The way the world works

By Jessica Welch

We are nearing the end of this amazing journey through two countries and across two continents. My experience in Spain has been vastly different from my time in Morocco. We spent three days in Sevilla, three in Granada and now we are in Madrid. Our program activities have consisted of lectures, visits to two solar power plants, walking tours and a flamenco show, but we have not been able to have the same kind of cultural immersion experience as we did in Morocco. Still, we have been able to see the connection between the two countries that goes back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Also, we were in Spain the day the King abdicated the throne. So now we can say we were there on that day in history!

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Stardust

Photo by Parker Helble

Photo by Parker Helble

Stardust

By Shirley-Ann Behravesh

Something about the stars fills me with wonder. Just like it did to philosophers like Galileo and Copernicus. Not that I mean to consider myself akin to these great philosophers, but that throughout history, humankind has looked to the sky with questions on religion, science, mathematics and our existence on our small, seemingly insignificant planet.

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Morocco on my mind

Sahara Morocco camel ride

Morocco on my mind

By Jessica Welch

It’s my last day in Morocco, and I’m starting to feel a bit nostalgic. In the 15 days I’ve spent traveling through this beautiful country, I have encountered overwhelming hospitality and generosity, not to mention the best food I’ve ever tasted. Tomorrow, we will take a ferry from Morocco to Spain. I’m really looking forward to what Spain has in store for us, but I’m sad that my time in Morocco is coming to an end (for now). Here is a recap of the last week or so.

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Salaam, Morocco!

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Salaam, Morocco!

By Ren Andres

It took an extra day due to a delayed connection and a standby, but I got to Morocco on time! It is the tenth day of this journey and so far we have visited Rabat (their political capital), Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Tasselmante (a small village outside of Ouarzazate) and the beautiful Dades gorge. So much has happened these past 10 days so I will share with you the highlights. Since I have gotten here, I feel as if I am constantly surrounded by rich history and beauty. The photo showing some detail of some tile at one of our hotels is only the tip of the iceberg! Moroccan design and its Moorish influences is everywhere, from floor to ceiling. I find myself taking just as much if not more photos of the architectural and interior design details compared to the landmarks and monuments we have seen. Speaking of which, it’s been amazing to see in person the historical sites that I have only read and watched documentaries about. The historic inner city medinas here have also been around several centuries, bustling with vendors selling all things Moroccan. Tajines, turbans, handrums, jewelry, escargot, you name it. I wasn’t brave enough to try the escargot, but I did eat a kidney!

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Speaking without words

henna tattoo Morocco

Speaking without words

By Shirley-Ann Behravesh

It’s very easy to make yourself comfortable. And once achieved, comfort can keep you nestled safely, quietly whispering into your ear assurances that things will never change. But one of the beauties of life is that it forces you to change, pushes you out of your comfort zones and throws challenge after challenge, molding you into an adaptable being. But too often, we shy away from change, we face what we must and settle into our little comfortable shells, praying that the next change will be far, far away.

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