I don’t know why they call it Midterms week because for me I’m having midterms for 3 weeks now. This week again I had two midterms and I still have one to go. I can’t wait to see the grades to finally know how I’m performing here in GWU. So, after a tough week of exams, I deserved some rest and fun during the weekend.
One of the experiences that I loved doing during this weekend is going to a corn maze in Lawyers farm in Maryland. As you know Halloween is coming, and there are a lot of activities happening in Washington DC around that. The event was organized by GW Campus Outreach and honestly, we had a LOT of fun. It was my first experience in a corn maze and I really enjoyed it. I have never thought that getting lost in a maze is a real thing. But it was fun being lost for an hour trying to find the exit in the dark while scaring each other. By the end, we had s’mores around the bonfire. It was really cool to get around the fire and talk for a while, especially in that freezing cold weather.
Since I love outdoor activities, after a night in the farm around the fire, I had a hike with GW Trails to Mary’s Rock summit in Shenandoah National Park. The Shenandoah park was two hours drive from GWU but the scenery in Virginia’s roads was so beautiful. The hike was relatively easy, one hour up and half an hour down. But I can’t describe how fascinating the nature was. The trees were colored from red to faded orange colors. It was so beautiful to see the autumn vibe at its best in the park. Golden leaves were covering the narrow itineraries and I totally loved it. The best thing was the view from the Mary’s Rock summit. You just can’t get enough it. I would say it was totally worth the 15$ and going to Shenandoah national Park should be in your bucket list here in DC.
On Sunday, the White House opened its doors for the public to visit. It was a tour in the Gardens and apparently it happens twice a year. You can imagine the massive amount of people in line to get their tickets to the White House at 8 am. After a long wait, we finally got them. It was nice to get a tour around the White House gardens and get that close from the presidential residence. But as the non-morning person I am, I think it wasn’t as impressive as I expected but at the end it was a must thing to-do when living in Washington DC.
And the greatest way to finish the week was to get Moroccan food for lunch. I didn’t think that I would miss it that much. It was SO good and I can ensure that by the approvals of all my other friends that tried it for the first time. At this point, I’m still not homesick yet but going to the Marrakech restaurant reminded me of how much I miss my country and its food.
Receiving an acceptance email from the Office for Study Abroad of GWU was the beginning of the best things that are going to happen to me during this exchange program. And I’m so glad that I’m going to share my adventures with the entire world to see. But I bet you are wondering who am I?
I’m Sara, a twenty year old Moroccan girl who is going to finally realize her childhood dream by visiting the land of freedom, the United States of America. I still remember the first time I watched an American TV-show. I was nine years old and it was a Hannah Montana episode. From those days, I realized that the first country in my bucket list is definitely the United States and I realized how much I loved English songs and I needed to learn English.
From there started my journey to learn English. Yes, starting by listening to English songs with French subtitles on YouTube. I always knew that I wanted to pursue my studies in English that’s why I enrolled Al Akhawayn University for a bachelor in Business Administration. AUI, unlike the majority of the Moroccan universities where courses are taught in French, is an American-system based university. I have chosen this university because I knew that someday I would want to live in the US (I didn’t expect that it would be that earlier though).
I’m Sara, a twenty years old girl born and raised in Morocco. I’m really hoping that you knew or at least heard about the country from where I came. Morocco is a small country in North Africa. My geography sucks but if you swim 5000km (3106mi) from Agadir, my hometown straight through the Atlantic ocean, you will end up somewhere in Miami beach. And I’ve always dreamt of getting to the other side of the ocean. If I have to describe Morocco I would definitely say that it is known by the hospitality of its people, the delicious food and the mix of the different cultures it has. Morocco is that slowly-paced country, not very developed and where people are living peacefully together. It has also a cool architecture. (Notice some Moroccan designs in the background of my picture *Advertizing*)
Now I’m going to start a new journey of my life in a totally different country. I don’t have any expectations. To be honest I just don’t like expectations. They are either too high that you end up getting depressed when they are not met or too low that they are preventing you from seeing the good side of things around you. I’m just a simple person who believes that living and embracing each moment of the present life is the best way to enjoy the life. My philosophy must sound confusing or messed up. In simple words, I’m just so grateful to go there. I just know that I want to travel and discover this beautiful country and its people.
I’m so excited to share my experiences and adventures in the big United States with you from the eyes of a simple Moroccan girl. Stay tuned.