So this weekend is the group trip to Tangier; I’m at home in my bedroom in Rabat. I chose not to go on the trip since I’ve been sick all week. I went to my Arabic class on Monday morning, then didn’t go back to school until yesterday (Thursday). I basically caught whatever “cold” was going around the study-abroad group, in addition to struggling with my asthma. I probably was susceptible of catching the virus since I already had been on antibiotics and steroids for my asthma, leaving my immune system weak. I’ve seen the lung specialist twice here now. Although I had been using my new nebulizer already, when I went to the clinic this past Monday, he gave me a breathing treatment and a corticosteroid injection. He also wrote me 4 RXs for various medications. I haven’t picked them up though because I’m broke, and my parents just mailed me the rest of my medications, costing about $300. I hate to keep asking them for money for medical expenses & whatnot… Granted, healthcare over here is much cheaper than in the States. The difference though is that a patient has to pay up front in cash & then submit the claim to the insurance to get reimbursed later… so it’s been somewhat frustrating with that…
I don’t want to continue to get behind on my work, so I figure a weekend of rest (& catching up on schoolwork) is best for me. AMIDEAST is happy with my decision too as I would have been at risk since the group is traveling to other cities, besides Tangier… There would not be any medical clinics available, should something happen to me, while traveling through the country/mountains. The weather in Tangier/the mountains was supposed to be cold & raining throughout the weekend, and I definitely don’t need to add anything else to my illness. Luckily, I’m starting to feel “shwiya” (a little) better today…finally! haha
Anyway, it’s funny because I feel like I’m living in some sort of a vortex here or something. I’ve totally lost concept of time, particularly for those back in the States. For instance, Ash Wednesday occurred this week, which means it’s Lent already. I did not find this out until that day (luckily I found this out before I ate any meat on Wednesday). Since I was sick though, I was unable to search out a Church to get ashes. I think this is the first time in my life that I did not receive ashes. Apparently there are a couple Catholic churches in Rabat; I hopefully will begin to go this Sunday. It means a lot to me to try to maintain my religious perspective here; although I definitely have become more open to Islam than I thought I would be. I like that people here are religious. I like that God or Allah something common in everyday conversation. There’s such a separation of Church & state in America, that I think it almost makes people feel ashamed to mention God so “no one is offended.” Yet here, one cannot even greet another without mentioning “hem-do’Allah” (thanks be to Allah) for the encounter. Even when departing from another, the typical response to “a bientot” (“see you later,” en Francais) is “in-cha’Allah” (God-willing). It just inspires me to witness people’s openness of spirituality here without any qualms to do so. This is why I feel motivated to practice my own religion here. I’ve found that, although as each religious faith thinks that theirs is the superior/Singular faith, people here generally are respectful toward others’ beliefs. If anything, Moroccans are delighted to see the outward faith of other believers. I almost feel more “proud” to be a Catholic here than in the States, because I feel a mutual respect here between Islam and myself as a Christian. I sometimes wish others could be more open to various religious faiths and beliefs, because in the end, we’re ALL part of one humanity.
OK, I think that is it for today…I’ve mentioned 2 of the 3 things “never” to talk about: money, religion, & politics (I already mentioned politics in a previous blog). Yet I think that it’s not so much about what one should not discuss, it’s a problem of ignorance (defined as a lack of knowledge or information…not to be defined as “rude”) and openness toward the “other.” Perhaps blogs like these can open up some minds and perspectives toward acceptance of various cultures, beliefs, and traditions. If not, that’s OK too… after all, there is nothing to lose…only insight to gain.