Why did you decide to enroll with Cross Cultural Solutions in Morocco?
Emily: I decided to enroll with CCS in Morocco for two reasons: I have a huge passion for traveling and thought Morocco would be a great country to visit as their culture is so far from our own.
It has also always been a passion of mine to help others, to volunteer my time to benefit someone less fortunate. CCS allowed me to do both of these things at once.
Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.
Emily: Each day at Ibny school was structured the same way. We started class by singing American children's songs such as 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.' Then we would bring out the craft we had prepared the night before and hand one out to each child along with crayons. Once their craft was finished we handed out coloring sheets for them to work on for the remainder of the time.
Tell me about one person you met.
Emily: It is hard for me to pick one person that I met during my stay in Morocco.
I had some of the most interesting conversation with the director there, Muhammad. I made wonderful bonds with several of the volunteers with whom I continue to stay in touch.
Each of the children and their teachers were far too welcoming and beautiful to ever forget.
Do you feel like you made a significant impact on the local community? Why or why not?
Emily: I can't be sure that my impact was significant for the community as a whole.
I can say that I felt my impact was highly significant in the lives of the children I had to privilege to work with.
Though there was a strong language barrier, their smiles, hugs, and kisses were enough to communicate the happiness we brought to their morning.
I believe their impact on me, as a class, a community, and a culture, far exceeded anything I could have done for them.
What was the best moment of the trip?
Emily: The most amazing moment of the entire trip was the night we spent under the stars in the Sahara desert. We took the camel ride on the weekend I was there and got to camp in the desert.
I have never seen so many stars at one time. Although I knew I had to be up early the next day, I found it very difficult to sleep as I didn't want to close my eyes to such an incredible sight.