Learning How to Say Bslama

I have officially one month left in Tameslouht. This exact day in February, I will be leaving my beloved haven of dirt with my bags packed, heading to Rabat/ PC Morocco headquarters to do some final paperwork, medical tests to determine whether or not I contracted TB, and other random administrative odds and ends. Needless to say, I’m feeling the weight of my impending exit. The next month will be more packed than is probably wise, with three different visitors coming from different parts of the world to meet with the artisans and buy pretty things, a two-day artisan training in Marrakech with Anou, leading another activity with Project Soar, visiting and writing about the Marrakech Biennale, and, of course, having the lovely and talented Ally and my father visit. Of course the shortest month of the year would include the most activity! At least I will be better prepared for a transition back into the American pace of life? (cues laughter from any American reading that punchline!)

Apart from all of that work and social stuff, there is the whole process of saying goodbye that I’m dreading. How do you even approach that? There is a good chance that the people whose faces and presences make up the landscape of my daily life in Tameslouht– the kind store owners, the eccentric sheep herders, the loud Francophone children– are humans whose lives will not again intersect with mine. There are friends, students, my new (very large) extended family, and my artisans to all tell goodbye. Beyond the immediate, there is also my sphere of human beings in Marrakech whom I love dearly. These are the people I’ve not only worked with, but have become friends with; people who have helped me break past the scary outer crust of Marrakech and into the lovely, lively scene of the real city. SO. That all being said, I have reacted as I normally do, actively repressing any inklings of sadness or other emotional distress! Instead of lingering in the finality of my exit from Morocco, I am choosing to instagram the shit outta this place. My first month in Tameslouht lent itself to a lot of wandering, exploring, and imagining the possibilities of what this dusty place might be the backdrop to over the next two years. Now, in my last month, I’m going to revisit a lot of the same places and take more pictures. There’s no real artistic or journalistic goal here; I’m simply trying to preserve the spaces in which I’ve lived in a tangible way.

Enjoy these glimpses into my current world (and the occasional shamefully shameless selfie). Can’t wait to rejoin all of you in t-minus 1 month and 4 days.


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