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  • Writer's pictureRachel Terlop

Well Seasoned Traveller

As I sit here staring out my hotel room window at the Hassan II Mosque, on the first stop of the trip, I am astonished by something. Moroccan tea.

Does this look like an astonished face?

First of all, I rarely order tea, so let us all get excited about that.

Secondly, this tea comes with the cutest, smallest, littlest glass I have every seen. It is adorable and perfect and I only want cups this size moving forward.

Third, there are bits of things floating in this tea. However, it is minty, and warm, and makes your insides feel as if they are glowing - so I am just going with it at this point.

This summer, I am spending my break participating in one of the coolest professional developments I have come across as a teacher. Limited Resource Teacher Training (LRTT) is a fantastic organization that provides training for teachers to become effective academic coaches. By taking teachers places all around the world, like Uganda, the training pushes teachers to get to know educators, share tips of the trade, and provide meaningful feedback - all with limited resources.

So, here I am on the first leg of my trip - 24 hours in Casblanca, Morocco.

This town is stunning, and quiet. Down the street from my hotel is the Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in Africa, and 5th largest in the world. When I walked into my hotel room and opened the curtains, this gorgeous minuet was staring back at me over the tops of local apartments, satellite dishes, and laundry hanging out to dry.

This structure does not disappoint.

Every single tile on the floor, and walls, is stunningly vibrant and delicately laid. The granite, marble, wood - everything has such intricate carvings you get lost looking at it.

I loved exploring this massive structure on my way to find food. After an all night flight where I flopped around in my set for hours, I was desperate for some food.

As soon as I texted my family to show pictures, my sister instructed me to promptly find a gin joint, per the movie Casablanca.

I typed in 'gin joint' on Google Maps, and low and behold Rick's Cafe was a 15 minute walk. As I headed out, I asked the concierge if she felt I was okay to walk alone and if my outfit was acceptable. Her only advice was to put up my scarf over my hair to cover the 'yellow.' Note: get my hair fixed upon arrival back to the states.

"Of All The Gin Joints In All The Towns In All The World, She Walks Into Mine."

I only got one comment about my ankles being out on the walk over, and it was quickly forgotten once I plopped myself down in this replica cafe. Rick's Cafe is a glorious tourist trap with air-conditioning, and just full of other yellow haired tourists like me.

I ordered a goat cheese & fresh date salad, apple tart with vanilla ice cream, a martini, and sparkling water. I just don't think any food, in the history of ever, has been this delightful. I basically got an entire place covered in goat cheese. No one is mad. Although it may not have been the most authentic Moroccan experience - it was delicious, and had air conditioning.

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

After the jaunt home, dodging motorcycles, and stopping at the Mosque again to admire, I flopped in the hotel for a sunshine nap, only to awake and go find some local lamb tagine.

It is time to finish my well seasoned tea and hit the hay - tomorrow is Cairo day and meeting up with girls from my LRTT cohort!

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