Stuck on the Bottom

I’ve mentioned before that exchange is one big rollercoaster and every day is full of ups and downs, but sometimes that rollercoaster breaks down. It gets stuck, sometimes on top of the world surrounded by a gorgeous view, and other times on the bottom, trapped in the concrete world around it. Exchange isn’t easy, and it’s definitely NOT a vacation.

I was walking to AMIDEAST on Saturday to teach English. It was cold, raining, and I was simply exhausted yet there I was trudging through the puddles on the way to my 5 hour class of screaming children. I was frustrated, sleep deprived, and far from smiling. As I walked, trying to keep my backpack dry, I wrote a post in my mind. Sometimes I do that, I plan an entire blog post while I’m running or squished between the whole city of Rabat on the tram, and then I forget the whole thing when I finally get home. This particular post wasn’t arsty or meaningful like most of my musings, but rather just complaints. I was ranting, about everything from tagine to the tram, from sub par apples to the time difference. I was fuming. After two exhausting classes of teaching English, I headed to the gym and just ran and ran on the treadmill until I felt better. My walk home was much, much more enjoyable, but I couldn’t deny that the past week was the hardest of my entire exchange.

I’ve been here for over 2 months now, and our whole group is starting to hit their exchange lows. I’m generally a positive person and can’t stand complaining, but we had gotten to the point where the simplest thing drove us crazy. Every single restaurant here sells the EXACT SAME THING. You can either have a Panini, (which is just meat and cheese, not even a tomato), or tagine. Even the pizza tastes weird with the strange “fromage rouge” that they use here. Sarah, our coordinator/adopted mom, has been in Italy at a conference for the past week, and we received some rather unwelcome news. The worst part though, is school. I study, I work hard, I do my homework, yet each test I’m totally lost. I need to cut myself some slack though. Yes, I am failing my classes, but I stepped into a completely new school system and style of teaching, in a completely different language. Oh, and to add to it all, it’s cold. Sooo cold. Outside it’s not that bad, but the walls are concrete and there’s no heat… or insulation for that matter. This past week, the rollercoaster got stuck on the bottom, but I’m on my way back up. I’m climbing and I know I’m going to make it back up to the top, I just need some fuzzy socks and hot tea to get me on the way.

I want my blog to be honest and real, I don’t want to give anyone an unrealistic view of my exchange. I want everyone to understand that exchange is a journey, it’s process, and it’s hard; yet I also want each and every one of you to know that I would never trade my life for anyone else’s. I have difficult days, and nights when I miss the states like crazy, but I don’t regret coming here and I never will.  I knew it was going to be hard, but I also knew that with God all things are possible, and that every single moment of this exchange is worth it. Every tear, every burst of laughter, every extra pound is completely and totally worth it.


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