Dispatch no. 1

According to a google search I just did, the season of fall (or “autumn,” as people in certain circles might say) begins on the 22nd. This is a good thing in my mind because I’ve already begun to instinctively recall that distinctive scent which floats from some magical place in the north this time every year. It’s my favorite season; I hope it smells the same here.

*Dispatches will be periodic updates, usually in a text format. They may or may not be relevant to your life.

A man sits in a café near the train station. Portraits of King Mohammed VI are commonplace in many shops and cafés. Some of these are formal but every once in a while I see him riding a jet ski, one of his favorite hobbies. #kenitra #morocco #everydaymiddleeast #vscocam

Haunting Photos of the Children Toiling in Egypt’s Limestone Mines | The global economic crisis has left the young and educated without job prospects. Abdelaziz met several college graduates working in the quarries also. Myriam Abdelaziz | WIRED.com

Just like every fall for the past 16 years of my life, a new school year is about to begin for me. I picked up my books and syllabus, but this time they gave me something extra. I was handed this blue dry erase marker. A final, tangible tool to mark the implementation of a set of recently acquired skills. And so I will go tomorrow to my first day of class no longer the student (though I have much to learn), but in the role of the teacher. This summer has been a wild ride full of firsts I didn’t know existed. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support people have given me, including but not limited to: indefinite stays at the homes of friends new and old, real Italian gelato made by an Italian in Marrakech, listening to my endless rants about anything and everything (in person or via Skype/FaceTime), bargaining on my behalf due to my sheer inability and so many wonderful meals. I am forever indebted to you all. A thousand thanks.