Sidi Ifni & Leghzira – سيدي إفني ولغزيرة

I spoke at the new Fulbright orientation in Rabat a few weeks ago. Along with a few of my colleagues, we imparted advice we thought helpful and answered questions from the new group of student researchers. I’ve grown so much this year: I’ve learned how to act in academic settings. I can assert myself and make myself heard in male-dominated spaces. I can interact in culturally appropriate ways with Moroccans most of the time. This growth has been gradual over the year, though, and I wasn’t really able to reflect on it until I was reminded of where I was a year ago.

As one last big trip before the end of our time here in Morocco, we took a week trip to see more of the country after the orientation. This time we headed south… far south. A five hour train ride, a bus ride to Agadir, and two grand taxi rides brought us to Sidi Ifni on the coast. It was worth the journey, though. We stayed at a funky hotel with views of the ocean and a friendly owner. We ate very fresh seafood and strolled the laid-back town at night. I loved seeing the typical saharawi dress: women wear a colorful, patterned cloth wrapped in various ways as an all-in-one hijab and long dress.

The view from the hotel

Sidi Ifni's lighthouse

The 10km from Sidi Ifni to Leghzira beach. The first 3km along the deserted beach was through red boulders and even saw a few dead sheep that had probably fallen from the cliff above. The tide was quickly coming in and we asked a local fisherman to show us a path up the cliff.

The fisherman (to Roger's right) was harvesting "sea potatoes", some type of urchin

I can’t say the approaching tide didn’t make me nervous, but I’m glad we walked. The path at the top of the cliff followed the coastline below through desert scrubland scattered with small shells. I even caught a glimpse of a desert fox.

Leghzira beach is, well…

About Laura McAdams

Laura McAdams is a Master’s student at University of Pennsylvania studying International Educational Development. Her experience in the MENA region includes 15 months as a Fulbright student researcher to Fez and Ifrane, Morocco in 2010 and 2011. Her project was interested in understanding the disconnect between the policies of technology usage in education and the reality of how these policies unfold in the classroom. Summer 2012 she returned to the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco to work with a women’s weaving cooperative. She is excited to learn more about other countries in the MENA region and issues involving education policy and reform, technology usage in curriculums and gender equality in education. One of Laura’s lifelong goals is to one day be able to sit down and leisurely read a newspaper in Arabic.
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