Redefining the word “friend”

Hi folks!!!

First and foremost, I would like to dedicate this blog to all the people who have been so incredibly kind to me since coming to Morocco. People who were mere strangers just two months ago, and now have become dear to my heart. They have been such great friends! It’s a blessing to have them in a place where I have no relatives. They have become my family here.

I know it’s been a while, and I apologize for that. There have been many things going on. A few issues I needed to resolve, involving my bank and just paperwork and all that good stuff. Anyway, it’s calmer now.

So where shall we begin? Since my last blog, I have been up to not much. As you can guess, it was a bank issue, so I needed to be mindful of my spending until all is well. I have spent most of the past few weeks just hanging out with people here in Rabat and maybe a little in Meknes. While it strengthened my relationship with people, I learned a few things about what it means to truly befriending someone. Don’t give me wrong, I have had exceptional friends in the past, and I have tried my best to be a great friend. But being here in Morocco has taught me one big lesson: there’s more to friendship than what I knew before and that is through really caring about one other individual who is not family, who I barely know, yet I have come to appreciate him/her in a level I have never before experience.

Let me elaborate! Here in Morocco, I have different friends. Lots from my school, especially International students.

Kim, Sumona, Julia, and Sara.
Sam and Khalid

And there are my roommates, who are more like family.

Amnah and Housnia (They are Comorians) and Bruno (he is Malagasy)

There are my Meknes friends and Malagasy friends.

Rista, Patty, Kerry, Miarintsoa, and Toky.
Kadaffi, Eli, and Winnie.
Tolotra and Kiady.

Those are some of the people who have given me strength and love since I arrived. I am so grateful to call them my friends.

Now into the details of why my biggest lesson here yet is learning what it means to be a friend. Being a friend here is more than spending time together and having fun. From what I learned, it’s more like making decisions that not only concern you but those around you as well. In my home for example, Amnah, my roommate, is the most caring individual I know. I spend everyday with her — we sleep on the same bed since I am only here for four months in total — and we didn’t want to invest on getting twin beds or something. She’s been like a sister. She makes sure she’s cooked some dinner for us when I get off school. She is always thinking of me when she’s going out if I needed her to bring something. Every evening, she makes tea for me so I can sleep peacefully since she’s called me the “stressed one.” She corrects me and helps me with my French. She makes me crepe breakfast and she’s assisted me with paperwork stuff. She’s never complained once about my snoring, since God only knows I snore really bad. She has been giving me her time, love, and energy. I appreciate her more than anything else here. In addition to all her kindness though, she’s motivated me to exchange the same courtesy toward her. I have made every efforts to make her lunch when I am home. I cook dinner and serve her. I speak English to her at times so she can improve her English. I try to be a good roommate, friend, and sister to her. Regardless, it’s not enough. But Amnah is not looking for anything in return. She’s taken me under her wings and that’s what it means to care for a person she said. I will try everyday to be as good as her. I want to be a giving human being who expects nothing in return. I want to make it effortless, as if it’s natural. I am failing to describe how wonderful of a person Amnah is. She’s getting married in Comoros in July and one thing I pray is that I can come to her wedding. It all depends on my budget but it’s one thing I wish. It’s the least I can do.

Another person who’s impressed me is Julia. She is a German friend from school who has been sweet to me. She is the most humble human being I know. She is smart and thoughtful. She’s always treated me with kindness. She makes me feel included, and wanted. I love how welcoming she was since the beginning. I was a week late and I missed international students orientation. I only came when school started. It was a bit hard to fit in with the other exchange students since they knew each other and I wasn’t there. However, Julia made me feel right at home. That is something I will never forget. She’s by far my closest friend at school.

So, have I met nice people just like Julia and Amnah? Of course, there are plenty of kind friends. However, it was the shift from strangers to friends in a short amount of time, yet still going strong day by day that has amazed me. I am awed at how willing they were to take risks of putting me in their priority even at times before theirs. My goal this year is to be the best of a friend to my friends. I want to go the extra miles and show kindness. I want to be caring. That’s all. It’s a bit late for a new year resolution, but I think it still counts if I say I want to work on being a person who puts her friends’ need before hers. I hope I can accomplish that.

Well friends and family, that is all for now. I really need to figure out a way to upload pictures since in this blog, they tend to not upload so I will be brainstorming. Thanks for your time and hope you too learned something from my post. Much love to you all!

Xo.

Ranja.

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