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Singing in the Rain?

If you thought the unpredictability and constantly changing weather in Geneva was bad, you haven’t been to Rabat. Some mornings, I’ll wake up and check the weather app to see it say 60 degrees and sunny but then I walk outside and it’s a cloud, low 50s with rain. And don’t even get me started about the rain in Rabat. There’s so much rain, all the time that soaks through your “water-proof” jackets and two layers of socks in your shoes.

Do you remember the game Temple Run? Well walking through the Medina when it’s pouring rain, trying to avoid the holes in the uneven, cobble streets and the narrow, winding alleyways is sort of like that game. It’s a skill you have to develop pretty quickly in order to get to the end. I know when you think of the topic of weather, you expect it to be pretty boring but trust me, the weather in Morocco is anything but boring.

(Pools of water on Mohammed V, Rabat)

I didn’t come to Morocco prepared for all the rain and drastic weather changes, but the one thing I was thankfully prepared for was how cold it gets at night. The weather can drop to the 40s or 30s during the night and most homes in the Medina do not have any heating. Luckily, my host family’s home is carpeted unlike other homes in which some of them are all tile, making it much colder in their homes. I was told by some people I know who had either been to Morocco or were from Morocco that I should pack some heavy sweatpants, sweatshirts, fuzzy socks, and other warm clothing items. Most Moroccan families wear sweatpants or warm jelabas around the house instead of jeans and cute tops so they stressed the importance of packing warm, comfortable clothes to wear around the house.

(A very cold morning in Rabat)

Despite the crazy and unreliable weather in Morocco (and all of the rain), I still love every bit of it. The weather can also vary drastically based on where you go in Morocco; such as Ben Smim, a village with so much snow that it could be a ski resort or Er-Rissani, a town that’s smoldering hot or Chefchaouen, where it rains so much that ceilings can cave in from pooling water on top of their terraces. 

(Snow on tops of the mountains in Ben Smim)

(The Sahara desert in Er-Rissani)

Despite how diversified Morocco’s landscape is, there’s one commonality throughout the country: at night it’s going to be cold, especially during the winter. I remember walking through the Sahara barefoot in the morning right after the sun had risen and remember my feet feeling ice-cold by the time I got back to the hotel even though it was already 60 degrees outside. In Ben Smim, when all of us had gotten out of the bus to use a rest stop, we were all surprised by how cold it actually was, especially when we were dressed in clothing for 60 degree weather since we had spent the majority of the day in Fes, which is only about an hour away from Ben Smim. The lesson I have learned traveling all throughout the country is that Morocco weather is not only drastically different, but the nighttime gets cold, so if you’re thinking of going, pack an extra pair of fuzzy socks.

Carly Kelly is a current junior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She is majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. Her goal is to have a career in Anthropology conducting field research in Palestine, looking at how cultural mixing, cultural misunderstanding, and faith contribute to the culture of nationalism within the country. On campus, Carly is currently a member of One-on-One Friendship (an organization that teaches students in Indonesia English), PLEN (a group which helps empowers women for leadership roles), as well as a teaching fellow for Anthropology. During Spring 2018, Carly studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco, where she documented her experience through blogs, photos, and articles. Carly hopes that she will be able to use HerCampus as a way to create a positive dialogue surrounding topics about the Middle East.
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