We then loaded the bus and headed to the Moroccan-American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (MACECE). Driving uphill into town, we arrive on this narrow (narrow) street framed by high walls and gates. Behind one gate stands a white three story building where we meet Dr. James Miller, Executive Director, and Ms Ahlam Daoudi, Program Officer. After a spot of tea and informal introductions in the living room of this beautiful house, we sit at the large conference table in a small room. For the next hour or so, we hear more about the history, education system and politics of Morocco than I thought would be possible in an hour. Dr. Miller was a walking "M" encyclopedia, touching on topics such as plate tectonics, anthropology, variations of culture between cities, exchange programs with the US, the Fulbright program, geopolitics, and more. He knew exactly where Rock Hill was, too. Seems he was a professor of geography at Clemson U. for 27 years. We took a group shot (on their Facebook page now) and headed back to the hotel for lunch.
Back on the bus, we move to the U.S. Embassy. This was about 4 miles from midtown. We pass one country's embassy after another, finally arriving at the Stars and Stripes. No bags, cameras, or phones allowed. We're escorted in to this brand new facility that they've occupied only since November 2014. We're actually the first public group they have for their new greeting room. We speak with Ms. Rebecca Smoak, Regional English Language Officer (RELO). She with the ACCESS program, whereby 13-20 year-old disadvantaged Moroccan students learn English though after school classes and summer sessions. This program began in Morocco in 2003. Its success now has it active in over 85 countries! After a rare photograph of all of us in the courtyard, we departed.
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