About Siobhan McDonough

Siobhan McDonough has been traveling since she was a wee lass, and now resides in Massachusetts, where she enjoys biking (slowly) and folding paper cranes. She'll be studying abroad in Morocco (and the Netherlands) this fall semester, where she will fearlessly wield her mediocre French and mediocr-er Arabic. She is entering her junior year at Harvard University and studies Social Studies.
9 12, 2015
  • Marrakech Let's Go

Notes on Fes and Marrakech

I’m no expert on the two most-visited Imperial Cities in Morocco, but here are some recommendations from my whirlwind weekends in both*. (Both highly recommended, though I can only give as many tips as the average tourist). Fes: Lodging: We stayed in Funky Fes, recommended. It’s not far from Place R’cif, located in a beautiful riad. Plus, they made spooky cakes for us to celebrate Halloween! The Medina: Even if this is the [...]

2 12, 2015
  • Morocco Train

Answering Possible Questions about Morocco’s Trains

If you’re looking for information about other types of transportation, see my other post. http://www.letsgo.com/2015/09/15/public-transportation-rabat/ How do I find schedules/can I buy tickets online? You can do both of these things at the ONCF website, oncf.ma. It’s in French, but self-explanatory for an English speaker. First or second class? Traveling through the tourist offseason, second class is fine, as it doesn’t matter whether or not there’s air conditioning, and it’s generally 2/3 of the first [...]

1 12, 2015
  • DSCN0776

5 Tips for Navigating Rabat’s Medina

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing independent research, and thus have been engaged in those most excellent of past-times: sitting around and writing (not blog posts, obviously) or reading. Or lying around and sleeping. Or standing around and cooking. Or walking around and looking at cats. These may sound like complete wastes of time—you’re squandering your adventure, Siobhan!—but I’ve started to think more and more about the deification of productivity is an [...]

12 11, 2015
  • Morocco

A Modern Holiday; A Medieval Fortress

This weekend was my second Moroccan holiday. For me, personally, this was notable because all of my classes ended on Thursday, a day early. I’ll be spending my next month doing a research project on programs funded by the Moroccan government in conjunction with international organizations. The details are still fuzzy. The holiday celebrates the anniversary of the Green March, a strategic mass demonstration (Wikipedia) coordinated by the Moroccan government under Hassan II to take Western Sahara [...]

4 11, 2015
  • DSCN1050

A Camel Farm and Migration

Sorry for the delay in updates! The “study” part of study abroad has been slowly taking over our lives, though certainly not to Harvard extent*. Last last weekend, we took our final class trip, (mis)called our “village stay”. Sidi Hajjaj, far from being a village, is a bustling town-city of 70,000 people in the middle of the countryside near Casablanca. It’s also part of what our teachers called the “triangle of death”. While I'm not sure exactly what constitutes [...]

24 10, 2015
  • DSCN0230 (2)

The Day I Wore a Djellaba: Or, the Street Harassment Post

This has been on my computer for a long while now, but as my thoughts have not changed in the past few months, there’s no time like the present to publish. I said in one of my first posts that I hadn’t gotten much in the way of gendered street harassment because I’m Chinese. This changed the Wednesday I wore a djellaba, which is a unisex Moroccan dress. (My host mother had lent to me, [...]

18 10, 2015
  • Amsterdam Let's Go

Four Days in Amsterdam

I’m writing while sick, which is hopefully only my body telling me “eating a bunch of different foods in 5 hours that you haven’t eaten in a month and a half wasn’t your best idea”, and not something more insidious.* As with the Paris post, there are a lot of things to cover for a city I’m not supposed to be covering, so I’ll make a list again (in no particular order)! Our [...]

6 10, 2015
  • Rif Morocco Let's Go

A Brief Introduction to the Rif

This week, my entire program took a trip to the Rif, on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco. Due to the rather unconventional itinerary (the Rif isn’t a heavily touristed place), we had a charter bus, so no public transportation adventures were to be had. Plus, there was air conditioning, and the bus was automatic. Uncannily cushy. The Rif is a different place from the rest of Morocco. As with anything on this blog, I [...]

27 09, 2015
  • DSCN0531

The Vegetarian’s Guide to Eid al-Adha

For the uninitiated, as I was a mere month ago, Eid al-Adha is a Muslim holiday commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham. What is the sacrifice of Abraham? For those of you who haven’t read the Bible, Torah, or Qur’an, it’s part of the history of each of the Abrahamic traditions. In short, God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son (in Christian and Jewish tradition, it’s Isaac, whereas in Islamic tradition, it’s Ishmael—as a Christian myself, [...]

26 09, 2015
  • DSCN0456

Photos from the Blue City (Chefchaouen)

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