Cats in the Kasbah

March 12, 2019

There is so much to learn! The joy of being a lifelong learner has never been so overwhelming to me. I am so glad I was open to this experience. I am so glad that I can observe and relish the differences and similarities I am encountering in Rabat and among our Moroccan hosts.

Observation#1: Cats are everywhere- except in houses. Well, I cannot be sure about whether there are cats inside people’s houses, but it appears to be more normal for domestic animals to live outdoors and unhampered. It’s really the best life imaginable for cats. No one tells them what to do. Food is readily available to them in the street. They laze about like kings and want nothing to do with the humans passing by.

Observation #2: Old things are not leveled and replaced in Rabat. They are amended and repaired. This includes walls, roadways, and sidewalks. Amazing patterns of bricks and cobbles reveal a patchwork history. This is sometimes very challenging when it makes for an uneven walkway, but it is strangely beautiful. I am pondering the deeper meaning behind it. Imperfection is beautiful. Why bulldoze history, after all?

Observation #3: Moroccan food is amazing. Now, I cannot even eat all of it, with my dietary restrictions. Despite that, every meal is big, beautiful, and delicious. From the fig jam in my yogurt in the mornings to the preserved lemons in my Tajine at night, it is delightful.

I’m falling in love with the beauty and the tastes of Morocco.

Cats in the Kasbah of the Oudayas, Rabat


Most of the time, I am simply "Mrs. Olmos," a busy classroom teacher in a rural district in Southwest Washington State. I teach English, WA State History and Drama to students that range from grades 7-12. I believe in allowing students to use their own creativity and individual voices to enrich learning experiences in my classroom. A typical day in my room includes student-led conversations, collaborative projects, and art supplies. Beyond the classroom, I dedicate myself to many areas of educational leadership. Currently, I am a Fulbright Teacher for Global Classrooms and a member of the leadership team for the Washington Teacher Advisory Council. I am proud to be a National Board Certified Teacher, and a facilitator for National Board Candidate cohorts. Over the years, I have served on committees, panels and cohorts at the district, state and national level. My areas of interest include English Language Arts standards, curriculum and assessment, teacher preparation and certification, equity in rural education, project-based learning, and arts-integrated instruction. In my spare time, I have dogs, horses and and a husband to share my life on a small farm surrounded by green hills and rivers. It's a beautiful life.

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