We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.
The following is a pre-departure post by Unofficial Ambassador Jenny Lee. Over the last three weeks, Jenny has been serving as an environmental education intern with the Ifrane National Park in Morocco. Look for more from Jenny in the coming days.
Bags packed…check! Plane tickets printed…check! Ready for an amazing summer…check! So what am I doing this summer? Well, first off what I’m not going to be doing is sitting in a bikini by the pool sipping a Budweiser and eating Dominos ham and pineapple pizza. What I will be doing is working at a beautiful national park in the mountains of Morocco where I will be helping create an environmental education program and restoring a garden. I look forward to immersing myself in a fascinating and unique culture while doing meaningful work.
During my senior year I was searching for some type of meaningful work after college. I love to travel so I wanted something that would allow me to see more of the world and to be immersed in another culture as more than just a tourist. America’s Unofficial Ambassadors seems like the perfect fit…I have a chance to live and work in Morocco, learn Arabic, eat authentic Moroccan food, interact with Moroccan people, haggle for items in the marketplace and truly understand and appreciate the culture. I speak some French, and I lookforward to practicing that more as well as learning Arabic. The people I will meet, and experiences I will have will hopefully expand my view of the world.
Throughout my six weeks in Morocco I hope to make a lasting impression at the park by helping create an interactive education program and displays in the visitors center that can be carried on easily after I have left. Also I hope to improve the garden and make it a place that will farther enrich the experience of a national park visitor. It will not be an easy task; many things I take for advantage doing work in the US will not be the same, such as everyone I interact with speaking the same language. My time in Morocco should be both challenging and fun. Although I am slightly nervous, I cannot wait for my trip to begin.