I wanted to take the time to thank you for giving my son the experience of his life by awarding him an exchange opportunity in Morocco summer 2008. First let me compliment you on your ability to see that Max, although young, was fully up to the task! I believe he was an asset to your program and it is really your vision that allowed him to contribute. We noticed how much he matured on his trip from the minute he got off the plane but it was all good-he is still our wonderful son but seems to be much more appreciative of our care now that he has lived without us for several weeks. I encourage all parents of teenagers to send them away for a little while!
I was completely confident in Max’s safety and well-being the entire time he was in Morocco-from the moment his plane was met in Washington D.C. to his host family welcoming him with open arms. He was so well taken care of that, at times, Max ate so much delicious food he said he was literally stuffed! No more food could physically go down! All members of the family took time to work with him on his Arabic language, allowed him to observe the preparation of traditional meals and helped him with his every need. They tended to him without suffocation-he felt confident to do his own exploring around ancient Marrakech as well. It really was a wonderful combination of care and independence, and the perfect match for Max. So, while he did miss us a bit, he never mentioned it because he was so happy with is Moroccan family. Legacy did an excellent job with host family placement. The trips that the group took were definitely the highlight of Max’s journey. Riding camels across the Sahara, watching the ocean while eating breakfast on the roof of the hotel in Essaouira, attending Mosque in Rabat and buying Fez hats in Fes-these are memories he will treasure forever and solidified his love of Morocco, the Moroccan people and the Arabic culture.
The school in Marrakech was top-notch. Max said upon his return, “Those are people who know how to teach.” Not only did his knowledge of Arabic expand immensely, he connected with his teachers on an emotional level and I believe the connections made will last a lifetime. Although the school days were long and the homework intense, he never felt overwhelmed and was able to meet the challenge. Finally, the majority of students chosen for this once-in-a-lifetime experience were exceptional. Max has a couple of friends from this trip that I know he will stay in touch with forever. How nice for Max to associate with such a fine group of young people. I believe Legacy picked the cream of the crop for this very special journey and I am honored that my son was found to be worthy of such an honor. I am confident that he will bring back what he learned in Morocco and improve the understanding between our cultures for years to come. Already Max is singularly responsible for signing several of his friends up for Arabic class at Washington High this school year!
I am forever indebted to you for making my son a citizen of the world. There is no doubt in my mind that Max will be embarking on more adventures every summer between now and graduation. Please accept my thanks and my gratitude.
Legacy International in partnership with American Language Center in Marrakesh delivered the Arabic Language Institute in 2007, 2008. The program is supported by a grant form US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs