Through desert adventures on camel back (don't forget collecting their dung!) to digging for fossils, Bjorn was as big a sport as he was ever gonna be on tonight's Exiled. Watch his Super Sweet 16 fashion party from way back when, then check out his day-by-day account of the trip to Morocco. Is he the same Bjorn as before?
THE NIGHT OF THE INTERVENTION
This is so ridiculous, my parents so just ganged up on me. And not only that, they included one of my friends and my cousin to decide that I have problems. They're sending me to Morocco! What is Morocco anyways? How do they think it’s OK to send me to some random country by myself and do labor in the desert with scorpions, spiders and snakes? Their decision is totally endangering my life. What if I never come back? And in no way will I wear a turban or gellato or whatever it’s called. That is so uncalled for. OMG, what have they gotten me into? I will DIE!
I met Said when we pulled up to his hut. He was very open and welcoming, along with his family. His house was very big but also very primitive -- definitely something I’m not used to. There are a lot of flies everywhere that continue to bother my personal bubble. He showed me his camels who poop a lot. One had a nose ring and another tried to basically bite me. Then we went onto his sheep and goats who all looked crazy to me. Later we went off to collect camel dung and in that process we spotted multiple beetles. When I stated my fear and disgust of bugs he decided to almost chase me with a beetle and I ran.
Said had the idea for us to kill pigeons so we could provide the family's food for that night. Beforehand, I totally put my foot down and told him I would not kill any pigeons, but I would help him catch them. I personally could not bring it out of myself to kill any animals. After this conversation we went outside and I tried to help him catch the pigeons, but for me that was also a difficult and disgusting task. After we had caught two he told me we had to kill them. At this point I got frustrated and he continued to badger me to try to kill the poor innocent pigeons. After a long attempt, I got my point across and he finally understood my feelings on the issue. Still, he made sure I knew that that night all we would be eating were dates because there was no meal for his family. So we sat down and ate the dates with his family and our night was called to an end at that.
We woke up relatively early and started our day off with breakfast and then went to pitch water from the well for his family. Following that we came to an oasis where we helped the irrigation for not just his family but also his community. What baffled me about today was the fact that water is so difficult for them to come by and they filter it themselves. We brought home jugs and jugs just for supply because tap is expensive, which is weird because I personally do not have that far to travel for just water.
Way too tired to write...
Said woke me up and told me we would bike three hours in the desert just to dig for fossils. There’s a possibility no fossils will be found, or even if they are, it might not be solid. After we dug, we biked to a campfire and we sat and tried to understand more about each other's lives. I shared with him my SpongeBob, which called him string and that gave us a good laugh. I also showed him some pictures and a popular magazine from home. Next he showed me some already polished fossils. They were beautiful. As a gift he gave me two of the fossils I loved the most. Little does he know I have a couple good gifts prepared for him. After all this he showed me the little cave we would be sleeping in, which surprisingly was quite cozy. The flies here are very relentless by the way.
Today I stepped up my game and helped Said and his brother build a house. I worked very hard and I felt he was proud of me. After we finished working, we both got paid by his brother. I felt really good that we earned money for working hard. I really got my hands dirty and helped out, so they must’ve felt it was well earned. Following that we went to the desert and Said taught me to pray. He also made sure I was conscious of his family’s religion, which is Muslim. He made sure I understood that Muslim people are not terrorists and that they believe in peace. This is something that a lot of Americans have misconceived. Following our prayer he surprised me with a camel back ride in the desert. And then came a bigger surprise -- he treated me to a spa-type appointment in the desert. This consisted of a sand shower where I was buried in sand and exfoliated first with camel brain mixture. We finally made it back to his house and I got the balls to shower even with the cockroaches and all chilling in the bathroom. It was surprisingly warmer than I expected so I didn’t have too many worries.
I’m on my way home on the plane from Marrakech. This experience was crazy for me. I learned a lot about myself and got to know such a great person. His family was amazing and I don’t want this trip to be the last time I see them so “enchilah.” I’m not sure if I spelled it right but it means good willing. Since his father did give me a name, I feel like that makes room for me in his heart and the whole family as well. I really loved Morocco, but I’m so excited to go home at the same time. It’s a very bittersweet moment but hopefully it won’t be the last. Said giving me that gift for my mother was so spectacular. And seeing him wear my bracelet still after I gave it to him means a lot to me. I really feel the two of us connected and have become more brothers than friends.