"The in-crowd say it's cool to dig this chanting thing"

Last year, I began the legnthy process to apply to study abroad. Being a very western nation, I chose Lebanon as my target. Then, the Arab Spring happened; I thought it was safer to stay home and wait for next summer. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled that millions of people– Tunisians, Egyptians, Lybians– overthrew their oppressive regimes, but part of me was a leeeeeettle upset that I remained stateside because of it.

This summer, I’m going!

Inspired by the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor who set himself on fire, it was the Tunisians who were the first to take to the streets. The more I learned about Tunisian culture, the more I wanted to go. So, this year, I applied through a well-established institution called AMIDEAST. I found out about my acceptance on Friday. Hurray!

Will I miss my janu? Naturally. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be excited for my travels. Besides, we lived apart for months when he was in New York. Modern technologies like Skype can be a wonderful thing.

It’s happened to me more than once that I’ve told someone I’m going to Tunisia, and they say they don’t even know where it is. If you fall into this category, I will now correct it for you. Tunisia is in northern Africa, on the Mediterranean, with Algeria to the southwest and Libya to the southeast. It’s a short boat ride to Italy:

I gave you some bonus countries

After telling my big brother the news of my acceptance, he sent me a song. How often do you come across songs that have Tunisia in them? Here it is, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-kBourPZXQ

I thought about naming this blog “letsburnitupintunisia”, but I figured I would be using it before and after my journey and discuss other topics on it, so I went with “meredithrocksthecasbah”. I like it. Besides, the idea of burning it up might not be one that I want to use. It can be interpreted a number of ways, including violence and drugs, neither of which I’m necessarily encouraging.

Even so, I’m trying to be less cynical. I post and write cynical things all the time. Take this picture I posted to Facebook today:

Jefferson knew his stuff.