A Contagious Love

by

The night air is soft and cool against my skin. I cross my legs on my wooden chair and ask him about himself, eager to learn more. “How long did it take you to learn English?” It’s a dumb question, but his English is impeccable, and I want to know how long it took to get that way.

“I’m still learning,” Mouhsin smiles, in between bites of fish. The perfect tour guide answer, but I’m not satisfied.

“Yes, of course, but how long did it take you to become fluent or have conversations with people?” I’m really asking because I want to gauge how long it should take me to learn another language: I think I’m leaning towards French at the moment.

“To get to the level I am now, maybe two years,” he says. “But to have conversations, I think I only needed six months.”

“What?!?!” I exclaim. “That’s so fast. How did you manage that?”

“When you love something enough, you learn everything about it.” The conviction in his words is inspiring, beautiful even. “That’s also why I love my job. I get to tell people about my country, you know. I love Morocco, and every time I take students around, I learn more new things I never realized, and I fall in love all over again.” We go on to talk about other things, but his words stick with me. His love for Morocco, and the way he shares it with those around him, it’s contagious.

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