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Israel, Day Eight: Bedouin It Wrong

After a very brief night’s sleep,1 we were back on the bus. We drove through the desert just before dawn, intent on making it up Masada before sunrise. Since we left the hotel several minutes late, this became a greater … Read More

Roscoff Skies

After a rainy drive to Roscoff, we were rewarded in clouds. Other rewards included delicious local delicacies (crèpes and cider), a hike around Île de Batz, and a visit to a gorgeous botanical garden. The next day, we were off to Cornwall by ship…… Read More

Saint-Émilion, Home of the World’s Most Convincing Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Is nine months too late to write an overdue travel post? Last June we found ourselves in peaceful Saint-Émilion, staying in an historic farmhouse in the middle of wine country.

We began in Bordeaux on the day of a huge wine festival, enjoying local wine and the best sunset of our trip. The following day, we explored St. Émilion, an ancient city dating back to prehistoric times. We explored Roman ruins, sampled more local wine (of course), confused a cat, and visited a nearby market town with friends.… Read More

Morocco, Weeks Fifteen and Sixteen

On Saturday afternoon I was off to Spain. You might remember from my last post that Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival which includes sheep sacrifice, was coming up. Well, rather than listen to thousands of dismayed sheep bleating across the city (and smelling them roasting later on) I opted to travel to northern Spain. My goal, San Sebastián, (Donostia in Basque) was only two flights and a three-hour bus ride away.

On the first flight I sat next to a young man who had never flown before. Through him, I remembered the wonder of seeing the tops of clouds for the first time. It was great seeing the look in his eyes in the moment when the plane lifted off the runway.… Read More

Morocco, Week Fourteen

Week fourteen began with Austrians and ended with Germans. I had two delightful Austrian house guests, Sabine and Hans-Peter, who kept me entertained on Monday and Tuesday. Both of them had quit their jobs, bought motorcycles, and embarked on an around-the-world journey. (They took crash courses in motorcycle repair before leaving.)

Next up: traveling down the western coast of Africa. Their trip ends, I suppose, when they get tired of traveling and move on to the next thing in their lives. We ate delectable Moroccan food, played with Loki, and had a long, fascinating conversation about the attitude toward the film The Sound of Music in Austria and why most Austrians have never seen it.… Read More

Morocco, Week Eleven

Another slow week, which means a short blog post this time. After a long work day on Monday, I took a spontaneous trip to the school swimming pool with a couple kids in tow.

We practiced swimming, splashed, and even had a spirited game of marco polo, then headed to Wafae’s house for soup and Moroccan pastries. (I have been specifying the type of pastry every time because I am aware that you, my readers, are extremely discerning and absolutely need to know whether each pastry is Moroccan-style or French-style.)… Read More

Morocco, Week Seven

Well, the school year has officially started. As week seven opened, faculty and staff ran around the school, frantically trying to get everything ready for the students’ arrival on Wednesday. On Monday, paint was drying on the wall, I had stacks of books scattered around the room, and my desk was in limbo in the center of the library. Two carpets, four plants, four comfy chairs, and several furniture switches later, the library was finally looking great. The children’s section had a big couch and carpet, the high school reading area was comfy and inviting, and my desk was back in its corner by the door.… Read More

Forty-Eight Hours in Glacier Park

Last week my camera and I took a trip into rural Montana and the mountains of Glacier National Park.

A storm rolled in as we walked down the country road.

But cleared up in time for a great sunset.

We hiked through a forest of dead trees.

Surprised a marmot.

And watched a second sunset over snow.… Read More