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Some time ago, I found a really fun site called “5 Minutes for Mom.” It’s run by real-life twins who are both mothers and both techies. They offer a site where you can go with technological questions, a place to find other blogs sorted by basic type, and other services. I wrote them a question and they not only answered it really quickly, but also offered to interview me and post a link to my blog. A couple of months later, I managed to actually fill in their questionnaire. (They were very patient with me.) Anyway, you can read the interview here, and I encourage you to check out their site and feel free to ask them your blogging questions—they are very kind and helpful.

I won’t be online much in the next few months, although I hope to keep blogging, albeit sporadically. Leaving before any kind of trip is always hectic, but international travel adds a whole new level. We’re leaving our house for 3 months; we need to pack, prepare, say good-byes, etc. In Mauritanian culture, you are supposed to visit people who are about to travel, which usually means that just when you are at absolute panic level and throwing things at random into suitcases, people drop by and you have to sit down, offer Cokes or tea, chat, smile outwardly while inwardly churning. Plus, there are friends who are moving away and we may never see again—they come from other regions of our vast home country—and so we need to have them over again, exchange emails and promise to keep in touch, etc.

…in fact, ironically enough, I am just back to finish this post after someone dropped in unexpectedly for a couple of hours. Now I can’t remember what I was going to say! Oh well, it was probably a boring account of my weekend—kid’s concert and end-of-year programs (I met the US Ambassador and he shook my hand right after I’d been eating Liz’s caramel corn and my hands were sticky), time at the beach (June is Jellyfish month), unexpected visitors on Saturday morning when I’m in sweats with a cup of coffee in hand and have to race upstairs and put on a skirt, unexpected visitors on Saturday evening when the kids are in pajamas after their after-beach showers and again, I’m in sweats and have to race upstairs. I have a wraparound pagne that comes in handy on these occasions.

This no doubt raises questions as to how I dress. It’s always a challenge. Here we have all extremes in the expatriate community. This isn’t Iran or Saudi Arabia—you don’t have to wear the muluffa or cover your head, and are free to dress as you like. So you see all kinds of responses, from the French women in skimpy skirts and spaghetti straps, making no concession to their host culture, to some Americans who embrace it completely. Me, I’m in the middle. I figure it’s not my culture so I should respect it, but on the other hand, it’s not my culture so I don’t have to adopt it (especially as the clothing can have certain religious connotations). This means I wear long skirts and shirts with sleeves, although mostly short sleeves, or not-too-fitted pants with longer, tunic-style shirts. As you can see, this also means I probably need to go shopping as soon as we get to the States! Darn! 🙂 Can’t wait to wear shorts and sleeveless t’s again.

One more note on my lack of blogging, both recently and in the near future: the internet has been slower-than-death (i.e. 20 minutes to open a webpage) lately OR not working at all. So we’ll see how it goes. However, happily it is NOT just our problem—it’s city-wide. So that means that we don’t have to make myriad trips to Mauritel. It is frustrating though. I’ve actually now been trying to open my blog for 6 hours (I write offline) and the page just won’t open. Grr. (final PS: hooray! It’s 12:30 a.m…yes I’m GOING to bed now…and it’s just opened!)

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