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Ilsa: What’s that noise? Is that the washing machine?

Me: No, it’s the dryer.

Ilsa: The dryer? You mean there’s a machine that dries our clothes?

Me: Yep.

Ilsa: Co-ool.

Abel, rushing in from outside: Look, Mom! Dandelions!!

Well we made it. The house where we are staying has an enormous garden, filled with fruit trees and blackberries (already ripening!) and flowers and evergreens stretching up up up into the sky. My little African children are learning to wear shoes (the grass is prickly with thistles) and ran outside to dance in the light rain yesterday morning.The house does not have internet, so it’s difficult to post and read other’s blogs. Also, Donn and I are a little sick. Sure it could be a virus picked up here, but since intestinal parasites can take up to a week to develop, and since in our last few days we ate, among other things, lettuce and unwashed dates (from this year’s harvest!), I have a feeling this is just a little bit of Mauritania that we brought with us, a last little gift. So I’m staying in, near the bathroom, enjoying a view of laden apple trees and dew-filled spider webs draped like handkerchiefs on the lawn, my children constantly rushing in with their hands filled with offerings—apples, pears, cherries, blackberries, flowers. I have more posts of Mauritania rattling round in my brain, so for the next few weeks, I plan to intersperse thoughts from here with thoughts from there.

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