The two young women kept going back to the US, stopping only in the transit lounge of Airport Mohammed V in Casablanca, where the chairs are hard yellow plastic but the coffee’s not bad. I don’t know if they have their luggage or not. They are not the best communicators, but at least they’re fine and not my responsibility.

elliot sleeps


asleep in Casa


Pics of my kids asleep on those chairs after one of those middle-of-the-night flights. How I envy them their ability to sleep anywhere. This was two years ago, on our trip from Nouakchott to Oregon.

Our friend’s family return to the US tonight. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers for them. Don’t stop now!

Donn. He caught one of the twice-a-week flights to Dakla on Monday, planned to spend Tuesday hanging out at the one hotel in this small desert town and then, on Wednesday, catch a bush taxi to the border, about a 4-5 hour drive, to meet Tim and the truck, complete with boxes of our stuff…the hand-decorated glasses we bought each other for Christmas that year in France; six years’ worth of kids’ artwork, including the priceless The Cid and the Spie “graphic novel” that Ilsa wrote when she was 7; the “reward” from my students at the university; the heavy wooden Senegalese chairs bought on vacation; the cord that will allow me to once again load music onto my MP3 player.

Donn could not get a phone call through to our friends in Nouakchott, so he would call or text me and I would contact them. I spent the day, hazy from lack of sleep (oh like you don’t stay up till the wee hours when your husband travels…there’s just no reason to not go ahead and finish the whole book!), emailing and skyping and texting and generally feeling like His Girl Friday.

He found a bush taxi no problem, but the taxi driver insisted on leaving at 6 a.m. Donn complied; what else could he do? The result was that, in spite of a break down, he arrived at the border itself about 1:00, and settled down for a long afternoon. The earliest he could expect Tim would be about 5. But then came the email; the truck would not arrive before the next day. Donn retreated to a “rest area” (I don’t know what he means by this) about 40 minutes north of the border itself, where he spent his evening hanging out with, among others, policemen who work at the border. He even shared a goat tagine with the guy who stamps the passports.

This morning he went down at 8, hoping to soon see Tim and the truck. He watched as truck after truck made it through Moroccan customs and headed down the dusty, rocky no-man’s-land between the two countries. Finally he heard from Tim about 10:15; they were just opening the Mauritanian side of things. They got through about 11:30.

6 hours later, that’s the last I’ve heard.

In the meantime, our neighbours have bought a karaoke machine and several very large speakers. We’re being regaled with off-key mispronounced versions of “Best of Both Worlds” and “No Woman No Cry” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Hi-ho, let’s go! At least we’re eclectic.