I realize I have been neglecting this blog lately. Things have been busy, and when I’ve had computer time I have been dallying on Facebook and reading other people’s blogs. I just haven’t been in the mood to write. Plus, I’ve been teaching lots and that’s always tiring. We’ve had guests; we’re about to have more.

The kids are on Winter Break (vacances de fevrier) and Abel’s off to the desert with some friends from school. This includes a trip to an actual oasis and sleeping in a real nomad’s tent. Abel’s as excited as if he’d never done this before! When we lived in Mauritania, we would try to travel the desert during this vacation, managing most years to throw our real nomad’s tent into the back of the 4×4 and head off over the dunes to some oasis. But this is different—more touristy, includes a concert of traditional music round a fire under the desert stars, plus he’s with a friend! It’s actually a wonderful opportunity for him, and 6 days of French immersion won’t hurt him either.

The thing my children miss the most about Mauritania, aside from their friends, is desert camping. They loved it. In Mauritania, you just drive until you feel like stopping, then you set up a tent. Eventually a nomad will come by and ask if you need anything. You’ll say, “Is it okay to stay here?” and he’ll nod. Then, assured you have everything you need, he’ll ask if there’s anything you don’t need—in other words, if there’s anything you’d like to pass on to him.

The dunes are big and fun to run down, filling ears and noses and heads with silty sand.

I’ve been having fun teaching. I’ve started several new classes lately, and I really like my students. Among things I’ve learned is that in French, pie charts are called camemberts (isn’t that awesome?) and that Moroccans don’t do working lunches. I asked one student, a businessman, to tell me what topics would be likely under discussion at a working lunch and he said, “What’s that?” I explained, and he said, “Oh we wouldn’t talk about business at lunch. We’d talk about our families. Lunch time isn’t for working.” I concur.

I also learned that the game Scattergories is called “Baccalaureate” in French.

In between times, I’ve been watching the Olympics online. There’s a great website that shows events live, for free, with commentary even. The next day, it shows highlights of various events so you can see what you’ve missed. The main problem is that I’m 8 hours ahead of Vancouver, so many events I’d like to watch are on in the middle of the night. This isn’t so good. I haven’t found anywhere to watch delayed events, so I’m making do with highlights.

And I’m glad I left that mould post up so long. I’ve gotten lots of helpful comments. We knew about dehumidifiers and heat, of course, but we need to bite the bullet and buy some.

*Yawn!* This post is boring even to me. I’ll try to come up with something better soon. Feel free to leave a comment with topic suggestions. I’m open.