Long ago and far away (ok, January 5th to be precise), I opened up the ol’ blog for questions. Ask me your questions and I will answer, I promised. And then I didn’t, as if I was a politician or something. Oh sure, I had good intentions, but I was sort of saving them for a rainy day when I couldn’t think of a topic.

Coincidentally, it’s raining today. I have a cold, too, which came on very suddenly. I woke up yesterday and I was fine, and then I sneezed about 8 times in a row and was sick. It was very weird. I am handling this with aplomb and grace and of course I’m not moaning about it and yelling “I hate being sick!” every time I sneeze. I wouldn’t do that. Nope. Not me.

Jennifer at Under the Ponderosas asked several very good questions and today I am going to answer some of them. At least one will turn into a blog post in its own right, so today I’m going to tackle the easier ones.

Jennifer asked: Did you see any leopards when you were in Senegal? (My son wants to know.)

The answer is no. I don’t even know if there are leopards in Senegal. Your son probably knows more than I do. The only wildlife we saw in Senegal were warthogs, a large snake, and tons and tons of birds, all different kinds and colours and sizes.

Do you hope your children live a traveler’s life when they grow up, like you have? I do, actually. They are bi-lingual, and it would seem a shame to waste that. Right now, they love the experiences they’ve had, and want to continue to see more of the world. We will see if they maintain this into adulthood. I suspect whoever they marry, assuming they marry, will have a lot to do with this. Also, if Donn and I end up overseas again ourselves, we would want them to visit. A lot. Or live next door, whichever’s easier.

Do you love or hate “The Sheltering Sky”? I read the book a couple of years ago. I believe there’s a movie but I haven’t seen it. I liked it—Bowles is a terrific writer—but I didn’t love it. He presented Morocco as very much “other” and practically unknowable by “civilized people.” That certainly wasn’t my experience. I felt the main character brought so much baggage to her travels that she couldn’t get a real view of the culture she claimed to want to know. Bowles does a good job of making you feel you’re in the scene though; just remembering reading it, I feel the Saharan heat.

There’s a scene in Laila Lalami’s Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits which has a young man trying to get tourists to hire him as a guide by asking them if they’ve read it or his other works, if he was the attraction that has drawn them to Tangiers. I found that amusing. I tend to think that nowadays, most people haven’t read his stuff. Maybe they’ve seen the movie? What about you? Have you read the book/seen the movie? If so, what did you think?

And now I’m off to take a nap. Donn is delivering pictures we took of a family I’ve mentioned a few times, but I cried off because of sickness. I have other things I can’t cancel, so I’ve got to get my rest in now.

Also, goal of posting three times/week? FAIL.

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