Setting up camp: Welcome, 2014.

setting up cots

Getting ready to sleep in the sand

Not to say 2013 was a bad year. We had some good times. The kids and I finished up our first year of online school. With the added flexibility, we were able to explore more of the world than we likely otherwise would have. In 2013, we traveled to Kenya for spring break and stayed at Maasai Mara Park. We traveled back to the States for summer a little earlier than we would have, had the kids been enrolled at a brick-and-mortar school. We never seem to have enough time together with friends and family back home, so the extra weeks came in handy.

After the long summer, we kicked off the school year with a trip, by train, to Washington, D.C. Kids and I spent four days between Smithsonian museums, landmarks and memorials. We rented bikes, enjoyed the food trucks on the Mall, and put on a lot of miles. When we got back, we packed up the apartment we’d rented for the summer and got ready for the big travel, flying first to Paris for a couple of days, and then on to Casablanca where we finally met up with Baba.

This year’s Morocco visit centered around the installation of a bathroom in the kids’ grandparents’ house–the first one like it in the village. There’s no running water yet, so we outfitted the house with a rooftop tank. There’s now hot, running water on demand, a nice thing in the middle of the cold High Atlas winter. Besides that project, of course we celebrated Eid al Adha with family. We didn’t do any sightseeing this year, unfortunately. Maybe next time. But we did manage to pick up some terrible GI stuff and lost nearly a week to illness. Happily, we made it back to the airport just in time to catch our flight to Abu Dhabi, and our luggage (which I’d had shipped) met us at the apartment.

Baba spent the summer months moving us from our old apartment to a new (to us) one, a three-bedroom in a building two doors away from the old tower. It’s great to feel like we have space to live! We got a little crazy last year in a very small two-bedroom. This year, everyone has a bedroom, and I’ve finally got a desk of my own. Brilliant. The kitchen has enough space for a small table. And best of all, there is a feature called a maid’s room, which is like a walk-in closet with its own bare-bones half-bath. Since we don’t employ a maid or housekeeper, this means we have a corner where we can stack the luggage, rather than towering over my bed. A very nice feature. Parking is a nightmare, but it was at the other place, too. That’s just the neighborhood.

We finished first semester of school last week, which has us about two weeks ahead of schedule right now, giving us some cushion, should a travel opportunity come up. We’ve been thinking about ‘Umrah, but to be honest, the current Mers situation has us hesitating. We’ve been looking at other travel opportunities, too, but to be honest, there seems to be so much unrest in so many places, we’re loathe to commit.

So, this morning, being a Sunday, launches the beginning of second semester. I am hopeful that we will finish the curriculum requirements for both kids by mid-May.

That’s the update. Lots of change in the wind. I’ll continue catching up over the next few days.



One response to “Setting up camp: Welcome, 2014.

  • barbbytes

    I hadn’t heard of MERS, so I looked it up. Nervous making. I loved your last two updates but I had to laugh about the arranged marriage. A marathon of effort to get them hitched and then, “We’re outta here!”. Good strategy.

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