Midwinter

Once we finished our big travels over the winter break–and in the middle of those travels, truth be told–we had many things to do: move from Omar’s house to housesitting for Karen and Kevin and Claire Smith during their five months in the United States was first on the agenda.
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We left behind some of our favorite “rose pinecones” (super soft with a layer of velvet on the top of each petal) and the wedding cape that covered the bed.  Imazigh women weave this kind of a cape in anticipation of their wedding, and the details of the weave, the thread, the beads, all tell a story about the woman who wove it.

Jeremy, sporting his Santa tie and socks that posed as high-top sneakers (a Christmas present), was happy to be back n the house.  And Nejma was happy to have company.
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But floods seem to follow us everywhere we go:
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And then came a major snowstorm that kept the children out of school (though people living in the annex went to school and built a communal igloo!):
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We liked the snow better when it was dry and bright and buildable.
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Aziz brought us a puppy he found by the side of the road.  He stayed for a few days and Jeremy named him Malik.  He was covered in fleas and at first we kept him outside, but when the snow came, I relented and gave him a bath and brought him into the kitchen.  Thankfully, Fatima’s father eventually gave him a home on his farm.P1020172

We confirmed that the storks do indeed overwinter in Ifrane.  By February, they were clacking their beaks and thinking about spring.
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Jeremy became fascinated with polar animals:
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Zoe finally beat me out, height-wise:
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We experimented with the shapes from my Art of Islamic Pattern course:
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And Fatima fed us and tried to teach us about beldi foods (like beldi lemons, much better than the modern, foreign, romani kind).
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In the meantime, I prepared and taught four digital storytelling workshops at Al Akhawayn, James started teaching his own systems design course, and the children powered on at school.

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