Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The last day of school...

The classroom looks barren.  Gone are the animal prints they painted, gone are the life size self portrait posters, gone are the airplanes, boats, pet store, butterflies and other miscellaneous projects that kept the little hands busy and gave KG2A such color and excitement.  The only board left shows the days left until school is out.

The plain beige walls are now reminiscent of the first day.  That day back in September when we first met Ms. Lopez and Ms. Hayatte.  The day that my head and heart was filled with fear and worry.  I didn't know then how amazing these two women were.  I had no idea what they had planned.  How they would care for him, how they would push him to be the best he could be, that they would say no when needed, that each day would be a lesson in respect and responsibility, that when dancing and singing was needed it was done, that they would give him the foundation for math, reading and writing.  I simply had no idea what could be accomplished in one school year.

Ms. Lopez and Ms. Hayatte

As the school year ends our family prepares for another lesson in our expat life.  Very few people and things are permanent. Our friends, teachers and loved ones will come and go. While some of us are packing for summer holiday, some of our friends and teachers are packing to go home for good. Some are getting married, some are starting new projects and some are on to their next adventure.  Many students and teachers at international schools are like us, here for a moment in time. We are learning that good-byes do not need to be sad. We are learning... it is just part of the cycle in our expat life.

Thank you, merci beaucoup, vielen dank, shukran and maraming salamat for a wonderful year.


There are mysteries that will never be solved and questions that will never be answered.  One such question is why aren't limes available in Marrakech?  The land is flush with lemon trees, meyer lemon trees, bitter oranges, naval oranges, juicy juice oranges for that perfect glass of orange juice and even clementines.  So why oh why no limes?

Thankfully for us lime lovers, for two short months you can get imported limes.  They are expensive, come in small batches and can be found at just one store (luckily for me, said store is right next to the boys school).  Such a treat when they are here that calls and text messages are sent out to notify friends of their availability.

Today as I saw my stockpile of limes gleaming next to the last of this seasons strawberries it seemed the perfect time to make Basil Infused Strawberry Limeade.

The perfect accompanying tablecloth, no?
It is the ideal summer quencher for a family cocktail hour.  The children and non-drinkers can drink it straight up and if an adult is so inclined, they can spike it with vodka, gin or tequila.

Juice of 6-8 Persian Limes
3 Cups of Water (still or sparkling depending on your preference)
6-8 Strawberries
Basil Simple Syrup (see below recipe)

Combine the lime juice and water in a pitcher. Slowly add the basil simple syrup while tasting until you find your desired balance of sweet/sour.  Hull and slice the strawberries.  Add Strawberries to pitcher and stir.  The limeade will soon turn to a pretty shade of pink.  You may either chill in the refrigerator or add ice and serve.

Basil Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Handful of Basil Leaves
Boil the sugar and water until clear, turn the heat off and add the basil leaves.  Allow the basil to steep in simple syrup for 15 minutes. Remove the basil and cool syrup.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A birthday wish...

Many wishes I have made in 38 years...

Wishes for my prince charming while blowing dandelion weeds.

Wishes for travel to far away lands on shooting stars.

Wishes for healthy children while tossing pennies into fountains.

Last weekend I was surrounded by my loving husband, my sweet boys and the friends, boys and dogs that took a weekend and traveled to the coast of Morocco to celebrate. We laughed, gorged on lobster, crab and fish, played in the sand, toasted with champagne, watched a kite soar in the sky, admired the magnificent gardens of the hotel and even saw wild flamingos. When the time came for me to blow out the candles, I knew there was only one wish left to make...

More days just like these.

A beautiful weekend with beautiful friends!
Crab, crab and crab!
Lobster grilled on a rock
The boys playing in the sand