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Show Me Your Neighborhood: Marrakech, Morocco

I’ve always been fascinated by what cities look like around the world. So, when Annabelle of The Piri Piri Lexicon shared her vision for a world neighborhood bloghop I was super happy to share ours. There are so many really cool places and I’ve added the links to the bottom.  So, after you tour our Moroccan neighborhood you should visit a few others! The “rules” for this blog hop are pretty simple.  Each person shares at least 6 pictures of different, specified areas and than can share up to six more. If you follow me on Instagram (and you should!)  you’ll know I’m often taking pictures of the world around us but I also liked taking specific images to use for this post. A playground / play area There are very few playgrounds in Marrakech and none near where we live.  Most kids play soccer, other  ball games or made up games.  We’ve also seen kids make really interesting toys, …

Amanda MouttakiShow Me Your Neighborhood: Marrakech, Morocco
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#SundaySupper Middle Eastern Foods Preview

  I’m so excited to be hosting this weekend’s #SundaySupper! I have been wanting to do a post sharing all kinds of delicious Middle Eastern food and now it’s here!  We’re defining Middle East as the countries of North Africa, the Gulf States, the Levant or region traditionally thought of as the Middle East, and we’re also including Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.  There are a lot of different foods and cultures represented in this vast region. Some have chosen to tackle traditional recipes while others have created their own interpretation of classics.  One things for sure -it’s all delicious!   Won’t you join me and the other #SundaySupper bloggers on Sunday for some amazing dishes? We’d love to share some Middle Eastern hospitality with you! Here’s a preview of what the team is preparing; Mezze {Appetizers} Muhammara – Supper for a Steal Homemade Labneh Cheese – The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Jerusalem’s Burnt Eggplant with Garlic, Lemon & Pomegranate …

Amanda Mouttaki#SundaySupper Middle Eastern Foods Preview

Italian Wedding Soup

What happens when you leave North Africa and are dropped to the Midwest in under 24 hours? Severe temperature issues that’s what! When I left Morocco it was in the mid-80′s and I’ve been “enjoying” balmy 30 degree temperatures daily since being back.  It left me with one thing to do – make soup. Lots of soup. I had a very long flight back to the US and made sure to fill my iPad with TV shows before I left. I love the free shows, especially since I don’t get to watch much American TV in Morocco. One of the shows I downloaded was My Grandmother’s Ravioli with Mo Rocca. If you haven’t seen it the premise of the show is, Mo going to the kitchens of America’s grandma’s and making their signature dishes. The grandma in this episode was making Italian Wedding Soup (among other things) to send to her triplet grandson’s, all of which were in the Air …

Amanda MouttakiItalian Wedding Soup
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Great African Adventure: Kenya

As soon as I began to tell people we were moving to Morocco, a country in North Africa, I was almost immediately asked about various wildlife; lions, elephants, tigers etc. Most people were surprised to discover Morocco has none of these. This wasn’t “Africa” to them.  There is a very singular understanding in the US of what constitutes Africa, and that it somehow is a very large monolith.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. Did you know the area of the continental United States would fit 3 times into the continent of Africa? Just imagine how diverse the US is culturally, politically, and geographically – now multiply that by 3 – at least.  I thought it would be interesting to reach out to other expat bloggers that are living around Africa and have them share about their adopted country. Over the next few months I’m going to take you on a journey all over the continent I now call …

Amanda MouttakiGreat African Adventure: Kenya
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Visiting the Ourika Valley, Morocco with Kids

Sometimes the crush and bustle of Marrakech gets too overwhelming and we need to get out of the city. Most people that come to visit don’t know there are small towns and beautiful scenery only a short car ride away. Essaouaira is our favorite escape for the weekend but for a day trip, or even a partial day we like to head to the Ourika Valley. MarocBaba and I drove to Ourika on a whim shortly after we arrived in Morocco. He hadn’t been there in years, and had never driven there but once in the area he knew where to go. I had never been. At most to get to the very end of the valley, Seti Fatima (the road literally goes no further) is an hour to an hour and a half depending on traffic and road conditions. Many people also travel this route to visit Oukaimeden is best known as a ski resort in winter (yes skiing …

Amanda MouttakiVisiting the Ourika Valley, Morocco with Kids

How We Continue English Learning in a non-English Speaking Country

Many people have asked and worried about how our children’s English would be affecting moving to a country where English is not used. Before we left, I had a plan that would be similar to supplemental homeschooling.  We’d have a course outline and work on English work daily. In practice this didn’t work – at least not yet. My kids have just under an hour of English instruction at school, but it’s very basic and below their level. By the time they finish school and tutoring for the day they’re exhausted and I can see their brains have been stretched. Instead of focusing on structured learning I’ve instead opted to combine in a few things that will hopefully retain and strengthen their language skills but not overwhelm them. Reading One of the easiest ways I’ve found to keep them engaged in English is through reading.  M is an independent reader, while K is just learning to read. I do worry …

Amanda MouttakiHow We Continue English Learning in a non-English Speaking Country