Why We Took Our Kids to the Sahara: A Story in Pictures

Somewhere around page 4 of the parenting handbook it probably says very explicitly not to take your kids to the Serengeti.

So it makes perfect sense that we missed the part on page 5 about skipping the Sahara.

And the part on page 6 about discreetly nursing your child on the side of the road en route to the Sahara.

So we packed up the car with our favorite Dora books and headed inland

through lush green fields,

through pastures,

and rocky outposts,

stopping briefly to clean up the barfing incident of the century,

then on the road again past babbling brooks

and the snow-capped mountains of the High Atlas,

and mesas, as identified by our in-house fluvial geomorphologist.

But slowly, the land became drier

and rockier

and i was getting thirsty just gazing upon the dry river beds.

And just as I was beginning to wonder who in the world would live in this desolate place,

we rounded the corner and there it was…an oasis in the desert!

We set up camp in a nearby oasis village

and from our small hotel, as the only guests, we watched the sun set.

That night, I tried my hand at traditional rug weaving.

And I pretended to eat a beef tajine using the spread-it-around-your-plate method, so as not to offend our host.

Though by morning no one in our tired party had slept very well (not naming names), we pressed on deeper into the desert.

Finally, having arrived, we rejoiced at the burning orange dunes that shone in the evening light (note:  burning orange dunes don’t photograph nearly so well as hoped).

We played in the sand.

We bathed in the sand.

We climbed far off dunes.

Sometimes we passed a beetle.

And sometimes a beetle passed us.

And though some of us didn’t like the feeling of sand between our toes,

we finally warmed up to the idea

such that a even “cow” ride was in order.

To round off our trip, we managed to squeeze in some time at the pool, our in-house fluvial geomorpholologist, I’m sure, fully aware of the irony.

But best of all, after a fortuitous early morning waking (again, not naming names), I got a chance to climb a high dune and watch the sun rise all by myself.

Then I looked back down and momentarily panicked about how far away from the hotel I had wandered.

But instead of hurrying back, I paused to watch a line of camels return from a trek simply because it was beautiful.  And also because my heart rate was much too high from sinking eight inches in the sand for every vertical foot climbed.

And with one final thought before leaving the dunes, I marveled that only God could command the wind to make a pattern this beautiful.  No, I don’t believe this was any sort of accident.

Back in the car, we reflected on our trip.  Was it worth dragging the kids to the other side of the Morocco?


Yes it was.  And this is why.

Yes it was, and this is why.  No, not the picture, silly, the memories.

Nope, sorry, THIS is why.  The memory, not the photo.