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9.11.2009

9/11/09 Where There's Smoke...

The American cliche says, "Where there's smoke, there's fire."

8 years ago today, smoke indicated something else entirely.

Last night, trudging through darkened streets after an epic journey, I smelled burning cedar wood, and knew three things: (1) I really love the smell of woodsmoke; (2) Winter has already come to my mountains; and (3) My work as an environmental educator has barely begun. Cedars are protected species, and grow only in forest reserves in Moroccan national parks. The fact that my neighbors are burning it for fuelwood means that the woodpoaching has already begun for the year.

Tonight, I smelled the distinctive scent of burning plastic. Either someone was disposing of their trash or impoverished Berbervillians were burning the only fuel they could find to stay warm on this chilly night.

Because, at least in this snow-scented village, where there's smoke, there's usually...winter.

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Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps