It’s time for tea at the Ahmeds’. All is quiet in the Tell Ahmar excavation compound; the others are sleeping or reading.  It is three in the afternoon and the dust-filled heat of the day envelops me.  The air is heavy and dry, oppressing everything, even sound. For a moment I don’t hear the generators hammering

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I was an hour into the chemistry exam but it had been pretty clear from the first ten minutes that this was a big mistake. Florence popped in with a glass of cold lemonade. ‘How is it going?’ I shook my head and sighed. It was pretty grim actually. Taking on a semester of first year university

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January 2009We seemed to find the restaurant all right; it was the getting home that was the trouble. We headed for the blackened sky; a sky that took me back over thirty years to the Ash Wednesday Bush fires. Then, we sat in the science lab of my eastern suburbs school and watched the topsoil and

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I pulled out the atlas, found the map of China, shut my eyes and made circles over the page with my finger, finally letting it drop wherever it would. It fell on Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. I was excited. Hohhot might be on the Silk Route. It sounded so romantic, to be teaching on the Silk Route. It’s not. Hohhot

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