My name is Lorna.  I always thought I’d enjoy the ex-pat life.  After raising 4/5 of our brood of children, my husband and I decided to leave our Oregon nest with the last little chicken in tow.  The three of us moved to Damascus, Syria in August of 2011 to teach and learn at the American school there, and I launched this blog with the intention of chronicling our experience for friends and family back home.

Blogging in Syria turned out to be an iffy proposition, but I started posting again when we temporarily relocated in Sarajevo.  Next stop was Ethiopia where I spent three rewarding years. My husband and I moved on to Cairo as empty-nesters. Andreas retired in June 2020 and in September we arrived in Bangkok, Thailand where the adventure continues.

Two of my passions are reading and cooking, so expect books and food to figure prominently in my narratives!


16 Responses to About

  1. liz says:

    Dear Lorna,
    first day back at North High. We miss you!!!! Wishing you the best and a safe and wonderful year full of great adventures and new friendships.
    your fans and friends.

  2. BeckyK says:

    Lorna, thinking about you daily and wishing you a great and safe adventure. Do you feel safe and what is it like being in the middle of the “hotspot” BeckyK

  3. BeckyK says:

    Update your blog or email me! Becky K

  4. Mariah says:

    “An American librarian moves to Damascus… and Sarajevo… and Addis Ababa….” and many more places I imagine!!! 🙂

  5. akmaree says:

    Hi there,
    I’ll be a fellow colleague in Aug., teaching Grade 5. It’s been great reading your blog, it’s been very helpful in giving me an idea of what to expect…thank you! Looking forward to meeting you.
    Mary Eldred

  6. Lisa h says:

    Hello from Florence street. Had thanksgiving with your neighbors Sam and john. Warm regards.

    • Hi, Lisa! I had a nice Skype chat with my daughter on Thanksgiving – one of our boys was there and some friends of Alice’s. She told me the neighborhood turkeys are terrorizing cats now. News from Florence Ave. always makes me little homesick. Best to you and all the neighbors.

  7. Hi Lorna,

    Hope you’re doing well. We’re a child sponsorship and livelihood development charity operating in Gondar. We may have a little article about teff in our next web update and were looking for photos to accompany it. Yours look amazing and it would be great to have recent and local photos, would it possible to use them and credit you? And where were they taken?

    Thank you, wishing you all the best,
    Caroline Walker
    The Kindu Trust

    • Hi! I am happy to share my pictures with individuals and organizations as long as the purpose is not for profit and I get photo credit. Thank you for asking!

  8. Hi Lorna,
    I’m an expat teacher and a personal finance columnist. I was wondering if I could offer you a free, humorous, expat-focused hardcover book in exchange for you writing a really short review on your blog. My name is Andrew Hallam. My first book was a bestseller called Millionaire Teacher.

    Here’s my story. I’ve been an expat since 2003, teaching at Singapore American School. Because I’m also a personal finance writer (published in The Globe and Mail, Canadian Business magazine, Personal Money, Reader’s Digest) plenty of expats have asked me how much money I think they should save for retirement.

    So I wrote a book called The Global Expatriates Guide To Investing. The book profiles real expats: how much they have, how much they save, the smart things they’ve done with money, the dumb things etc. It also shows how much expats should try to save each year or month (there’s a formula, depending on your lifestyle expectations). I also describe what financial investment firms people should avoid with a ten-foot pole (many are awful!) and I describe a bunch of firms people should feel good about using.

    Because I want to teach expats these important concepts, I was wondering if you would accept a free book in exchange for a short (300-500 word) review on your blog.

    If interested, please send me your full name and mailing address, and I’ll send you a free copy.



    • I would love to read your book and I would be happy say something about it on my blog. Of course I can’t make any guarantees ahead of time about the content of the review, but as a person with a very haphazard investment “plan” the subject is of interest to me. Is a digital copy available? If not, the mail service here can be extremely slow (weeks at best) but it is possible for me to receive books that way. My address is International Community School of Addis Ababa, attn Lorna MacIver, P.O. Box 70282, Addis Ababa ETHIOPIA. Thanks for getting in touch!

  9. Lake Demisie says:

    Hey! Lorna,
    I like the picture on the following link https://lornaofarabia.com/2013/03/21/threshing-time/. I am consdering using it on a website that features Ethiopian Flat Bread, Teff Injera.
    Do you have a softcopy of it? If so ,do you want to sell a copy of it.

    Please let me know when you get a chance.


    • Hello Lake. Which picture are you interested in? On that post there is one with donkeys and one with stacks of teff in a farm compound. I do have soft copies of both photos.

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