Aleppo, Syria - In a small village outside of Aleppo where we are hunkered down for the night, our host apologizes profusely. He doesn't have enough blankets for us and it's bitterly cold.
He and his family were forced to flee their home in the city to their unfurnished, humble residence in the countryside with nothing but the clothes they could carry. He spent 25,000 Syrian pounds -- around $300 -- to pay a truck driver just to bring out the bedroom furniture and a TV from their Aleppo home.
He couldn't afford another run.
We went to stay with his brother, who was also full of apologies because he couldn't offer us tea. The power was out and there was no cooking gas.
In the dark, we chatted about the situation in Aleppo, Syria's largest city. There, airstrikes have transformed buildings into heaps of rubble, and most of the city is now under rebel control. Many Aleppo residents fled when the fighting began, finding themselves crowded into relatives' homes or in refugee camps as winter set in.