Friday, December 12, 2014
Monday, December 08, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Thanksgiving is next week... even though life here isn't optimal, I have plenty to be thankful for; a comfortable roof over our heads, food in abundance, we've got gasoline and cooking gas, the kids discovered an Adidas outlet and everyone has new shoes, my garden is looking quite nice, I had a three day break in Tunisia, health, well being, kids in school... all small things, but they add up. I suppose I could list negative things, but no, I won't do that, not today anyway because I'm doing what I can to make the best of what life hands me.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Friday, October 10, 2014
|Click on the image for a larger picture.|
|Click on the image for a larger picture.|
|Click on the image for a larger picture.|
Friday, October 03, 2014
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014
Friday, September 05, 2014
Friday, August 29, 2014
|The Muslim cemetery where Bashir is buried in England|
I feel sad that my thoughts today of Libya should be ones of loss. Colleagues and dear friends, Young students who I taught lost their lives in the revolution and are again dying in the current uprisings, for what I ask myself? Oil Refineries are lying dormant or are burning. Libya’s foreign currency reserves are being squandered and have about another six months of cash and then the bank will be bare. Up to that fateful February there was a common enemy, Gaddafi and his cronies, but now it seems as if racial, tribal and religious differences have become every Libyans enemy.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Thursday, August 07, 2014
The constant power cuts combined with the hot weather have made life simply miserable. In twenty-four hours our electricity was on for only two. When the power is off during the day you barely have enough energy to do anything more than lay there lethargically waiting for the power to turn back on. Then when it does turn on there is a mad dash to try to get as much done as possible. A friend of mine lamented that she had slept all day long as she hadn't enough energy to do anything in the oppressive heat, but by nightfall the power was still off so she spent the entire night wide awake in the darkness, unable to accomplish anything.
There are still lines for gasoline and cooking gas. According to the news they hope the shortages will be solved soon by the arrival of a tanker in the harbor. We've been through these shortages in the past, unfortunately the same senario keeps repeating. You would think that they would have it figured out by now. Many people complain and say it's a deliberate attempt at control. Cut off power and gas and the country comes to a standstill. Mobile phone service and internet need electricity to operate too. There have been water shortages as well for those who haven't got a well. Imagine not having water for cooking, cleaning or bathing... in this heat... ugh...
There's a mass exodus of foreign workers leaving from the borders, ports and from the airports that have flights out. Not only foreigners, Libyans are leaving too. Thousands are leaving every day... thousands.... I read on the internet that they are asking for volunteers to help out in the hospitals. Not just doctors or nurses, anyone who can lend a helping hand with cleaning, or other tasks that are now not being done because workers have left. Many of the Filipino and Indian nurses have decided to stay on and continue their work here - how difficult must their lives be in their home countries to make such a sacrifice?
Supposedly there was to be a ceasefire today... I guess the fighters hadn't been informed. We can hear fighting periodically in the distance. Now that Ramadan and Eid are over there seems to be a lot of weddings (life goes marching on) and with that come endless firework displays. You would think Libyans would be fed up by now of all the booms and bangs, but they seem obsessed with anything that explodes.
Today I ventured out to do some shopping. The dairy cases were empty, there was no bread in our bakery, the vegetables were overpriced and wilting in the heat, garbage was piled on the sides of the roads in big stinky, steaming heaps. Most of the shops were closed and the ones that were open were dimly lit - even shops that had a generator as they had no fuel to power them. No one smiled, everyone looked listless and moved slowly. The streets were mostly empty apart from the lines of cars waiting for petrol. Many cars had been abandoned on the side of the road... tanks empty.
It's all rather dismal and depressing.... Twenty-five years of my life has been spent here... half of my life.... sigh.... optimism is fading fast...
The only positive thing to happen lately has been the arrival of Bugsy's kittens.
Monday, August 04, 2014
Friday, July 18, 2014
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
- Ibrahim is bored and that means he's picking on everyone and causing trouble. How much longer until school starts again?
- Nora's been working from home because her employer says the security situation is too unstable at the moment for employees to go to the office.
- Yusef's miserable because he's craving cigarettes which in turn is making everyone miserable. Ramadan and cigarettes don't go well together.
- Jenna sleeps all day. The life of a teenager!
- Sara's inventing new dishes and trying out recipes she's found on the internet or seen on TV- thank God there's one cook in the house. I used to be an enthusiastic cook, but when you are forced to feed 7 or 8 people everyday cooking becomes more of a chore than a pleasant pastime.
- Hubby's grumpy and depressed - he's been watching too many Libyan news channels.
- Me, I'm fine. We're into the second week of Ramadan and I'm up early in the mornings and keeping myself busy working on some projects.
- The garden is looking good. We still need to have grass put in the side garden in the spot that we were saving for the swimming pool, but I think it will have to wait until after Ramadan. We've decided against the swimming pool - too much headache with all the sand here. We have an above ground pool that we put up in the summer next to the terrace and take down in the fall - that's working out fine.
- The electricity - it's off about 4 hours every day lately which is not so nice when the weather is over 40C.
- Internet - slow as usual and off when the electricity is off.
- Mobile phone service - spotty... I suppose this is due to the power cuts.
- Gas - there are still lines at the gas stations and the lines seem to be getting longer as there are rumors that the gas supplies aren't going out because the drivers of the supply tankers are being kidnapped - more than likely just a rumor, but that's all it takes for the lines to start forming. I'm topping up whenever I get a chance.
- Banks - I see crowds of people in front of the banks in the mornings as I pass by. Not a good sign...
Saturday, July 05, 2014
- This is a pretty good analysis of the situation here lately - I'm not sure who is behind this website or how often they update the news about Libya: Libya: Surviving The Curse Of Entitlement
- Another sad, but interesting site that has recently been set up: Libya Body Count - The purpose of this site is to provide a reference point for the extent of violent crime and deaths in Libya, starting in January 2014 (three years after the 17 February 2011 uprising and civil war). The site relies on media reports as the source of data. Libya's media is in its infancy so in most cases only a single news source is used and in a few cases social media is also relied upon. No distinction is made regarding victims: all deaths are counted.
|Taking a break from playing. She's sitting on a hand woven blanket that I brought back from a recent trip to Algeria.|
|It took about an hour to catch these. They are every where out there - watch where you step.|
Three more weeks until the end of Ramadan. Where does the time fly? Happy Ramadan to all who celebrate!
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
Maybe tomorrow we'll be able to get some fuel? I keep saying that. It's frustrating because I have a long list of things to do, and none of them are getting done. The gasoline situation feels like a bad sit-com rerun - the first time you laugh and after that it isn't so funny anymore. I'm not going to sit in the lines, it's too dangerous. When I run out of gas I will just stay home.
What is more, the electricity has been going on and off again, but so far not for more than 2 hours at a time. A few weeks ago the Minister of Electricity announced that it was prepared for summer. We've heard that before... I guess that means he's gassed up his generators.
There is some good news.... The good news is that the kids have passed their final exams.... and the sunflowers in my garden are blooming.
Friday, May 09, 2014
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
On a visit to our next door neighbour,Tunisia, I discovered that the capital has become rather messy with overgrown public gardens and trash strewn about everywhere. There were hardly any tourists to be found, but the people seemed optimistic. They haven't lost all hope.
It's hard to leave Libya and then come back again. Hard to go to nearby countries and not compare. There's a lot of work to be done....