Showing posts from 2005

Are they back?

This morning I went outside to bring in the laundry. The weather was overcast and cool. I was quickly removing the laundry from the lines and nearly grabbed hold of a locust, thinking it was a clothespin! Last year Libya was invaded by locusts and I had thought that they were all gone, but here was a lone locust on my clothesline. It was stunned from the cold and barely moving.

I brought it inside to show Jenna and she took a break from studying for her exams to play with it. After a bit it warmed up and was jumping and flying all over the house with Jenna jumping and flying right after it!

Poor little thing! Locusts are big time pests and it will have to go. Now I'll be on the lookout to see if they are back.

Very Useful! . . . well maybe.

You can find out all kinds of useful information on the internet. Click on the image above to learn how to control a runaway camel. - this might come in handy one day!

Exams again!

Yes, it's time for the kids to sit for more exams. It seems as though they only just finished doing that. For the next two weeks I will be doing my best to keep the kids noses in their books - believe me that is a difficult task. They look for any excuse to do something else, but if I suggest they wash the dishes or fold the laundry they say 'No way Mom! I have all this studying to do!'.

So, I have removed the electrical cords from all the radios and CD players, the satelite reciever has a new password, there will be no telephone and I've locked my room because they all seem to want to lay all over my waterbed with their books (and end up falling asleep there). Two weeks of me playing the role of dictator! What a headache.

After that they will break for about two weeks. This holiday coincides with the Islamic holiday - Eid al Adhah. So between two weeks of putting up with the kids for exams and following that up with two weeks of looking at the kids 24/7 - not to mentio…

In just thirteen years . . .

I was poking around on the net and came across these two pictures of Dubai.
The first one was taken in in 1990 and the second one was taken just
thirteen years later in 2003. It's really quite amazing to see the
incredible growth that has taken place in this city.

. . .

It makes me wonder what the future holds for Libya and it's cities. There's
a great potential for progress, but there's also the possibility of
mismanagement and disaster. Time will tell . . . and if I'm still around in
thirteen years I'll tell you about it!

5 things

Five things that most people don't know about me

This is a challenge given to me by Lisa - it's a hard one because I'm not one to hold back. If you know me then you really KNOW me! - But I'll put my thinking cap on and do my best.

1. Most people don't know that I have the dream to go to the Machu Picchu in Peru. I don't even know why I want to go there. Maybe it's because it's so green there (and being in the desert I certainly miss a green view - the only one we have here is the national flag). Or maybe I long to see the Machu Picchu because it's all the way up in the mountains, far away from anyone I know, or who knows me. Certainly it's not a spiritual thing. It's a wonder of the world - maybe I should try to visit all the wonders of the world - got to start someplace. I'm not sure I'll make it there - maybe one day . . . got to keep something for a dream.

2. Most people don't know that hate getting my back massaged, but I love …

Sunset in Ain Zarah, Libya



Oranges from our farm.

the worker

The worker on our farm is from Chad. He was so excited to get his picture taken. He just said make sure I get a copy.
Almost all the oranges have been picked - just a few trees left.

PhotoFriday - Depth of Field

PhotoFriday - Depth of Field
We went to the farm today to pick oranges. The sunset this evening was amazing - it looked as if the sky was on fire.

Weather report - a special news bulletin

Winter has finally set in and we are having the weather to prove that winter is here at long last.

The following is an 'on the spot' weather report from my trusted friend and confidant - that lady in the 'Condo by the Sea' - Sydney! :

Good morning to you, well it's another early morning for me in "the Condo on the Seaside". It is 5 a.m. here in Tripoli, Libya and I want to go on record as saying "Houston . . . we have weather with a capital W!" Yes, I know I have been touting the fact that we have had cool fronts, coolish weather and so for several weeks now, but honey, was I wrong!
Yesterday morning around 3:30 I awoke with the sound of the wall behind (which is a outside wall) my head being pounded by some giant throwing fists full of rocks or other related objects at the outside wall. It was as if it was being sandblasted by the giant from hell with a twisted notion of a wake up call, much like a legendary sergeant in the Marines. I was compell…
Jenna and her new glasses. - or is it her new look?

A positive Libyan medical story!

I found this interesting Libyan medical story that has a happy ending - Asoka Selvarajah says his father got 'extremely high quality of medical the
hospital' while here in Libya. Click on the image to read the whole story.

A very nice day!

Today the weather was fantastic! And I was in a fabulous mood too which made it that much better. It was one of the days that makes you feel so good and nothing gets you down. Perfect!

I went for a long walk and went shopping (got myself a beautiful sweater - the price was just right). I stopped in at the bookstore and saw that they have all of Naguib Mahfous's books translated into English! They were a bit pricey but I thought if I get them one or two at a time it won't be too bad. (You can get the entire set in one box for about 230 LD). For those of you who don't know who Naguib Mahfous is: He is an Egyptian writer that won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1988. You can read more on his background here.

Bookstores here in Libya leave a lot to be desired. Mostly they sell dry, boring textbooks. There are some classic novels in English, but there aren't very many of those and because they are classics they've already been read in the past by me and most other native…

Libya pics!

Dessert Tripper has some really wonderful pictures of Libya and the Sahara uploaded on his/her Flickr pages. Go check them out - they are super!
I was playing with my camera today while waiting in the car and took this picture.

some news

Ibrahim has tonsilitis. I don't remember that any of the kids have been sick for quite a while, thank God. I've got Ibrahim on antibiotics and I'm giving him something for the fever and of course the TV is on with cartoons. But he's bored and trying to drive me crazy.

Adam bought himself a mobile phone - actually he only has the card - the phone itself will come next. He has been itching to get one for ages but I refused to fork over the money. I told him if he wants a mobile that bad he will work and save for it himself. So he's doing that. I think he has enough money to by the phone but only if he gets one of the cheaper models - and of course who wants one of those? So he is putting off buying it and is going behind my back to his father to see if he can get more cash. If Mustafa gives in I will probably strangle him. If he caves in it will just back fire because he will end up running to his father for more money everytime he needs to buy more phone time. (God …
Jenna's summertime freckles are slowly fading.

a long, hard, tragic week

It's been a long, hard, tragic week. My friend Margaret's husband, Khairi was killed in a car accident four days ago (Margaret was featured in my post about Halloween). Since there are always conflicting stories being told here in Libya about everything that happens, I still don't know all the details, and probably never will. It seems he was driving on one of these big traffic circles that they have in various spots around town (God, how I hate those things!) and either was run off the road by someone else, or hit by someone else. At any rate, God chose that day to be his last and he was killed instantly when he crashed. No one else was hurt.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun -This is something which a muslim expresses when he is afflicted by a misfortune, the meaning of which is 'We are from Allah and to Him are we returning.' It is taken from an ayat (verse) from the Quran (ch 2 vs 156). [this is usually said upon hearing of the death of an individual]

The traffi…

more on tiles

Well, I think we are finished buying tiles! Yes, we have them all (I think) picked out and ready to be installed. Now it's up to Mustafa to get tilers that will do the work and tolerate his attitude at the same time. We'll see how that goes. Hopefully work will get started soon - but knowing how things work here, soon is rather a wide-ranging, broad spectrum kind of word. . . . sigh . . . .

PhotoFriday - Experimental

PhotoFriday - Experimental

I took this picture the day I bought my first digital camera when I was experimenting with how to work the thing. It's a picture of the tree I planted in our garden from a seed that I brought with me from my mother's tree in Florida (nice to have something special like a tree from home). The view is looking through the lattice on the balcony.

Another level

Last night was another first for me. I became my oldest daughter Nora's chaperone. She came home the other day from school and said she had been invited to her friend's sister's wedding. She was all excited and of course just had to go. I said 'Fine, but I work that day and you will have to wait for me to get home from work and see if I feel up to it.'

The dreaded day arrived. Of course Nora had been getting ready for days in advance. Planning what to wear, and how she would do her hair, and all the fun things girls do. She kept the phone going non-stop with her friends, discussing the issue at length too.

I got home from work and found Nora ready. Pacing back and forth. I really didn't feel like going anywhere but the thought of letting Nora down and having to hear about it from her for days, if not weeks, got me motivated. In the bedroom, open the closet - presto-chango! - in no time at all I was ready to go. The whole time Nora was whining and complaining abou…

Back on schedule

I went back into work today. We decided until we're advised otherwise that we would have classes. It was nice to see everyone again - one week was a long time. Imagine if we close the school for 40 days!
Anyway, I gave a nice speaking lesson about tourism - we discussed all the aspects of tourism. The amazing thing is that Libyans have very little concept of tourism. I imagine because most of my students haven't done very much travelling in their lifetimes (sanctions had closed the airport and borders had been often closed inthe recent past). Libya has so much potential as a tourist destination. But because they haven't got any personal experience with the idea they have trouble understanding just the basics. Funny thing is that they don't even know why anyone would even want to visit their country! Sabratha and Leptis are just a bunch of old rocks and broken buildings! Yikes!
I asked them to imagine they owned a hotel. Who would they employ? - Well, certainly they deci…
This little lamb was born about two hours before I took it's picture. The poor thing can't figure out how to get over or under the irrigation pipe. It's mother kept calling to it and finally gave up and came back to the other side to be next to her baby. After a while the worker came and collected them both and put them in the barn. Baaaaaaaaaa!
A rosebud from some miniature roses we are growing on our farm. They are so pretty and delicate. Unfortunately some kind of insect is finding them a tasty treat because they are nibbling away at all the blossoms. We'll have to spray them with something to save them.
Mosque in Ras Hasan, Tripoli, Libya
Farm growing lettuce and other winter crops - Ain Zarah, Libya
Autumn in Ain Zarah, Libya

PhotoFriday - yellow

Photofriday - Yellow
Sara with a rose from our farm.
Yusef and his spiked-look hair. He is going to drive me crazy - always worrying over his appearance and chasing the girls - or maybe they are chasing him!
Today is the day we've chosen to take out the winter clothes and put away the summer ones. It's always a big production with lots of clothes, bags and suitcases thrown all over. No matter how hard you try to keep things organized, it never seems to work. Total chaos - for a day!

My news . . .

Exams and people's meetings:
The good news is the kid's have finished their exams. They all think they managed to get through without failing anything. The bad news is that motomarat (the people's meetings) have not finished and might be extended to 40 days. Wow! They must really enjoy talking! I'm not sure what this is going to do about my work. We aren't allowed to open the school during the evenings while the motomarat is going on, and we're an evening school. Does this mean we have no work for 40 days? No work means no pay - oh dear!

Taxes - those evil things:
Another piece of exciting news is that every homeowner must pay 100 dinars tax (per year?) for their home. What are the taxes for? Will they go to improving essential things like medical care and schools? Will we have clean, paved streets without potholes? A system of public transportation? What is going to happen with all the money they plan on collecting? I guess I'm a little less than optimistic t…

A child of mine

I have a child that I have never seen. This child is the most mischievous of all my children. Never a day passes without some kind of problem happening because of the antics of this, my naughtiest child, has done.
I'm not sure if this child is a girl or a boy for I don't remember giving birth to it. I never named this child, but it has a name that everyone in the family knows. It's name is 'Mish Ani' which in Libyan Arabic means 'not me'. Who left the water running in the bathroom? 'Mish Ani!'Who spilled the milk on the floor in the kitchen? 'Mish Ani!'Who ate all the cookies that I was saving for guests? 'Mish Ani!'Who is going to take out the garbage? 'Mish Ani!'Who has the keys to the storage room? 'Mish Ani!!'
Why can't it be?
Who failed their math exam? 'Mish Ani!'Who wants to watch cartoons? 'Mish Ani!'One day I may discover who this illusive child of mine is. In the m…

More mid-term exams and people's meetings

The kids are in various stages of mid term exams. When they come in from school I inquire, 'So how did the exam go?' and they invariably reply, 'It was easy!' Hmmm . . . we'll see how easy when the results come in. It will be another week of exam taking and me nagging about no TV, playstation, etc.
Aside from being the second week of exams, next week is also 'motomarat' week - Which means the Libyan population have something like town meetings. Big discussions go on at these, but I'm not quite sure who is doing the discussing because I don't know anyone who attends these things. They are televised and in the pre-satellite days that was all that was on TV. I'm not sure why they bother filming the meetings because quite honestly I don't think anyone watches. In the pre-satellite days we would just periodically turn on the TV in the hopes that a miracle happened and the meetings would be finished. While the meetings are going on everything close…
PhotoFriday - worn