Showing posts from November, 2005

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

getting back to business

I'm finally getting back into the swing of things. Eid is over and the kids are back to school and I'm back to work. I think I've said 'Eid Mubarak' about a zillion times this week. But it's nice, everyone is cheerful.

We had a really wild thunderstorm the other night. It all began with a big, huge bang. I jumped clear out of the bed. I thought the air conditioning unit had fallen off the wall or something. All the car alarms were going off in the neighbourhood. Finally, I realised it was just thunder and calmed down. We shut off the car alarm and checked out the weather - rain! Finally we are getting some rain. By morning the weather had cleared and the flooding in the streets had gone down. The weather has been absolutely beautiful ever since. The air feels clear and fresh, it's cooler now and I feel alive!

The begining of the week had me thinking I would have a light schedule at work, but in no time at all my schedule is jam-packed full - just the way I li…
An old Roman sign from Leptis Magna - but what exactly does it mean? Anyone care to take a guess? Click on comment and tell me what you think it means.

What I did on the three days of Eid

The last night of Ramadan in Libya is a crazy all night shopping frenzy. Here's what it looked like in front of the shops in the morning.

The cleaning crew starts in to work first thing in the morning. Poor things have to work on Eid. I hope they get a decent wage.

Within a few hours they have everything spick and span.

The kids get all kinds of toys to play with on Eid. Usually they are noisy. Here's Ibrahim with his gun collection. I hate those things. They shoot little pellets and are actually pretty dangerous. The kids are given money from the relatives and they run out and buy what they want from toy stands that are set up on nearly every corner. Mothers have no control over what the kids buy because they are stuck inside the house. Another reason I hate pellet guns is because the little pellets end up all over the house and I forget to empty the boys? pockets - so they clog up the washing machine. As we drove to my in-laws we noticed most of the boys were using any light bu…
The Bascilica has wonderfully carved columns on each end.

From top to bottom they are carved with angels and figures intertwined with grapes and the leaves of a grapevine.

The amount of detail and the beauty of the work is breathtaking. If it looks this good now, one can only imagine what it must have looked like about 1800 years ago when it was created.

Leptis has both a theatre and an ampitheatre. We only had time to visit the theatre. It's a ideal place to sit and relax with the view of the sea peeking behind the columns of the stage. The height of the theatre also gives you a chance to look out over the ruins.

There is a wide marketplace that was well laid out with separate areas for seafood, poultry and vegetables.

We didn't have time to see everything. We'll have to make another trip for the rest. But it was a wonderful way to spend the third day of Eid.

I may try to reupload this post as the images seem a bit blurry - not sure if that's from me or a blog…

Another Ramadan comes to an end

Today is the last day of Ramadan, which means tomorrow is the first day of Eid. The kids have all got their Eid clothes bought and are ready for the holiday. They are so excited. I am dreading it. Eid to me is very, very, very boring. I have two days of sitting at my in-laws house listening to the women gossip and babble on about the things they find exciting (and I find boring). The kids will be on a sugar high from all the sweets and candy they will be stuffing themselves with and of course they will have a ton of fun things to do, such as playing with balloons, noisy toys and pellet guns. Of course I will bring my camera and take pictures of the excitement, along with panadol to try to stave off the headache I'm sure I'll be getting.

Have a safe and happy holiday - Eid Mubarak!