Showing posts from January, 2006


My students brought pizza as promised for being absent last week because of the big football match between Libya and the Ivory Coast. Libya lost, as was expected.

Actually it wasn't just pizza. The girls brought a lovely cake to share. The girls in this particular class are all from the Ukraine and are working in Libya as nurses. They are sweet and also hard working students.

And the boys brought pizza and an assortment of drinks. We had a nice time! I asked them when the next game was so we could plan an even bigger party next time.

A New Addition

My brother-in-law's wife, L., had a baby! Of course it was a big production . . .

L. and I don't really have much to do with each other. Actually we pretty much ignore one another. The only time she calls me is when she goes in to labour because she knows that I will be right there to help her. I've been there for the births of all of her children. Helping her to get through the labour pains and dealing with the doctors and nurses. She feels comfortable with me because I know Llamas and help her with all the breathing and I can speak to the doctors in English, and I also know many of the doctors because they have taken English courses with me or one of my colleagues.

So last night the doorbell rang and my niece was at the door to say L. was downstairs in the car. I got dressed, went downstairs, got into the car and asked her which hospital she wanted to go to. She said Tripoli Medical Center (TMC). I borrowed my brother-in-law's mobile phone and started making calls to s…

Laundry, kittens and Ibrahim

The water pump has been repaired. It's amazing how much laundry has piled up. It's also cold and rainy so I really don't feel like bothering with the laundry but I have to do it anyway.

The kittens are both still surviving, but I'm not sure how long they will hang on. Mama cat has decided to keep the kittens on the top bunk of the bunkbeds in the girl's room. They have just opened their eyes and are beginning the squirming around stage of their lives - they will most likely fall off the bed. I have enough things in life to worry about - do I really need to add two kittens to the list? When they are not on the top bunk of the bed Mama cat drags them into the living room so they can watch TV with the kids.

We found a school that we think will help Ibrahim. They specialize in kids with learning disabilities, ADHD, speech disorders and other problems. None of the kids there are mentally retarded which was a problem we found in other schools. The doctor was adamant that …

Back to work :)

I went back to work yesterday after a two week break. It was nice to go back because sitting in the house was driving me crazy. Everyone seemed happy to be back and the students said they wished we had class last week. These kinds of comments make me happy!

The students informed me that they wanted to take Tuesday off so they could watch the football match between Libya and the Ivory Coast. They wanted to cheer Libya on. 'What's the point?' I asked. 'Libya is only going to lose. They lost miserably to Egypt the other day - zero to three. How embarrassing!' I said.

They were adamant that we cancel the class. I told them they could come to class and have their friends send them text messages whenever Libya scored a goal (which probably wouldn't happen). 'But we have to SEE the players make the goal!' they replied.

We came to a compromise. Those students who didn't come to class on Tuesday would have to bring pizza and drinks for the class on Wednesday. I…
As promised - some pictures: Here's Jenna looking so full of glamour at the wedding!

I think they had the loudest Ziffa ever! - It took them an hour to get the bride down the aisle and into her chair!

Here's Nora helping out with painting - trying her best to keep paint out of her hair!

The sunset at the beach yesterday.

wedding and paint fumes

My computer is down at home, which means I'm stuck at the internet cafe down the street (not my favourite place to be).

We had a wonderful time at my friend's son's wedding. It was loud - oh so loud! - I've got pictures and I'll post them as soon as I can.

The painting of the flat is proceding slowly but surely. Two rooms finished so far (got pictures of that too, of course).

Yesterday, for a break, we drove to the beach and went for a walk. It was nice to breathe the fresh air!

I will post pictures as soon as I'm able.

getting things done around here

I've been surviving the kids holiday from school so far. It's been disapointing because the trip to Tunis fell through but I've been making the most of it.

Making the most of it means doing one of my all time favourite things: SHOPPING! - yes, I love shopping, especially if I think I'm getting a bargain. This week is also one of my very best friend's son's weddings so I've had things to shop for. Not just for me but for the girls too. We are going to look smashing at this wedding!

Another plan I've got for this week is to make my husband feel guilty about messing up the trip to Tunis. Making him guilty includes convincing him that I need a new bracelet - a nice gold one - preferably an expensive one! Also he has been told that since he has free time on his hands now, that he's to paint the livingroom, sitting room, kitchen and the kids bedrooms. He is out buying the paint right now.

The kids and I have decided to make him not make the mistake of messin…
Story Of A Building, A History Of A City.
Celebrating a great building, which might be ..
Breathing It's Last!
Click on the image to read this report from Youcef at Ajdabiya Online.

Pet Peeves

Everybody's got a pet peeve. Most have got a lot of them. Mine mostly have something to do with life in Libya. Can you tell I need a vacation?

Here's my list of the things that just drive me crazy, make my blood boil, or just plain piss me off:

1. Being late - I hate to be late and I hate it even more when others are late. I think this is the biggest offence on my list so it is up here at number one. Of course living in Libya makes this extremely difficult for me because everyone seems to be late ALL the time. Not only am I on time - I'm usually a little early. Tick-tock goes the clock - every minute counts! If you want me to be mad at you, just show up late for an appointment. I'll be forgiving, but I won't forget it!

2. Water on the bathroom floor - Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! - another problem with living in Libya as Libyans tend to splash water all over the place while they are in the bathroom and think nothing of it at all. I find it absolutely disgusting to have to wade …

Adding links

I've been adding links to the sidebar. It's been a while since I've done it, but please have a look from time to time as I'll be adding more this week.

I have another week off work and we aren't going to Tunis as we had planned. . . it's a 12 hour drive and no one wants to spend that much time confined in the small space of the van with one another. Maybe I'll get some things done around the house instead!
Flying birds
A.Adam, Serag and Esra contribute to a Libyan Blog that's been around since last April.
Click on the image to have a look.
Happy Blogging!

Ever kissed a toad?

The kids found this toad at the farm and had fun playing with it. When I first came to Libya 17 years ago you could find toads everywhere in rural areas, especially in areas that were being irrigated. I haven't seen very many toads lately. I think it is probably the result of all the insecticides that are being sprayed everywhere.

Kittens . . . again

The cat's had kittens once again. She has had kittens three times before and none of the kittens have ever survived. Layla had three kittens this time and one of them has already died.

In the beginning she kept trying to have her kittens in my room in the closet, but I kept shooing her out and putting her in a box outside next to the door in the stairway. She finally just had them there but the next day she decided to move the two survivors into Ibrahim's closet. We finally gave in and moved Ibrahim's clothes out so she could have it all to herself.

This kept her happy for about two days. Now she has decided that she wants to share her offspring with the kids and has moved them into Nora's bed. The last time she had kittens she kept putting them in Jenna's bed in the middle of the night. This resulted in Jenna rolling over one of the kittens and inadverdantly killing it. It was a traumatic experience for poor Jenna.

We'll put them back in Ibrahim's closet, but…

My Eid Day

Happy Eid! - Yes the day has arrived. We got up bright and early and Mustafa went off to Eid prayers while I got the kids and all our supplies ready to go to my mother-in-law's house for the big day. The sheep were allready there - waiting so patiently.

I kind of like this picture. The blood is a vivid red and the shadow of my brother-in-law holding the knife looks threatening. He definitely got the job done.

The weather turned out not to be so bad after all. It rained on and off, but very light and the sun was shining most of the time. We worked in the garage.

Every Libyan woman's nightmare is cleaning out the stomach and intestines. The are then stuffed with a mixture of parsley, onions, chopped up meat, liver, kidney, heart, lung, and fat, rice and chopped potatoes. It's called osban and I personally, I hate it. I won't eat it, but hubby and the kids love the stuff. - Yuck!!!

The kids sucked down can, after can, after can, of soda pop. You would have thought they never…
Thea has a nice story with pictures of the rush to buy the Eid sheep in Tripoli. Click on the image and have a look. Thanks Thea for posting it!

Eid jitters

Yes, I'm getting the Eid jitters. There is something that I've discovered over the years and that is that I don't feel at all sentimental about Eid. As a matter of fact, I think I hate the holiday. (Bah Humbug!)
Mustafa went out yesterday to buy a sheep. He left in the morning and didn't come home until it was dark. I cannot imagine why it took him so long because there are about a zillion sheep out there and in my opinion they all taste about the same. He came home in a nasty mood - grumbling and complaining about everything. I'm sure he must have argued his way through the whole process of buying the sheep. I'm not pleased to be the dumping ground for his bad mood and I've decided to do my best to ignor him.
Now I have 'THE DAY' itself to look forward to. We all meet every year at my mother-in-law's house and all the brothers slaughter their sheep together. The last few years they've hired a butcher to come help out, which is nice, but it i…

Wadi Ghan - Gharian, Libya

Today we woke up, had a late breakfast and then decided we would go for a drive. It was a spur of the moment thing, without any plans. I've found these are often the best outings. We also decided to only take Jenna along. The other kids just wanted to lay around all day and watch TV. They hadn't been allowed to watch TV for the 2 weeks of the exams and they were suffering from withdrawl.

We got in the car and looked at each other and said 'Where to?' We had no plans so we just started driving. It was nearly time for Friday prayers and we stopped for Mustafa to pray at a mosque along the roadside. Then we continued on our journey. In the end we decided to head for Reggat to visit my friend Debby and her husband Adel. We got there and had a cup of tea and then the five of us piled into the car and drove out to Wadi Ghan (I hope I've spelled it correctly) which is a wadi that's been dammed in Gharian and is used as a water reservoir.

The scenery in the area is quite…

Busy, busy, busy!

I've been busy lately, very busy! Ibrahim had some kind of tummy virus, or something and was going full speed ahead from both ends for about 24 hours. I ran out to the pharmacy to get him some medicine to see if it would help, but it was useless - he just threw it all up. The worst thing was that as sick as he was, he still had an appetite and wanted to eat - which then he promptly threw up.

I've never been very good with sick kids. And vomitting I cannot really deal with - I don't even like to hold babies because they might spit up - YUCK! Mustafa is pretty good about helping out in times like this, and Nora and Sara pitched in to help out too. He's feeling better now, but I am wondering how long it will take me to catch up on all the laundry. And I'm also wondering whether whatever he had was contagious. Time will tell.

The kids have officially finished their exams and they are now on holiday! Woe is me! I am going into work today for the last time before the holi…

An exit visa?? or a trip to h-e-l-l?

In my last post I mentioned the trials and tribulations of getting Mustafa to get me an exit visa. Well . . . progress at last! He arrived home and waved it under my nose and said 'See I got the thing in about an hour.' - yes . . after I nagged him nearly to death.

So what did he do next? . . . He sat himself down in MY chair and picked up the phone, dialed his brother's number and proceded to invite his brother and mother along on a trip to Tunis. Tell me please - What on earth did I do to deserve this punishment?

Today I went to work and my students asked me how long they would get off for the Eid holiday. I told them I really wasn't sure yet. Then I explained to them that I might be taking a trip to Tunis. I also added that it all hinged on whether the Azooza (old lady or mother-in-law) would be going or not. Azooza goes, I stay - Azooza stays, I go. Well, they thought this was very funny - one student actually fell on the floor he was laughing so hard.

This isn't …

an update on my life

It's the second week of the kids exas. They seem to be doing ok - and I am surviving too. After they finish exams they will have a two week holiday. It will coincide with the Islamic holiday Eid Al Adha - a holiday that honors Prophet Abraham and the sacrifice of the ram.

I'm not looking forward to the Eid. We always spend it at my in-laws with the family all gathering there to sacrifice their sheep in honor of the occasion. Eid is hard work - lots of time is spent cutting up meat. The last few years we hired a butcher to come help out, but there is still lots of work involved. My kids don't even like lamb, so I usually slice it thin, salt it and dry it so it lasts about a year. We use the meat when we feel like eating something quickly - macaroni umbukbaka. This year I told Mustafa just to give the meat away - I really don't feel like going to all the trouble to dry it. It's not that I'm being lazy - it's just that we still have meat left from last year.


Happy New Year!

Wishing all my friends and family near and far, a very safe, prosperous,
healthy and happy New Year!