Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I'm back in business!

The phone is working again and the internet too. Now can someone please tell me what to do to get LTT to credit me for a week of unused internet time??

Monday, January 29, 2007

No phone... no net... sigh

My phone is out... completely and totally dead. It seems that the overzealous hole diggers, the ones who like filling Tripoli's roads and streets with huge cravasses have hit the main cable in my area. We haven't had phone service for the last five days. I went to the phone company's repair and service centre for my area this morning and they said it will be another two or three days.

On the way back home I drove by the place where the damaged cable is and found the phone company trucks, those lovely bright yellow and blue vehicles all parked along the road. The repairmen where standing around, peering into a hole in the ground with bewildered looks on their faces.

I hope they figure out the problem and get it fixed quickly. I feel totally disconnected with the world. Imagine me with no internet. I'm having to go to a cafe... the connection is incredibly slow. Click and wait.... for an eternity! After they get the phone lines working again I will have to see if good ole LTT will credit me for the days I paid for but haven't been able to use.

For some reason I feel like this is going to go on longer than two or three days. Maybe I'm just suffering from internet and phone withdrawal. But still I'm not ready to break out and buy a cell phone... God I hate those things!

I'll be in touch... from an internet cafe.... frustrating... click and wait..... forever......

Monday, January 22, 2007

Surviving the flu

I'm recovering, but now it's just settled into a persistent cough. The kind that leaves you winded and gives you a headache. The recent deaths in Egypt due to Avian Flu kind of has me worried. They're only next door and I think there are more Egyptians living in Libya than there are Libyans.... Do they have antiviral drugs stockpiled here? hmmm... not that any of the doctors I've spoken to have heard about...



Anyway, as I said, I'm recovering. I have had some time to read the news (looking for interesting articles about bird flu). I've been reading other news too. The latest is that a huge portion of Libya's workforce is being laid off - but with the choice of full salary for three years or a loan of 50 thousand dinars. I wonder how many will opt for the loan - they'd have to pay that back, wouldn't they? Most of these public sector employees had the kind of empty jobs where they were being paid just to sit and do nothing. Like the scores of substitute teachers on the payroll who never get a chance to teach because there are so many of them.



Other recent news is the figures for the annual budget were released. Thirty-one billion dinars or about 40 billion dollars. Actually that news really wasn't very interesting, the figures caught my attention because I was reading some old news from last week that said that Libya was planning to invest 23 billion dollars in the West African country Benin. Plans are to help improve their tourism and oil sector as well as support the country's agriculture - specifically their rice producing capabilities.



Ok.... now can someone please tell me why Libya is going to give Benin that much money? That's more than half of Libya's budget for 2007! - Can't we invest that money on something local?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sleep... I need sleep!

I think I'm coming down with the flu or something. Itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throat and sore muscles. I feel exhausted today. I usually like the day to be as long as possible, but today I am just looking forward to going to bed and I think once I get there I will stay there all weekend long....



Just let me get through today...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Patience!

The kids are nearly finished with their mid-term exams; some finish today and some tomorrow. Then the kids will have two-weeks off.



So far we haven't planned anything. Adam was talking about going to Egypt to see the pyramids and I said 'Go for it!' to which he replied with his palm outstretched, 'Money mom?' His father and I are discussing whether to give him money to go or not. Adam's got some money saved up but not enough and the anticipation of having a trip has Adam falling over himself to be nice, polite and do whatever he's told. That will definitely change if we decide there won't be a trip to Egypt!



The neighbour upstairs is continuing to bang away all day long. I can't imagine what on earth they have left to break - it's been over two months now and it's only a small two bedroom flat. Last night Nora was taking a shower and felt drops of cold water falling on her from above and looked up to find the ceiling covered with drops of water. The area above the bathtub upstairs has a leak. Uuuugghh! As far as I know they have completed the bathroom, including all the tile. Mustafa will have to go and tell them about the leak and hope that they will fix it. They'll have to rip out all the work they've done up there.



Our house is progressing at a snail's pace. The fruit trees on the farm are all being pruned so the work on the house has come to a standstill. The house can wait, the trees cannot. Mustafa's carpel tunnel syndrome is being aggravated by the pruning shears and the pain is making him grumpy. I don't dare ask about the progress of the house because he'll only snap at me!



It's hard to be patient.... but I'm doing my best.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Creating a virtual tour

Recently I posted about the idea of creating audio tours that can be used with an iPod or MP3 player. While poking around today on the net I found another interesting idea for creating a virtual tour. Mapwing has an interesting free service that will let you create a pictorial tour with an accompanying map. When you're finished you can post it on the net or email the link.



Anyone want to give it a try?


Monday, January 08, 2007

Run, run, run...

So far it's been a stressful week. The kids have exams and I've been pushing them non-stop to study. Everyone is recovering from the flu and colds and no one really feels like pushing themselves to do more than what's essential.



Yesterday was my first day back to work. One teacher was out sick with the flu so I was covering for her two classes. One of them had a progress test so I let them go for it and would pop in from time to time to check on them while my class was busy with a reading exercise. I then combined her other class with one of mine and we worked on vocabulary for countries, and land features - useful for every level. My drawing is improving! The whiteboard was covered with mountains and valleys, rivers and wadis, islands and peninsulas, oceans and seas, countries, states, counties, cities, towns and villages. The whole world on a whiteboard!



In between all the teaching there was a non-stop supply of visitors of former students who were stopping by to wish me Happy Eid and New Year. It was a nice, but exhausting day. I came home and headed straight for a hot shower, had something to eat, helped Ibrahim with his homework and then went to bed. It always seems that the first day back to work after a break is just run, run run the whole time - tiring. Or maybe it's always that way and I just got out of the routine of it all.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Getting back to a regular routine

On the third day of Eid we went for a picnic in the mountains. After we ate lunch the kids all clamoured up the mountain and I followed them until the base but didn't go up with them. Instead Ibrahim and I poked around the small wadis that are in the area and looked at the plants and wildlife.

Ibrahim turned over a large rock and found a huge brown spider underneath. It looked almost like a tarantula but a little smaller and not as hairy. We let him be and continued on. I found a few prehistoric hand tools to add to my collection. A small grinding stone and a rather sharp looking blade. It's amazing what you find if you only open your eyes and look.

The kids started back to school yesterday but I still have the rest of the week off. Next week the kids have exams and I will turn back into my role of mean mommy, enforcer of rules and the guard of the TV. Uuggh! I hate that part of my job!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Setting myself up for a guilt trip

It's a new year, so does that mean it's time to make a fresh start? New Year resolutions? Should I make one, some, a few? Will they only be broken and then lead to feelings of guilt?



I've thought about it, seriously, I have. If I was going to make any resolutions it would have to be a list - one is certainly never enough. The list would look something like this:

  • 1. Stick to a diet.
  • 2. Exercise more.
  • 3. Be patient with my children.
  • 4. Be more assertive with my husband (threaten to leave if the house is not finished soon).
  • 5. Spend more time with my friends.
  • 6. Spend more time in worship (sigh... this one should probably be up at the top).
  • 7. Spend less time messing about on the computer.
  • 8. Drink less coffee.
  • 9. Stop spending money on frivolous, unnecessary junk.
  • 10. Spend more time in the kitchen preparing wonderful meals instead of the usual crappy Libyan food that I make because I am lazy. ...sigh... sorry to say it but Libyan food is for lazy people with no imaginations...sigh..
  • 11. Take less stabs at my poor in-laws, and Libyans in general (aw, but it's so useful to get it off my chest sometimes).

  • 12. Read more. It seems since I read online I seldom take the time to read off line, just for pleasure.

These are just a few, off the top of my head. But I'm not going to subject myself to New Year's resolutions... it would just lead to a huge guilt trip and I know that I could do without that. So I'll just try my best to be my best this year and leave it at that.



Happy New Year to you all.









Answered!

There's been an answer to Where is this? - #15

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