Showing posts from May, 2008

Giving in to the flu

I've got some kind of weird flu or virus. Last Wednesday I felt like I was coming down with something but I just continued on my merry way. Life doesn't stop when you have a list of things to do that's miles long, does it?

Thursday I got to work and had that weird tingling feeling you get when you are going to break out with a fever blister. My bottom lip started swelling up but no blister appeared. After a while the bottom lip's swelling went down and the top lip started to swell with that same weird tingling sensation. It was strange because after a while the top lip's swelling subsided and the bottom lip (other side this time) started to swell up along with my right eye. Since the classrooms had recently been painted and there was still ongoing work I put it down to some kind of allergic reaction. On the way home I stopped at the pharmacy and bought some antihistamines which seemed to help.

By Friday I was feeling the awful, achy, miserable feeling you get with th…

Results for one

Jenna passed her exams! She got jaid jidan, which means very good. Yusef's results will be out on Sunday.

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We interupt this program to bring you the weather

The weather here today was just weird. Most of the day there was superheated air (45 degrees C) that blasted you as you walked out from air conditioned comfort and made you wish you didn't have anyplace to go. The car never seemed to get cool enough even when the fan was blowing as hard as it possibly could.

Later on towards evening there was lightening and thunder and rain that fell from the sky in heavy dust filled chunks. It never rained hard enough to clear the dusty air. The sky looked menacing as though a tornado would strike at any moment - twister weather! No tornadoes appeared although in some areas there were reports of hail.

For a bit the air cooled off followed by oppressive humidity. And then just as quick as a wink it got hot and dry again. The air feels dusty and everything is coated with a layer of dirt.

To top off the uncomfortable weather, I think I am coming down with the flu.

Almost Finished

Sara finished her final exams today. Now we'll wait for her results.

The amount of cheating that was going on at the school while they were doing their exams was amazing! The mothers of the students, many of whom are teachers, were getting the test papers and standing outside shouting out the answers to the questions through the windows. The funny thing is that the mothers were probably just as stupid as their kids... I wonder how many of them were shouting out the wrong answers? ..hehehe.. I've always noticed that the stupid ones will cheat by taking answers off the other stupid ones in the class. It's the blind leading the blind. ..lololol.....

Next week Nora begins two weeks of final exams - so we are still in exam mode for a while yet.

Earthquake in Libya - May 22, 2008

Last Tuesday I was visiting a friend in an office near the Corinthia in Tripoli and she asked me if I had felt an earthquake that morning. She said their whole building had been shaking and they wondered if there had been a quake - but then again there is alot of demolition going on and maybe that had something to do with the shaking. I hadn't noticed anything that morning.

Last night at about 10pm there was an earthquake recorded in the east of Libya (scale 4.3) not too far from Al-Marj. This is the same area that in 1963 suffered a 5.3 scale quake and resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives.

There have been many earthquakes throughout the history of Libya. The earliest records documented during the Roman period say that two quakes in 262 A.D. and 365 A.D, destroyed most of the temples and public buildings of Cyrene.

Libyans seem to think of only the east part of Libya when it comes to earthquakes. Most Libyans don't realise that Tripoli also has had it's share of earthqua…

My day... the treadmill continues

Sara is still working through her final exams. I've been waking her up at six o'clock every morning. This morning the alarm went off and I got up and headed for the kitchen to start the kettle for coffee and tea. As I turned the corner I noticed Layla, our black cat, crouched over something next to the door. On closer inspection I found she had Nora's pet hamster clamped firmly in her mouth. The hamster was dead of course. So starts a rather ominous beginning to the day!

I did my usual running around which begins by getting dressed[#1] and taking Ibrahim to school at a little after 8 in the morning. He goes to school year round, but I will let him have a break some time during the summer.

My big complaint: Why is nothing open in the morning in Libya?? It would make my life so much easier if I could do all my shopping at the same time I did the morning school run. Instead I am stuck returning home and waiting until about 10:30 or 11 for the shops to start opening. There are a…

It's a BOY!!!!

My sister's finally had her baby! I got this message today from my mom:

Yesterday evening I got a text message saying she was on her way to the hospital. We chatted on the internet as soon as she got set up in her room. But after a while she stopped chatting so I guessed she was preoccupied.

I'm so happy!!!
I have a new nephew!

My Shade

When I went to visit my mother in Florida in 1996 I brought back with me seeds from my mother's mimosa tree. Mimosas are easy to grow from seeds and they grow fast, quickly becoming wonderful providers of dense shade.

I planted two of them in my garden and they overhang in the street in front of my house offering the only respite from the harsh north African sun on my block. People fight to park their cars in the cool shade, oftentimes I am left with my car in the sun.

Not only do these beautiful trees provide protection from the sun but they also harbour a variety of wildlife; birds sing all day long and in the early morning hours of dawn these trees are frequented by a nightingail who's song provides the listener with intense joy. Bees, wasps and butterflies are all visitors too. Our cat uses the trees as a pathway to the balcony and an avenue of escape.

My trees give me great pleasure... aside from all of the above they are a reminder of home.

A quiet weekend

It was a quiet weekend. Friday morning was spent doing housework and in the afternoon my husband took me, Jenna and Ibrahim to visit his sister who had had a baby the week before.

We only ever visit her when she has a baby - so that means about once a year. Everytime we get lost and have to get directions to the house. We finally got there after driving around hunting down the house and numerous phone calls. The baby was cute, my sister in law looked tired, and we stayed for just a while. As we were leaving I told my sister in law to make sure to have another kid next year so we could get lost in Janzour again. LOL...

Friday night Mustafa and I took a drive out to Tajoura. It was windy and there was lightening and a bit of rain. We sat in the car for a while and watched the waves roll in and smelt the cool sea air.

Saturday morning was house cleaning and in the afternoon I took Jenna to buy summer clothes.

Tomorrow begins finals for Sara. More stress...

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A little humor to get me through the day

My parents are first cousins...

and my grandparents are first cousins too...

guess I'll just marry bint amti 'cause she looks just like me!


The vote's in

OK... the poll is closed. 50 people voted.

Positive votes:

46% of them say they like the way my template looks20% were so thrilled that they think it's fantastic

Negative votes:

20% think it could be better - (I agree with this group)8% said it sucks totally4% think my template is boring (not sure what they think about the contents)2% hate it
I still haven't gotten around to putting on the link lists. Maybe over the weekend if I get time.

Thanks for voting!

Two down... two to go...

Yusef came flying into the house after finishing his last exam and Jenna barreled through the door a few minutes later. I'm not sure how long it will take to receive the results.

Nora and Sara start their final exams next week... we are still in study mode.

A Dusty Day

The last few days the weather has been dusty and windy. The cars are covered in a layer of dirt. This morning Ibrahim and I decided we'd go shopping and when we got downstairs we had to dust off the car's windows befor we left. The car needs washing but it will have to wait until after the weather clears.

While we were outside wiping off the car windows my sister-in-law hung out her kitchen window and told us that my other sister-in-law gave birth to a baby boy around 1am. Now she has one daughter and four sons. I'm waiting for her to get home from the hospital to visit her.

Ibrahim got summer clothes; five pairs of shorts, eight t-shirts and underwear. Now all he needs are sandals and he will be set to go. We also stopped at the toystore and got him a yellow rubber ball to play with. I told him that it was for playing with outside, but as I type this I hear the ball bouncing off the walls in the living room (and crashing into the wall unit). This afternoon we will ventur…

A preview...

My husband came home and told me that there is an American woman living nearby, married to a Libyan guy. She's a newbie... been here only a few months. A newbie.... sigh...

It sometimes seems like ages ago that I came here. I guess 19 and a half years is ages. And I was unfortunate enough to come in the late 80's when there was nothing in the shops, no satellite TV, few telephones, and nothing much to do. I also lived with my in laws for the first year. One room in a house that had thirteen other people living in it. We were renovating our flat... a process that took a year because the necessary things such as paint and tile didn't exist in Libya.

I call that year 'The longest year of my life' and sometimes 'The year from HELL'.

Stayed tuned... I will tell you about it in an upcoming post.

Alternative Fuel... Libyans need to think about this!

more changes and the usual excitement

Everyone seemed to hate the template that I was playing with - but I think I hated it too. I liked my old one but was just getting tired of it. So now I am going back to the old one... but with a twist... 3 columns instead of two.

With all the messing around I did I managed to lose all the widgets. The link lists were needing sorted out anyway... the dead links to get rid of and some new ones to add. I will have to mess about with it some more.

The kids are chugging right along with their exams. Jenna's habit of cramming at 5am is getting to me. I'm the alarm clock, tea maker and person she wants to sit next to her so she doesn't get lonely - this explains the fun with the template. At least it's peaceful in the early hours of the morning.

On another note... Mustafa was asking me what I thought of either getting a new iron or possibly a clothes steamer. Apparently our iron is needing replacement. My response... 'Honey, you just buy yourself whatever you feel most…

thinking about special people

Special prayers for on the edge and her family today. It's the anniversary of her son's death. But not only special prayers for them but also a plea for all to pray that Libya improves the situation for all those unfortunate citizens who are suffering from substance abuse and for their families who suffer the consequences.

On the edge... I'm thinking about you....

Exams... bring em on!

Final exams begin tomorrow. I've spent the entire weekend policing the kids. The first thing I did today was dismantle the cables leading to the satellite receiver and hide it so that no one sits staring at the television like a zombie instead of studying. Of course Mustafa didn't have his Aljazeera fix - I told him to sit next to Jenna and help her with her social studies. He will insist that the receiver be put back... but I am going to remain adamant that we be TV free for the duration of finals. It will be a battle of wills....sigh..

To cool my frazzled nerves (being a militant mother takes a lot out of you) I revamped my blog template... does anyone even look at it? I rarely notice anyone's template anymore because I use a feed reader, but changing things around was good therapy to keep me sane today. Maybe someone will notice.

In the evening I took Jenna and Ibrahim out to the office supply shop to by new pens, pencils, erasers and whatever else they thought would make…


For the most part I consider Libya my home... but there are times when I think about my 'real home'. I was playing about with Scribefire's Flickr image tool and put in some keywords from 'home' and came up with these pictures. (unfortunately uploading the pictures in this manner doesn't allow me the freedom to resize them)


Sunset View





The Mall



Attraction - The Pier

The Beach

Maybe I need to buy myself a pair of ruby slippers...
There's no place like home...
There's no place like home...
There's no place like home...

Comma. Yeah, that's me.

You Are a Comma

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.

You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.

You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.

You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.

Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.

(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

You excel in: Inspiring people

You get along best with: The Question Mark

What Punctuation Mark Are You?

Nearly finished

Next week starts the beginning of final exams for school kids in Libya. I've been here nearly 20 years and I still can't get used to the idea that the academic year here finishes in May and the summer holiday doesn't end until September.... it's a looooooong summer here.

I'm cutting back a bit on my work hours so I can sit on top of my kids and stress out over the fact that they have more interest in watching TV and other useless objectives instead of sticking their noses in their books. I'll have to guide them in the direction of study, study, study... I need a cattle prod - one of those electrified ones to stab them with whenever they think about anything besides their books. Two of my kids are in their final year - Nora with high school and Sara will move on to secondary school.

I feel my blood pressure rising already.... sigh....