Showing posts from June, 2008

Playing with Wordle

Words from my blog... from Wordle

Time for a new look

Before the funeral we had been in the middle of painting the boy's bedroom and rearranging the furniture. We had gotten the room half painted and had to stop. The painting supplies and cans of paint were stacked up to be used later.

This morning Yusef got up and started in painting. The house smells of paint, the CD player is blasting and Yusef is going at the job with gusto. I insisted that he paint over the mural he did on the wall... It had '2 Pac' in huge letters across the length of one wall with geometric designs in bright, vibrant colours. Yusef wanted to paint around it but I told him to cover it and we'd paint something else. He's mostly through the 2 Pac stage anyway.. time for something new.

The painting will be done this afternoon and then we'll be able to put the furniture back and hang the curtains again. The carpet needs to be taken to the cleaners.

I told Yusef that as soon as we get the boy's room done we will start on painting the entry. I lo…

Good grief!

The third day of the funeral is over. I think I've shaken about a million hands, and been kissed by that many tear stained, sweaty faces. Somewhere in the process I acquired an eye infection. I hope that is all I got.

The first day was horrible as expected. Lots of screaming, crying, fainting, hair pulling, collapsing women, all getting carried away, while the religious women ran around trying to get the screamers to stop screaming. They made just as much noise and commotion as the screamers. I sat and weeped quietly in my chair. Aren't you supposed to die quietly in your sleep after you've reached old age and lived a full life? Unfortunately that doesn't happen all the time, so when that ideal doesn't pan out it's almost unbearable.

Libyan funerals go on for a full three days. People come to pay their respects with most of them coming at meal times so that the family is stuck feeding them all. A huge amount of money is spent on this. Everyone complains that it…


NORA PASSED! It's also Nora's birthday... 18! Next week she'll register to vote and get her driver's license.

Posted from moBlog – mobile blogging tool for Windows Mobile

School year coming to an end

Nora's results come out today.... we heard on the radio that only 33% passed of those who were studying English. They will announce the results on the radio and you can send an sms to get the results too. We sent the sms and have gotten nothing back yet.

So now we wait. Nora looks pale and keeps complaining that her heart is beating way too fast.

Other news, we have a death in our family and have been busy with the funeral. The uncle's wife decided to burn the year's schoolbooks and papers since they wouldn't be needed any more. She took them out to the garden and poured gasoline on them for good measure. Unfortunately her dress caught fire in the process. It is more than sad. The lives of many people have changed in just an instant.

A relaxing evening out

Last Thursday morning I said to the girls 'Let's take your grandmother out for an evening at Nadi Awil' and they thought it was a terrific idea. Jenna got really excited and said she wanted to invite her cousins too. She got busy making phone calls. First she called her grandmother who said she would love to go out but said she was fasting. 'Can you pick me up after sunset?' she asked. Jenna assured her that we would come pick her up after I got off work. It would be after sunset by the time we got to her house. She would have plenty of time to have something to eat before we got to her house. Then Jenna called her cousins and invited them.

After work I went home to drop off my bags and pick up the girls. We drove to my mother-in-law, 'Hajja's', house. The cousins live in the same building and they were eagerly awaiting our arrival. I sent Jenna upstairs to tell her grandmother we had arrived. The kids were all piling into the car - some of them squeezin…

One smart kitty!

A little over a year ago I gave Tara one of our kittens. She's a cat person but had left all her cats back home in the care of her mom. Something was missing in her life and I decided it was the lack of a cat. So I gave her one. We had recently returned from our first visit to Nalut's Spring Festival so she decided the most fitting name for her kitty would be Nalut.

Nalut as a kitten with Tara's braids.

Nalut is a Libyan cat. Rough, tough and a bit on the wild side. She's the daughter of the belated Anbah who was one clever cat, so it is just natural that Nalut has inherited some of her mother's ingeniousness.

This morning I got a phone call from Tara and she told me that yesterday Nalut got out of the house and came home without her collar. It has a bell on it so you can hear Nalut as she scampers around the house and plays. She looked all over the house and garden but never found it. 'What happened to your collar?' Tara wanted to know. She gave poor Nalut a …

A Milestone

Today at 3:10pm plus 20 seconds Libya time, my stats reported that my blog had had it's 100,000th visitor! I guess you could call that a milestone of sorts.

I started this blog nearly four years ago, in September 2004, basically as a way of keeping my family back in the US up to date about what was happening in my life. It was a whole lot easier to post everything on the blog and then my family could just keep an eye on things that way. Way back in 2004 internet was still a pretty new thing in Libya; the connection was slow and sending out numerous emails was time consuming - and expensive too. So having the blog saved time as well as money. There was also the added benefit that there was an archive that my family could look back at.

Blogging wasn't my first adventure on the internet. Previous to blogging I designed a website that was mainly about Libya. It's down now - the fees need to be paid and I'm debating on it. It needs a total makeover and that's time consumi…

Influencing hobbies and interests

It's been a while since I last had a go with my camera. When I start taking pictures I get lost in the pure bliss of it and later wonder why I waited so long. And then I shelve it for a while once again until the mood strikes me.

Once in a while I let Jenna have a go with my camera and she really seems to enjoy it. She's got an eye for it and takes some really nice pictures. The thought of buying her a camera has been hanging about in the back of my mind. Her father will have a heart attack if I do it I imagine, especially since I have a camera, a Sony, that I paid 700 dinars for a few years ago. It has a lens that moves in and out when you turn it on and off or use the zoom. The mechanism that does all that is broken and in need of repair. Unfortunately there is no place in Libya that can repair it and the nearest repair place is in Tunis. The expensive Sony is thrown in the dresser drawer waiting for the day we finally go off for a holiday someplace that it can be repaired…

Here we go again...

Despite the rampant cheating during Sara's exams, only 40 of around 400 students at her school managed to pass. The system here allows students to re-sit the exams that they fail... they are given a second chance. Sara is among the re-sits. It's back to having her nose in a book for a while more. She wasn't that upset about the news. I think the re-sits will begin in about 2 weeks.

We're still waiting on Nora's results. I had a look at some of her exams that she brought home, and it was sad - she's studying English so I can read them. How on earth can you give a multiple choice test for speaking? And for the reading exam they weren't given a reading passage to read and then a set of comprehension questions (as one would expect a reading test to be like) No, the reading test was also multiple choice questions based on the reading passages they had done during the year, and they weren't given the passages to read during the exam. The students had to memor…

Stocking Up on Fun

Last night I took the girls out CD shopping so they could stock up on PlayStation discs to get through the long, hot, boring summer. While there I picked up a couple of movies and today I've been putting them on my iPod.

I've got a whole slew of family weddings to go to in the next few weeks and watching movies on my iPod is going to be my saviour. I was planning to save them to watch during those boring waits for the aroosa to arrive, but I couldn't help but watch one of them - The Onion Movie is soooooo funny in a weird and silly way! Get that one and watch it.... NOW! LOLOLOL....

Sorting out links and a day off

I'm slowly but surely updating all the link lists on my blog. I'm trying to put them in some sort of categories and I'm also trying to check them out to make sure all the links are still valid. This is taking quite a long time because every time I click on a link I start reading and forget what I am supposed to be doing!

I will keep at it, be patient while I sort through - things may look messy on my sidebars until I get them the way I want. Having a side bar on either side of the page is driving the Libra in me crazy... they must somehow balance or they are just not right!

Yesterday I took a day off. In the past the 11th of June was a public holiday in Libya - something to do with throwing the Americans out - or asking them politely to leave, as I was corrected by someone recently. LOL... Anyway, I decided it was a good day for a day off, so I took one.

Last week I asked Mr. Aljazero if I could go with Tara to Gharian to buy pottery. 'What! No! It's too far to drive …

Oh Happy Day!

Right before the kid's exams started the telephone service stopped working. It was time to pay the bill. I decided to wait until all the exams were over before paying it. So for the past few weeks we've been without a landline.

It really doesn't matter much to me as most of the people I call have such bad telephone connections that you can hardly hear them above the annoying sounds of crackling, whooshing and other people talking because of crossed lines. On one of my friend's lines you are blasted by a radio station in the background the entire time you are talking! Can the phone company get their act together? This is 2008.... sigh...

Yesterday Nora had her last exam - Yeah! and so this morning, as promised, I went to pay the bill. Usually you pay it in the morning and the company turns the service back on some time in the afternoon. Every few minutes one of the girls picks up the reciever to see if it's working. They keep looking at the phone - expecting it to ri…

Never a dull moment

Today started out as a normal day. I had an appointment to be someplace that in the end turned out not to work out. It was a matter of crossed emails, or emails that went unread (not by me). Of course one thing I have learned about living in Libya is that you never walk out the door without having a PLAN B, and possibly a PLAN C too. So I decided it was time to pull out good old PLAN B.

I called Tara, told her I was on to PLAN B, which was to take her out to breakfast at a place we call the Libyan IHOP, but is actually named O2. They serve an assortment of pancakes and sandwiches and it's right on the beach. I went to get Tara and we decided that since the weather was so nice we'd just go in her Jeep and enjoy the breeze.

We had a nice time eating breakfast. Tara was of course all the while busy playing on her phone.

BFF @ Libyan IHOP!

While we ate our breakfast we discussed what else we needed to do to complete PLAN B. We decided we'd hit Marks and Spencers and see what was o…

Stumbled over a nice quote today

I use iGoogle as my home page. Today I changed it to Edward Monkton's theme. When I scrolled down to the very bottom I found this quote:

Yes indeed, it's the glory of the ride!

Beach time coming soon

Soon the beaches in Libya will be packed with summer beachgoers. I always have found it weird that most Libyans have no idea how to swim, especially since Libya has such a long coastline on the Mediterranean Sea. Many will tell you 'I know how to swim!' and you find out that their idea of swimming is moving their arms and splashing about, all the while their feet are still firmly planted on the bottom. That is NOT swimming.

Every summer you hear of people drowning, usually because the person was swept out to sea by a strong current called a riptide. Most of these tragic events could be prevented if people were educated on how to save themselves from these powerful water currents.

Here's what you need to know: Survive a Riptide

Unfortunately I don't have a link to such information in Arabic, which would be helpful to most Libyans. Maybe someone can point one out in the comments.

Please share this information and have a safe and happy summer!

This looks interesting

iPod Traveller Documentary has been launched as a new documentary podcast hosted by iPod Traveller's Nick Hall. He will be retracing the journey that his grandfather made during WW2 after being captured in Tobruk, Libya in 1942.

In this four month series, he will be travelling to see what remains of the ex-prison camps in Italy, Germany and Libya, if anything at all. He'll meeting with locals both young and old to try and get a feel for how people feel about the terrible events of 60 years ago and how it affects their lives today.

Tune in for regular updates as he takes listeners with him on this journey of discovery.

Podcasting News Link:


More results

Yusef passed! Now we wait for Sara's results.

Nora started her finals this week. She says the girls are all just giving each other the answers and the teacher is just sitting there letting them go for it. That's just disgusting. Sigh...

By the way, I'm doing much better. Having two days of rest did wonders for me. Thanks to all who commented, sent emails, called and texted to wish me well.

It's stuck in my head

Do you ever have a song that just sticks in your head? No matter what you do it seems to play over and over again and you find your self humming it or singing it? (and it looks pretty funny for a woman to be singing in public in Libya)

This is the latest one for me: