Showing posts from December, 2008

Upside down

We're painting the entryway today... covering  fingerprints, grime and crayon drawings that no one will admit to have drawn. Is the grammar on that right... sigh.. it's been one of those days. 
Of course about half an hour into the process the doorbell rang. Why, oh why does someone always turn up as soon as the house is completely upside down????

2008 Looking Back

Another year is coming to an end. I took a look back in my archives to recap what this year was like. 
Shopping, weather and school were what was on the agenda for the first month of the year, but the biggest news was the shops on Jaraba Street coming to an end with the beginnings of the demolition causing a shopping frenzy and traffic snarls.
Time spent behind the wheel in my car; the trials and tribulations of driving Ibrahim to school and the scary incident of being attacked by a lunatic while I was driving one evening. 
The cat had kittens and then disappeared, leaving us to find them a new mommy, but in the meantime we frantically scrambled to keep the poor little kitties fed. The  year's weddings commenced with me trying to find a wifi hotspot to keep myself from being bored to death.
Another enjoyable trip to attend Nalut's Annual Spring Festival. More traffic troubles, child brides and other wedding stories.
An earthquake in east Libya, exams and…

Relaxing by the fire

Last month the girls and I went to visit  friends and have a movie night (we'd brought DVDs and the DVD player and snacks). We enjoyed ourselves so much that we decided to do it again last night. The nice surprise was that when we arrived they had just lit their fireplace for the very first time since they'd moved into their house. It was lovely - and we had a wonderful and very relaxing evening sitting by the fire and watching films. 

Christmas in Libya

In my family in America Christmas is celebrated for the most part on the eve of Christmas. I think this tradition mostly began because my father was too impatient to wait for Christmas day. My father loved Christmas - I think it was a holiday he anticipated for months before the actual day. He truly had the holiday spirit. As a child I remember that we always opened our gifts at night and often times we had guests, but not always. On Christmas day we usually went to my grandmother's house.

When I was twelve we moved to Florida and slowly our tradition changed. Many people moved to Florida as we did, or pensioners retired to the warm climate of Florida leaving their grown children and other family members in the north. This separation from family is most noticed on holidays. My immediate family was in Florida but my cousins, aunts, uncles and the rest lived far away - too far away to celebrate with us. My parents began to invite people who were alone to join us on Christmas Eve. It …

An Interview

SJ over at Pseudotherapy has an interview meme going on her blog and I thought 'Hey what the heck?'  The idea is that she could ask me any five questions that she wanted to and I would post the  questions and answers of the interview on my blog. I'd also post an invitation for anyone else that wanted to give the interview meme a go - but this time the questions would come from me. 
SJ was worried that some of the questions might be sensitive and said she'd change them if I wanted different ones - but they were fine. SJ, by the way, is an American that grew up in Libya and often posts on her blog her fond memories of her life here. 
Thanks SJ for taking time out to send me the questions. Here's my interview:
1. How did you meet your husband?
It's rather boring I guess, but here goes. I met him in the US he was a student and so was I. A friend introduced us. We hit it off right away. After about 6 months we got engaged and we stayed engaged for two years before getti…

Cut Cables? Or Something Else?

The Internet is back but the connection is slow. Some people have suggested that the problem was due to the recent breakage of an underwater cable between Tunisia and Sicily. But when I read the news reports about it Libya wasn't mentioned as one of the countries being affected.
TechnoLibya, a blog that focuses on technology in the country came up with a plausible reason for the outage and subsequent slowness of the service. They blamed it on the system being overloaded while Wimax is being tested and tried out and suggested the networks need to be upgraded before anything new is added. Wimax was intended to be out last September, delayed until December and then delayed once again. Now they say it will make it's debut in Libya in January 2009. 
The Internet's back, but it's crawling. I hope we continue to have usable service - it's holiday season and the Internet is the only means I have of 'being with' my family back home.

Happy Holidays

Originally uploaded by inkrisout.
Best wishes to all of my readers who celebrate Christmas. May we all have a safe and peaceful holiday season. [The picture is of my nephew, who played the baby Jesus in a Christmas pageant recently]

Coping with a 3rd World Day

I got up yesterday morning and got my cup of coffee from the kitchen and went to 'my office' and turned on the computer. The house was still quiet - the only other person that was awake was hubby and he was busy doing his anal-retentive laundry routine (that's an entire post by itself). I settled myself into my chair, listening to the hum and click of the computer booting up.
One of the things that I missed when coming to Libya was the daily newspaper. Sitting with a cup of coffee and reading the paper every morning before starting the day was a routine that I've only been able to somewhat duplicate since Internet arrived to Libya and became affordable for people to have at home. I'm content to start my day reading the news digitally. I'm happy to settle for what the Internet brings me, but I do miss Wednesday's coupons, and the Sunday edition that's stuffed full with the colourful comics section and all the rest of the extra goodies.

So what happened yes…

Cappuccino View

Dark to light Shady seaside Cool to warm December cafe
Friendly chat Warm words Happy smiles Good friends

The Hours Spent Driving

I'm on a break from work and I'm enjoying it. 
What have I been doing during my break? Mostly I've spent my time in the car. Since I'm free I've taken over all the driving - first I take Jenna and Sara to school at 7:45, then swing back home to pick up Ibrahim, who I find waiting at the curb for me. I usually stop at the bakery and grocery store. By the time I get home it's about 9:30. Nora has to be at uni at one o'clock so we have to leave no later than 12:00 to get her there on time. Then I come back home again for a few hours only to have to go back to the uni to pick Nora up at four. Ibrahim comes home by bus and Sara and Jenna walk home (and get some exercise).
The hours spent in the car are not wasted. We've been listening to audiobooks. The latest is the book 'The Secret Life of Bees' by Sue Monk Kidd and read by an actress named Jenna Lamia. We've seen the movie but the book is oh so much better! The recording of the book is about 10 …

Officially Over

Eid is officially over for me now. I've finished making the gadeed, which is a kind of jerky or preserved meat. I make it every year (and sometimes twice a year). It's really not that difficult and once it's made it will last unrefrigerated for a year or more. It never stays that long in my house because the kids go in and help themselves. Jenna in particular likes to snack on gadeed. 
It's fairly easy to make. First you take the meat and cut it - opening it up as though you were filleting a fish so that the pieces of meat are flat and no more than a centimeter in thickness. You can also dry the fat from the sheep's tail in the same way. This is useful because you wont have to use as much oil in the final process of preservation. When you get the meat all cut you add salt and oil. It doesn't take that much salt - I think I used about a cup of salt for 20 kilos of meat. You can also add red and black pepper, turmeric, garlic and vinegar if you like. Mix all this …

Making Changes

I've been changing colors on my blog and added a background. It might stay this way, or it might change. I'm feeling moody these days.

Tara thinks this background makes my blog look like the inside of a casket:

Hmmm.... certainly not like any casket I ever saw in America and definitely not one from here. In Libya they just toss you into a wooden box that looks like it was made out of the same kind of wood they use to make orange crates. I guess it doesn't matter anyway because they take you out of the box before they bury you here - it's just for transportation. How depressing. Maybe I should do the happy face background I had considered for all of 3 seconds. 

Naaa.... that'd be just annoying. 

Mustafa goes to the farm

Jenna and I got in the car this morning and waited for the rest of the kids to pile in. Mustafa (our cat) got in the car while we were waiting. I guess he wanted to come with us too. So we decided he could come to the farm with us. 

He liked the ride. And he's having fun at the farm. We left him to camp out with the boys.

The Aftermath of Eid


A Quiet Eid

The sheep has been slaughtered and the meat has been cut up. I salted and hung up quite a lot to dry. The rest is in the freezer. It was a quiet day. The kids and I watched movies in the afternoon. The girls and I went home towards evening, leaving hubby and the boys to camp out at the farm. Which meant we had a peaceful evening -no boys or Aljazeera!
This morning I'm letting the girls sleep late. I'm enjoying the quiet. 

Last minute stuff

Ibrahim and I went shopping for some last minute stuff for Eid.  We stopped and got a hamburger too!  Yummmy!

Eid Mubarak!

Wishing all a very happy and safe Eid.

Getting Ready

Eid is nearly here. There have been all kinds of stories about sheep with diseases - and the big question is to buy one or not to buy one. Yesterday I cut up beef to make traditional Libyan 'gadeed' or jerky. It's hanging on the line drying. You start out with a huge amount of meat and by the time it dries, it shrinks, and  looks as if you have hardly anything left. 
Hubby has gone out to look at some sheep with his brother. The knives have all been sharpened and I'm ready for whatever is thrown at me. I expect I'll be very familiar with the workings of a knife by the time this is all over.
The kids and I went to the shops that sell DVDs and got some movies to get us through the holiday since we don't have satellite at the farm. We'll bring the TV from the boy's room and the DVD player with us. Anything to break up the monotony of the holiday. 
Work, work and more work... sigh... I'm ready for it. Baaaa! Baaaaaa! Baaaaaa!!

Slipper weather

It rained today. There was thunder and lightening too. And of course the streets in my neighbourhood all flooded (and everything smells like open sewers). 
I took Ibrahim with me to work this evening because I figured with the bad weather it would be quiet - most people would rather just stay home. I was right - we had a small class today but we got quite a lot done and had extra time to focus on things. 
Ibrahim didn't want to stay in an empty classroom across the hall and draw on the white board. He wanted to sit at a desk behind the students in my classroom - so we let him join us. But in the end we threw him out because he was disruptive. He kept poking the boy in front of him in the back with his finger. I wonder how his teachers at school manage him - he's more than a handful.
On the way home we drove through the pouring rain and stopped at a shop to buy Ibrahim a pair of slippers. Now that the weather is getting cooler the tiles are cold on his feet. I wanted to get him so…