I made it through a busy week at work and three nights of weddings in the evenings. I would rush around all morning getting things done, then off to work and then make it home to jump in the shower and then quickly get dressed and out the door to attend the weddings. It was exhausting.
The first wedding was for the son of a friend and colleague and was actually quite nice. The music wasn't deafening and I saw lots of friends I hadn't seen in a while and shared a table with UT - so we had a chance to chat between songs and during dinner.
The other wedding was for a relative and was of the religious variety, meaning not particularly fancy because that would be a waste of money (haram) and because music is also haram there would only be Islamic nasheed played (a kind of music of voice accompanied by drum only). I find this really as just an opportunity for the women to gossip more (and isn't gossip considered haram too?) because they don't have the annoyingly loud music to shout over. My sister-in-law informed me that the wedding hall we were at was used by religious families because they didn't have music. Instead nasheed was being blasted over the speaker system and we sat at the table shouting to be heard over someone belting out a song about 'The Merciful and Most High'. It was weird.
Recently I got a cell phone - yes, yes, I have said all along how much I hate cell phones, but I decided to go for one that had WiFi so I could use it for the Internet. Most people complain 'I've been trying to get hold of you for ages but your phone is always turned off!' Most of the time the phone is turned off... but the WiFi is on. I've become WiFi Woman! So I was ever so pleased when I sat down at my table at the wedding to find there was an unsecured WiFi connection available. What better way to waste your time during a boring wedding? Sweet!
Unfortunately, the connection was weak.... very weak. I decided to see if the tables nearest the windows might give me a better signal. I'd gladly change tables. No luck. What a disapointment - even the signal in the bathroom was bad (yes I tried in there too - does that tell you how bored I was). But this is something to think about... wedding halls with WiFi... hmm.
After what seemed like forever they served us dinner. I noticed that an old lady sitting at my table was sneaking food into a bag she had under the table to bring home. I reached over and pushed the sugar bowl towards her and said 'Hajja, you might want to take this too. Sugar is up to a dinar a kilo in the stores these days.' My sister-in-law, who was sitting beside me, was trying so hard not to laugh and the old lady just glared at me. Are people so hungry that they have to take home food from a wedding? I guess wasting food is haram, but it just seems so tacky to sneak it into your bag to take home.
While at the wedding I filled up on all the gossip and found out that this year there are lots of weddings planned. I'll be kept busy with weddings... I hope they sort out the WiFi to help me get through them all ... lol
I've been having a rather peaceful extended weekend. Since a day off was given for Mosem last Tuesday and Meloud on Wednesday, I decided to take Thursday off too. That along with my regular days off; Friday and Saturday, have given me a well deserved break from routine.
For the most part I've been relaxing, making beef jerky (gadeed), doing a bit of shopping and some spring cleaning (dejunking old papers and going through my desk).
As work never stops for me, I've been working on a lesson plan for the next Movie Night. I've decided on the film Into the Wild which is based on a true story. There is also a reading/speaking lesson in the pre-intermediate Headway book (unit 10) about the story that many of the students are familiar with. The movie's a bit on the long side but the scenery is beautiful and because the pace is a bit slow I think it might make it easier to follow. There isn't much foul language to worry about and just a few skin scenes to fast forward over.
This afternoon is more shopping. The girls never seem to have enough clothes, shoes or accessories and before every wedding they insist on refurbishing their wardrobes. We have lots of weddings coming up so their closets will be kept full and my pockets empty.... sigh....
The whole town sounds like it's under fire. The celebrations of Miloud are underway. The night before Prophet Mohamed's birthday is celebrated with fireworks. There are roadside stands along most streets selling all kinds of firecrackers, traditional drums, candles and torches. Some places are even selling Christmas trees! Actually this isn't an Islamic practice because Prophet Mohamed never celebrated his birthday.
Many Libyans use this occassion to get together with their families and eat traditional foods. Many families eat rishta and others eat couscous. It depends on the family and area they live in. In the morning almost everyone eats a traditional sweet dish called assida; boiled flour that is cooked into a thick dough and put in a dish surrounded by butter and honey or date syrup (ruub).
While I write this my boys are outside blowing off firecrackers with the other boys in the neighbourhood. It's sounds deafeningly loud. I hate this particular holiday. It's such a wasteful event. Next week Libyans will be back to moaning and complaining about how poor they are and that they cant afford the basic essentials of life. When I listen to the money being lit on fire in the streets around me it just makes me sad.
The kitten situation is sorting itself out. We had all been taking turns feeding Anbah's babies with milk from a syringe and hoping she would return. She hasn't come back yet and we've pretty much given up hope of her showing up.
In the middle of the night on Tuesday, Layla started having her kittens. By the time the kids left for school in the morning she had given birth to three. She had another one later on in the morning. I left her in her box with her brood and she was happily sorting them out, cleaning them up and feeding them.
When the kids came back from school we gave Anbah's kittens another feed and then introduced one of the kittens into the box with Layla - praying she would accept it. She immediately started licking it and it latched on to her and started nursing. Then we added the other two kittens.
Layla's got seven kittens now to look after. We're going to have to watch them carefully and give some supplemental feeds to help her out. Phew... I am so glad we are not feeding those kittens 24/7 anymore. We can finally get some rest.
We've been having kittens. Anbah had three kittens and then disappeared. We're not sure what happened to her and we hope she comes back. In the meantime her babies are about three weeks old and are mewing and wanting to eat non-stop. We've been feeding them milk with a syringe.
Our other cat, Layla, is going to have kittens any minute. The poor thing has been waddling around looking miserable... (been there done that... six times). We are hoping that once she does have her kittens that we can sneak Anbah's noisy threesome in so we can stop the 24 hour feeding service we are providing. I don't know what happened to poor Anbah. The kids have been out looking for her.
It's been a peaceful weekend and I've done nothing but relax and enjoy it.
Friday after lunch the girls and I drove out to see how the house building was going at the farm. The tile is being installed in the garden and driveway. It's moving along sloooooowly. Later I went out for coffee with some friends.
Saturday I stayed home mostly, just going out to do some hunting and gathering at the butcher shop and greengrocer's. In the evening I did some errands; picking up dry cleaning and bread from the bakery.
Sunday was a public holiday but the shops were open even though most offices, businesses and schools were closed. The kids and I discussed the idea of going to a motorcycle/automobile expo they'd heard about, but in the end we didn't really feel like it. I took the girls shopping. Jenna got a pair of shoes and a bag and we stopped at the ice cream shop in Zawiat Damani for a treat. The ice cream there is good, but I think it's even better this year than it was last year. It seemed creamier today.
We returned home as the sun was setting and I stopped the car and took a picture because it looked so pretty. I hope you had a nice weekend too.
Blogger is acting up today.... not sure if the picture posted correctly...