Sunday, December 29, 2013

The past 12 months - Recapping 2013

Here's a recap of my world, 2013...

 My single post for January was about the weather... as usual it was a rainy January and I spent quite a bit of time in the car, traversing on very bad roads.

The month began with a post about a historical landmark near Tarhouna.  Later on in the month I posted about a childhood remembrance. There was Libyan Revolution Day to get happy about, and fun times with my son Ibrahim. We waited for Nora's exam results to come out while we devised plans to scare off marriage proposals.

An anniversary this month - 24 years in Libya which is nearly half my life! I enjoyed springtime in my garden and tried (in vain) to buy the most exquisite lamp I had yet to see in Libya.

A big milestone for my daughter Sara - braces! After some dust storms that were so bad they closed down the airport I spent time cleaning up in my garden.

We went hiking in the mountains on a dusty day, but still had a good time anyway. There was some drama with my in-laws that turned out not to be very dramatic after all (thank God!). And I requested some ideas to get me through writers block.

We had some foggy mornings and my husband built some bird-feeders for the garden. I wrote a small poem called 'The Libyan Waiting Room' and started my annual stocking up for Ramadan. We had a morning picnic at the seaside  with a good friend. I wrote a 5 minute adventure story and reported on life's annoyances in Libya (drones and houseflies).

Ramadan preparations are well underway at the beginning of the month. The Minister of Electricity announced that there would be no power cuts during Ramadan - he didn't mention which year though because we had power cuts nearly every day. It was hot, usually over 40C and we suffered our way through the month. There were assassinations of activists in Benghazi and  unrest in the country and even close by -  right down our dirt road.

The Heath Minister announced that "Libyan hospitals were not fit for human beings" and said a contract was awarded to a British company to try to remedy the situation. I posted a list of things I had written in the past about my hospital experiences in Libya. I had a guest post regarding the rights of foreign wives of Libyans (we hope there will be changes made soon). Ramadan ended, we had a quiet Eid and then it was time to get back on some sort of schedule.  The new school year was about to start and I reported on a project to build portable classrooms in Libya. It was time to plan my trip to Florida to visit my family there - I was counting the seconds till it was time to leave as the temperatures in Libya got higher and the power cuts got longer.

The power cuts in Libya continued (seems to be the theme this year) and to top that off the water supply to the capital was cut off, but I was on holiday -  far away in Florida. I had spent a few days in the UK on my way to the United States. Unfortunately I had the flu and so didn't really get to enjoy my visit to Cambridge as much as I'd have liked, but I was 'home' in Florida recovering.

This month was spent with family and friends. I didn't post much during this month because I was too busy. This is what I was up to: We spent time shopping, picnicking, attending music festivals in the park, and spending time with friends.  My mother had good news from her doctor and we decided to take a 5 day cruise to the western Caribbean visiting the Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico. We had a fabulous time and hope to go again in 2014. Here are some pictures that I had planned to post, but never got around to:
Cambridge when it wasn't raining was really nice. 

I took this picture while taking a walk on the beach about 5 minutes from my mother's house. I'm going to have the picture printed and framed to put over my desk.
This was a big milestone for my mother. She has health problems that require her to use a walker, which is fine for the house, but make shopping difficult. She had refused to use the motorized cart  - but she finally gave in and we got her on one for the first time. She was all over the store!
Too many pictures of the cruise to post here... I will have to upload them someplace. 

Back to Libya. I spent time sorting through my house and getting rid of junk. Mid-month, Libyans demonstrated, demanding that the militias leave Tripoli - people were killed in the process and many were injured. The militias pulled back and Libya shut down for a general strike that lasted about 2 weeks.

I posted about  how the situation in Libya made posting anything difficult, how unfortunately, the new found freedoms in Libya don't necessarily include the freedom to publish your opinion. And lastly... a post about the gasoline crisis and having an empty tank.

I'm hoping that 2014 will be a wonderful year for all!

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