Please see the tabs above for my Link List and My Journal of the months that the internet was turned off during the February 17th Revolution.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

One more thing off the To Do List

The past few weeks I've been getting bits and pieces of paperwork done. For the last week I've been working on getting a new drivers license. It required making appointments, a few trips to the DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicles) and studying the driver's handbook. I also was required to take a 4-hour online test which I could have done in a lot less time, but it was intentionally timed to make sure you spent the full 4 hours.

The final day came for the actual driving test. I was using my mother's car which is an older model mini-van that is all computerized. Unfortunately the circuit boards sometimes work and sometimes don't - so sometimes the right front blinker works and sometimes it doesn't!

After going through all the paperwork with the DMV employee we headed out to the parking lot. First he did an inspection of the car and of course the stupid blinker wasn't working so he said, "I'm sorry I can't give you the test unless the car passes inspection." I pointed out that I could do the test using hand signals. He looked incredulous and asked if I knew them, so I put my left arm up "Right!" then put my arm straight out "Left!" and then put my arm down "Stop!" He laughed and said "OK!". We got in the car and off we went. The examiner made sure that I made a lot of right turns. We laughed at every turn.

After the test we went back into the building to complete the paperwork - I passed! The examiner said that it was the first time he had ever given an exam with someone doing hand signals because no one ever knows them. I told him "Hand signals are nothing. I've been living in a war zone. I can dodge bullets when I drive!"

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger! 


Sunday, November 15, 2015

The slowest year ever...

This has been my slowest blogging year in all the years I've been blogging. It's isn't because I am losing interest or being lazy. This year has been difficult and depressing. Life in Libya has continued to be a challenge. The thought of writing blog post after blog post of the same news..... issues with electricity, gasoline, cooking gas, internet connectivity, the hunt for bread and medicines.... the general lack of basic services. It's all the same old negative Libyan news. Someone (who has been living away from Libya for over 40 years) recently complained to me that I haven't got anything positive to say or write about. Well, I'm sorry, there is very little if anything that is positive to say!

This summer it was time to go home - home meaning Florida to take a break from Libya and spend time with my family. Mom needs me now, she's 80 and suffering from numerous health issues. Next month she'll have eye surgery so that hopefully she will regain some of her vision and be able to see clearly again. She can barely walk, has had over 20 stents put in the arteries in her legs, diabetes, hypertension, stage 3 kidney disease, COPD, hearing loss and some dementia just to name of some of her maladies. She needs me now, so I'm staying to help out. 

Meanwhile, some of the kids are returning to Libya to finish up university and school. Although people complain about the education system in Libya, university graduates can still go on to do their post graduate studies elsewhere. If they stayed with me in Florida they would have to start all over from scratch... what a waste of time that would be. 

I feel kind of like a refugee.... externally displaced and separated from my husband, children and home in Libya. I'm making the most of it though. Apart from spending quality time with my mom I've been doing some professional development; working with a literacy program, tutoring immigrants and also working at the local college's admissions test center and doing some online courses. Hopefully I will learn something and bring my knowledge back to Libya to share.  I've also been doing a bit of travelling, visiting friends, museums, festivals, the beach... There's also my mom's garden to sort out when I have a few moments to spare.... and maybe I'll start blogging again... about the positive things happening. 

Below are some photos, click for a larger image.
The Rainbow River, near Dunnellon, Florida

A sign at the beach 5 minutes away from my mom's house. 

A glorious Florida sunset, Madeira Beach, Florida

Part of the extensive butterfly collection at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

In a pine forest in the middle of nowhere, Taylor County, Florida.
My mother watching the kids at Rainbow River. 

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