Showing posts from 2016

Ending up 2016

The end of the year is fast approaching. When I look back it seems like it was a long year, but it passed so quickly. Since we got back to Florida it seems I have been running non-stop. 
First, there was Ibrahim to get settled in school. He's been changed to a different school, this time one that hopefully has a program suitable for him that will address his autism and ESOL issues. After a bit of a runaround, he finally started, but only a week before the Christmas break, so we won't know how things really go until he goes back after the holidays. 
Mom had a whole slew of doctor appointments, check-ups and tests scheduled for when I returned. Some of which had positive results, but unfortunately, there was the disappointing news from the cardiologist that an artery in her left leg has a blockage that needs to be cleared, so next week she is scheduled for surgery. I'm glad that I'm here to help my mother through this. It's a bit overwhelming and right in the middle…

The Challenges of Traveling to/from Libya

When it was time to start planning our trip back to Florida there was so much planning to do. There were so many decisions and choices to make. The trip going to Libya had been difficult and there had been the unpleasant experience with the airline losing my bags. Even though the luggage wasfinally recovered (one bag after 18 days!) it was still a big hassle. I decided to fly a different airline - this time going via Tunis and Frankfurt on Lufthansa. It worked out being the cheapest flight too.
But how to get to Tunis? Which airline should we use to fly out of Tripoli? I had flown Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah in the past, but had only heard of Libyan Wings. There are a few other airlines but these three seem to be most popular - but which was the most reliable? I wanted to be on time and I most definitely did not want to have lost luggage again. I decided to throw out some  polls on social media to see what people thought. The results were quite surprising. 

The poll on Facebook sho…

Learning a Lesson in Cultural Differences

In America when you go on vacation you might stop to pick up a few souvenirs and some postcards to send your friends and family. No one expects you to bring them back anything. If you do it's appreciated, but it's definitely not expected. It's different in Libya. Traditionally, when you have been traveling you should bring back gifts for your family and friends. You don't have to go overboard, something simple will suffice. Everyone expects something. Unfortunately, with the amount of relatives, even getting something small and inexpensive adds up - you have to consider the amount of money (the dollar very high now) and space in the suitcase (23 kilo limit). Over the years I've mostly dispensed with the gift giving with the exception of getting something for my mother in law - she always gets presents.
This time, before I came back I asked her if there was anything she needed or wanted. She requested body lotion and hand cream. She said only cheap imitation toilet…

Not Enough Negative Adjectives or Expletives

It's taken me a few days to process the outcome of the US elections - lots of TV news to watch and articles to read on the Internet. Plenty to keep busy with on social media. Hillary won the popular vote, but Trump won the electoral vote. Many people are saying that the system should be changed and the vote should go with the popular vote. I noticed there were even some online petitions about it. For me, I would be happy if there was a requirement that every presidential candidate take and pass the FSOT - the Foreign Service Officers Test. I doubt Trump would be able to manage FSOT. There is an age limit that would have eliminated him right off the bat, but he doesn't have the brains for it. 
I've always felt that the president should be someone you looked up to. Someone dignified. Someone, that if you invited them to your home, would be considered an honored guest. Is Trump that person? Not for me. I don't think I'd even want him out in my back yard with the dog.…

What exactly am I doing here in Libya?

While I was away from Libya my cat Sandy took over my chair. She's saved my spot for a year. She doesn't want to move when I try to sit down so I sit on the edge of the chair. Eventually she gets up onto the desk and tries to interrupt me. She usually wins! How can I resist such a sweet kitty! 

I've sat  down a few times in front of my laptop and tried to write down my thoughts about life in Libya after being away. It's extremely difficult to come up with anything positive so I decided to wait and write about it later after I have time to process it all. 
What exactly have I been doing here? Well, I've spent most of my time at home with my family and pets. Visited a few friends and went to two family weddings. Sorted through things in the house. I'm getting paperwork and dental work done (cannot afford the dentist in the USA!). I'm taking lots of naps and watching lots of TV - especially the US election circus. 
Enough for today... time to snuggle with my …

Memoir | Libya. A Love Lived, A Life Betrayed - 9/36

Back in 2013, my friend Susan wrote a guest post on my blog. She shared an important message about her experience with Libyan inheritance laws. The post generated a huge amount of interest so in 2014 she wrote a follow-up post. Many people, myself included, urged her to write a book about her life. I'm happy to say that she took our advice and wrote her story.
As a British woman, marrying a Libyan diplomat was the start of her adventure, little did she realize the complexity and intrigue she would live through for the next 33 years. Having lived through these times she decided to share her experiences and perspective on this period of Libyan history.

The following excerpt has been published on my blog with the permission of the author. Information about where to purchase the book is below the excerpt. 

Libya. A Love Lived, A Life Betrayed
9/36 By: Susan M. Sandover
One ١ 9/36 is the end of the tale but the beginning starts with so many previous events that have had to be sealed in my memo…