Thursday, January 27, 2005

The kids go back to school Saturday! Yeah! I'm getting excited already. The noise level in my house has been the highest it's been in a long time. I've taken to wearing the headphones from my computer just to try to muffle the noise a bit. I even went out today to see if I could find a pair of wireless ones so I wouldn't have the wire wrapped around my neck. Six kids in a small apartment are just too much! Of course everyone thinks just because you have half a dozen kids that you must like them, so they send their kids over to play too. I am sick enough of looking at my own kids - I get to look at the neighbors kids and various nieces and nephews too.

On top of all this is a sick cat. Poor Siamese has tonsillitis and the vet has ordered all kinds of medicine. I never knew that cats could get tonsillitis, but that is what the vet said so we'll go along with it. She gets three injections every day for about a week. One of them is some kind of vitamin concoction and is painful - she yowls, bites whoever she can manage to bite, and then proceeds to pee - right then and there. I try to find something to keep me out of the way while the shots are being given - hmmm. . . I think it's time to clean the toilet bowls, or I pretend to be looking for something very important in the back of the cabinet in my room.

And then there's Mustafa . . .Mustafa is on this kick saying he wants me to make a schedule- mapping out the times that I use the computer. He thinks that my computer use interferes with daily life. I decided to make a schedule for him instead - He gets three hours every evening designated to watching Aljazeera. I showed him the schedule and he wadded it up into a ball and threw it across the room. I picked it up and smoothed out the paper and stuck it on the mirror in our bedroom. I told him my computer time is the same three hours while he is watching Aljazeera. Do you know what he said? - He said that while he is watching Aljazeera he wants me to be serving him tea and roasting peanuts for him!

Ha! That will be the day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bates Mountain - Raggaat, Libya  Posted by Hello

Third Day of Eid - we spent the third day of Eid at my friend Debby's house. She lives way out in the middle of nowhere with a mountain in her back yard. Actually it is the first mountain in the Jabal Nafusa Mountain chain and it's called Bates Mountain - named after the British guy who mapped it long, long ago. Every time we go out there (takes about an hour by car from Tripoli) the first thing we do is climb to the top of good old Bates and have a look at the view. Here's Nora and Ibrahim with a view of the Jafara plain behind them - from the top of Bates. Posted by Hello

Plumbing - Libyan Style

The following is a report from my trusty, on the spot reporter, friend and confidant, Sydney.

Plumbing - Libyan Style

We recently decided to replace all the leaky taps and tubes in the bathroom . Plumbing in Libya is a exercise in adventure land not like there in the States where you boldly go where any man dares in the hardware store. The hardware stores here carry the bare minimum of fixtures and the rudiments only, as a general rule but sometimes you come across a store that has the latest things from Romania, Slavica, Italy, or even wonders of wonders, England. We are able to see how the developed world plumbs and it is a eye opener for some here.

I started out needing to replace the tube/hose on the hot water heater, the hand sink, the little tube that we have here in Libya that is attached to a nozzle that one uses to rinse off with after using the facilities instead of using toilet paper, the fawcett on the washing machine hook up, a new shower head, and a new fawcett for the hand sink as well. Plus find and stop the leak under the toilet. Easy? Maybe.

The first plumber came to appraise the situation and said yes, yes, ah-hum and I see. Then he got out his trusty sledge hammer and proceeded to knock out a few tiles to investigate the cause of the toilet leak, as One does, of course! We decide that perhaps he wasn’t the one.

The second plumber seemed to know what was what. He came and didn't immediately start saying Hum, I see, and ah hum; no this apparently wise man stood tall, silently observed the way things worked or didn't as the case may be. I took that as a good sign, wouldn't you? That's good I said to myself. So, in this frame of mind I gladly handed over to this wise plumber money to go buy the bits and bobs that were needed to bing and a bong in my bathroom and restore it to it's glory days. He did. He binged, and he bonged with mighty gusto! Things flew, things crashed! I never doubted that when he finished my bathroom would ever have looked so wonderful or functioned so well. He finished and it was a wonder to behold! I had gold and silver fawcett's, the latest hi-tech devices that you might need a Masters degree in function and design to use. The new shower head pulsed and rotated and did the hoke-poke. The fawcett it was attached to looked like a stealth bomber. It was intimidating. The new fawcett's for the washing machine outlet and the refreshment tubes were equipped with handles that were miniscule to say the least. In all it's new shiny glory the bathroom glowed. I said ah, and sighed contentedly. It was good.

Two days later I noticed water on the floor in front of the toilet. Hum? Then the new fawcett for the washing machine out let started to leak after the first use, drip, drip, drip! The new flush handle on the toilet, that incedently it did not need to begin with, would stick and cause the toilet to run non stop unless you jiggled the handle. The new refreshment nozzle was too big to fit in the places it was designed to go. Hum? Well, it is at least a work of art, my new improved bathroom.

I have to go now . . . I am on a quest, to find a new plumber.
From The Condo On The Seaside

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Compressed World

If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following:

There would be:

57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
8 Africans

52 would be female
48 would be male

70 would be non-white
30 would be white

70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian

89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual

6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth and all 6 would be from the United States.
80 would live in substandard housing

70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth
1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education
1 would own a computer

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Iraq Body Count

Civilians reported killed by military intervention in Iraq. Click on the image above to see the website - or click on this link: by Hello

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Eid Mubarak! Happy Eid!

Eid is a holiday celebrated by Muslims, commemorating Abraham and the sacrifice of the ram. After speacial Eid prayers held in neighborhood mosques, Muslims who can afford to, sacrifice a sheep giving part of the meat to the poor. It's an exciting time in Libya, especially for the children. Everyone helps out and gets a share of grilled meat too. Posted by Hello

Mohamed Ismail, Mohamed Sadiq, Yusef and Mehdi - all wearing Nike hats on Eid day! Posted by Hello

One of the nine sheep slaughtered by our family today for Eid. Posted by Hello

The weather was awful - cold and very wet and windy. Lightning and thunder. At one point lightning struck the telephone pole about 20 feet away from where we were all standing. Posted by Hello

The family slaughtered nine sheep today for Eid. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Almost that time of the year again

Mustafa went out to find the perfect sheep for Eid. Eid is gonna be on Thursday, and we've been getting ready. They always jack the prices of the sheep up this time of year 'cause they know you've got to buy one. So Mustafa's been grumbling about things (he'll never admit to be grumbling about the sheep - just takes it out in other ways).

The kids are on holiday from school. Adam's gone to his grandmother's house. Mustafa had the nerve to accuse me of not being a good mother to him - ' Oh look, Adam had to go to my mother's house because you don't pay enough attention to him.' he says. - 'Oh please! Adam is escaping this dinky little apartment we live in - get your ass moving and finish building the house! Do you want to have Adam sitting in the house fighting and arguing with Nora all day? Or would you rather he hang out in the street and get into trouble?' I say.

Grumble, grumble, grumble. I am not looking forward to sitting with my sister in laws on Eid day. Cutting up meat from morning to late afternoon with them will be very trying on my patience. I guess I am just angry because for the past two years we have said 'Next year we will have Eid in our new house.' I am beginning to think that will never happen. Excuses, excuses, excuses . . . After Eid I better see something going on at the building site or I might do something drastic. - like run away or something!!!!

I'll post some sheep pictures soon - Now that you can count on!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Winter Rain

Winter Rain

It's raining!
sweet, clear water
droplets from heaven

puddles of water
umbrellas and raincoats

windy, wet water
beads glistening on the window

solid sheets of water
flashes of light

torrent of water
rumble of thunder

misty, wintry water
warm blankets and snuggles
It's raining!

Poem by me - January 2005

Shara Jaraba - Ben Ashur - Tripoli, Libya Posted by Hello

Sidi Andulsi - Tajoura, Libya Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Ibrahim and Mustafa - two of the special boys in my life. Posted by Hello

School holidays

Some of the kids have finished their exams and begin their break as of today - the rest have exams next week.

Yusef is on holiday - so of course the first thing he did was go to the shop and buy a very loud whistle.

I'm not sure I will survive this holiday. . .

Ain Zarah - Tripoli, Libya  Posted by Hello

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