Sunday, November 25, 2007

I've returned

I'm back from my adventure. Where did I go, what did I do, and who was I with?....

The story begins on Saturday, November 17th, the day I took Ibrahim to the book fair. While at the fair I got a call from my friend Tara who said she was in the hospital with a ruptured Achilles tendon that she got playing squash. The doctors wanted her to have an MRI and suggested she take the results to Malta for emergency surgery. So I dropped Ibrahim off at home and met her at the clinic to wait with her while she was doing her tests. Then, while her husband left to make travel and hospital arrangements, I took her home to help her pack her bags and send her off with her husband to the airport.

She arrived in Malta and went straight to the hospital. The next morning she had surgery; everything going as planned. She was soon able to move out of the hospital and into a hotel. The only problem she faced was that her husband needed to get back to Tripoli for work and she couldn't stay alone - so I came to the rescue and Tara's husband and I switched places.

That in itself was a bit of an ordeal seeing that now everyone needs an Arabic translation in their passport to either enter or exit Libya - and I didn't have the translation. After a bit of a hassle we finally got it done, the embassy allowing it because of the circumstances. It was a headache but it got done. Off I went to Malta.

I arrived to find poor Tara, set up in her room with her leg propped up; cigarettes, the remote control, chips and junk food, cell phone and beer assorted beverages in easy reach.

Her room was conveniently located right next to mine so when she needed me she would just bang on the wall with her crutches and start yelling 'Teri! Teri!' I need a ...... !' and I would come and get her what ever it was she needed.

We couldn't really do too much more than hang around the room, which was fine with me. We had our laptops, internet and Tara had some new video games to play. Sometimes we watched TV. I had the luxury of my very own room and bathroom!

When you have six kids you NEVER get to be in the bathroom for long. Someone will start banging on the door asking to get in almost immediately - so this was wonderful! I had long showers and baths without anyone knocking on the door or hearing anyone fighting and arguing outside the door either .... it was bliss!

We did manage to go out a few times. Sometimes we met up with some Maltese friends that Tara knew. I suggested getting a wheelchair but Tara flat out refused this idea. So off she crutched. It was slow going. She would get about 4 metres and have to stop to rest.

Not being able to get around meant that mostly we went to cafe's and restaurants. Relaxing, stuffing ourselves with good food and enjoying the pleasant weather. Reading a newspaper was an added treat!

We didn't see much of Malta. It's a place with a mixture of old and new. There are churches everywhere and we left our balconies open so we could hear the church bells ring.

The buildings are mostly old and made from quarried sandstone. The streets are narrow and the sidewalks paved in bricks.

Mixed in with this are modern hotels and shops built with marble and shiny glass.

The reflexion in the glass of the old building across the street makes this picture interesting... the old with the new.

Malta is also beginning to get geared up for Christmas. There were some trees decorated and nativity scenes set up. It's been ages since I had seen that.

After a few days the doctor signed the papers saying Tara was fit enough to travel and we came back to Libya safe and sound. She'll have to return later for follow up care. I was so happy to be able to help out my friend.

The kids were happy to have me back. They dug through my bags more efficiently than any customs officer looking for their prizes. Malta unfortunately is ridiculously expensive so I didn't bring home much. But they were happy with the few small things I got for them.

[click on images for enlargements]


  1. What is this shameful behavior? Traveling without your husband? Taking pictures of the infidel's false gods? I am quite sure there was food to be prepared and laundry to be done while you were jet-setting around Europe as if your hijab was on fire!

  2. So happy that you had a good time ! You deserve a well earned rest , the added bonus was the No husband or kids thing ! Welcome home .

  3. tankgirl.... aka Tara.... stuff it!

  4. im glad you got some time off from the family you earned it... and what a great excuse you had .... taking care of your friend...hugs holly and the kids

  5. How blessed you are to have a good husband to trust you! How blessed your husband is to have a wife he can trust! And, the added bonus of being able to have the money to go and have girlfriend time, even if it was medical reason. Glad you had the rest and your own bathroom. ! whoo whoo! Sandi

  6. Awww.. sounds cool..hopefully u ejoy it.
    poor leggy tara.. wt happen to her!
    Shamless tankgirl.."shut it up n give chance to your fingers" lol.

    My best regards to beautiful tara wishing her speed recovery, but "1Q" her hair look different!! (: did she dye it in malta LoL!
    Welcome back home teri "NawOrty al-Beit" sigh..

  7. Really cool Teri !

    You are indeed a good friend and Tara , here's wishing you a speedy recovery !
    Take care .

  8. Tara you got a cute butt, I like girls with cute round butts. Wish you well.

  9. Oh God Tara run ... cute butt girl , opps.... tank girl !

  10. Dear Mrs. Teri

    How are you today? I hope you and your family are keeping we and your close freind Tara as well.

    Firstly, I hope your friend is on the mend.
    Secandly, I want to tell you that I am addicated to your blog for ages, and I consider you as my mother. Because the mother is learning her children how deal with others and take care of them.

    eventualy, I am proud of you so much indeed.
    I hope to meet you one day.

  11. Wow, you're such a good friend. Hope there are more ppl like u in this world. Not only that, you do get to have some girl time and enjoy what little freedom you have although I bet deep inside you do miss your kids and husband even just a little bit. ;-)

  12. Khadijateri-- love your blog, long time fan. (Embarrassed to admit that I check it every day before starting work... The excuse I give myself is that you keep me abreast of what's going on in Libya. The truth is I'm just addicted.) Now for my burning question: How's the food in Malta? What's it like?

  13. wOw ..tara looks cute but pic needed to be taken a bit left..

    Im thinking now of going back to Libya for the Xmas vacation, So on this ocasion..wt gift could be convenient to tara.. anklet!! s. stretch! .. any suggestions..!
    tank girl also deserve a gift.. and i guess nothing would suit her other than stylish hijab : ).

    Now..WeLcome back home teri.. evry one must miss u, but...wt did u brought from MaLata to huby!!
    did uremember wt he brough u from tunisia weeks ago !.. so be fair then .. ViCtOr

  14. wOw ..tara looks cute but pic needed to be taken a bit left..

    Im thinking now of going back to Libya for the Xmas vacation, So on this ocasion..wt gift could be convenient to tara.. anklet!! s. stretch! .. any suggestions..!
    tank girl also deserve a gift.. and i guess nothing would suit her other than stylish hijab : ).

    Now..WeLcome back home teri.. evry one must miss u, but...wt did u brought from MaLata to huby!!
    did uremember wt he brough u from tunisia weeks ago !.. so be fair then .. ViCtOr

  15. Ure friend drinks, i'm sure u know what our religion says about drinking, people who drink, etc. It'd be reasonable to ask ur friend not to drink while u are there. Your deletion of the word beer would have bought you points had this been high school. It's not. 2 words-role model.
    Otherwise, keep up the cool pics of libya, I is a fan.
    overseas doctor.

  16. So glad to hear you had a well deserved break in Malta. I was there for four days before I got my visa into Libya - it was wonderful - I was there in December - all the Christmas stuff - then I landed in Libya - talk about culture shock. It is very expensive - I did a bit of shopping - not a lot while there - would love to go again and spend more time - SIGH - and of course money - LOL. Great to have you back.

  17. anonymous doctor.... beer drinking is not my thing, but who am I to judge others? My own mother has a drink every evening.. should I shun her for this? No, of course not.

    Khdood... the food was fantastic! We ate junk food, fast food (McDonalds and Pizza Hut) as well as 5 Star restaurant food. It was all delicious. Thanks for reading. :)

  18. Welcome back, sis K, nice to see ya had a lovely break from reality ;-)

  19. Also like reading your blog from time to time. Good to get an insight into life in Libya from a non Libyan. Have to stay though, didn't really like the beer drinking comments either. Yes your friend can do what she likes but why would you feel you have to mention it on your personal blog?!

    Anyway keep up the good blogs

  20. Teri, I think you need to turn on comment moderation! Then you get a chance to review and approve all comments BEFORE they appear on your blog. If they're offensive, you just delete them. Comment trolls won't hang around if they don't get published.

    (This is from your American friend who used to live in Libya, but doesn't want the comment troll to follow her home!)


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