Friday, September 21, 2007

New Projects For Libya

I have been telling you all about the progress being made here in Libya , slow as it may be , none the less it is happening . Admitedly much more needs to be done , and the many projects started need to be finished ....... BUT things are moving . Read the below link for a update on what is new in the works .

http://www.iht. com/articles/ 2007/09/10/ news/libya. php

I Am Invisible

Recently a dear friend sent this e mail to me.I think it comes the closest to expressing the truest meaning of motherhood. I hope you like it as well as I do .

This is awesome. It was written by Nicole Johnson, who used to do this
in the Women of Faith conferences. Enjoy.

I'm invisible.......

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response,

the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the

phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't

you see I'm on the phone?"

Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or

sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner,

because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this?

Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of

hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is

it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney

Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Pick me up right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the

eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum

laude -- but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never

to be seen again.

She's going ... she's going ... she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return

of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a

fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she

stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put
together so well.

It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked

down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find

that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and

I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was

feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully

wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly

sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To

Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are

building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read -- no, devour -- the book. And I

would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths,

after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the

great cathedrals-- we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They

made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their

building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw


A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit

the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving

a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the

man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a

beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."

And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was

almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte.

I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you

does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no

cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over.

You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what

it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a

disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of

my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn


I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder.

As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see

finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The

writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could

ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people

willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend

he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at

4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand-bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table."

That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just

want him to want to come home.

And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add,

"You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if

we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the

world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty

that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Things In Three's

Ramadan has been good for Moe and I this year . I think this has to be the easiest year for me personally ,but we have a few more days to go , lol. Even the cooking part is ok . I still am not sleeping well because of those too fluffy-puffy pillows .

We have had several disasters this past week . One, my computer died in the middle of making a blog post .It just went completely black , no warning , no sound , no bells or whistles . I took this very personal . After the initial need to totally panic , I got a grip and cried, as one does ! Then the next day I called the expert , Khadijateri ! She has a good computer guy ; remember I once said everyone needs a guy here ? Well hers is one of the best . Small world he knew her blog .Between the two of them , they got me all fixed up with updated and new programs . I am still trying to find stuff. It is sooooo cool to have neato stuff ! Then she insisted I get the FAST computer service called ASDL here in Libya .That hasn't been connected as of yet but am assured it will be soon . When I paid for it the man wanted my cell/moblie number. I told him that I thought all cell/mobile phones were the spawn of Satan . He looked at me as if I was . He wanted to know how he would be able to call me to notify me the service was up and running ( as if I wouldn't be able to notice that all on my own ) if I didn't have a mobile phone ? I told him I did have a phone , only it was a land line . I think he thinks I am some kind of weirdo .

The next night as I sat trying to find something interesting on TV the lights for our whole area went into black out mode . I was alone , since Moe had gone out to have JOE . I was stumbling around in total darkness , gathering up all my scented candles , see there was a reason for having so many after all ! Then there was the odd stubbed toe or two . I dropped the lighter . That was so fun , feeling around the floor for it . I found it ! Light them all up . Voila ! Light . Then it began to get stuffy , so I thought hum , I should turn on the AC . I know ..... it was then I started to laugh at myself , no Electricity ! I found in the dark a old fashion hand held fan to cool myself off with , that worked out . I am all situated and comfy , as my momma would say , when the lights came back on , yeah !!!! I turn back on the TV only to discover that the picture had been turned into a very multi-color abstract thing . I tried all the normal tuning , yes I am able to do that ! Nada ! So , until Ramadan is over we will be watching people that are multi-colored , sigh ! No way am I taking the TV in to be serviced during Ramadan .

But before all that happened , we had squatters try to move into our building's utility room downstairs . The police were called . The man arrested . Then he came back here after he was released.The woman decided that anything not nailed down belonged to her , like the carpets in the halls . In addition to that , they were stealing the electricity and water , for a room that has no plumbing .Eventually the police came back out to remove them once again , with the help of the Housing Authority. They were relocated somewhere else . So , now peace once again reigns in The Condo On The Seaside .

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pink , Birthday's , and Whatnot's

This has been a busy week . I had a birthday . I went to Sheila's and had the works . I now have an unusual shade of blond hair . It is sort of champagne blond , maybe ? But I love it .

I also celebrated my B.Day by putting the new sheets on my bed that I bought , along with the new puffy pillows a while back . Only one problem with the new pillows , I haven't had a good nights sleep since I put them on the bed . They are too puffy - fluffy ! The new sheets are a hot pink and I have to say that I hesitated long ,and thought hard over whether or not to buy them at the time . Buying them won out over the thought of fluorescent dreams , because I never have owned pink sheets before . I did notice Moe's face when he came to bed and saw them for the first time though . That was funny .

I wasn't a big fan of pink for a long time in my life because , when I was a teenager I stayed with a aunt that had given me her old teenage room to use while I staid with her . She had really loved pink ! The walls were covered in hugh cabbage rose wall paper that were pink . The curtains were pink .The furniture was red ( thank goodness !) , but the rest of it was all in pink ! I always felt like I was inside a pink bubble gum bubble . But I do like that Aerosmith song named " Pink is My Favorite Color " .

Beside my birthday I have been getting seriously organized for Ramadan which starts in two days . I got feed up with the Ice Age that has been going on in my fridge for some years now and decided to defrost it with the help of hammer and a blow dryer .What should have taken several hours turned out to take two days .Some helpful person in our building decided to turn off our water for us and not tell us .So I waited a whole day for that to get fixed before we found out what was going on there . But never the one to waste a good moment when the cleaning bug bites , I said what the hey, went ahead and defrosted the fridge's freezer too ! Found all kinds of lost things in there ! LOL !

And you know how sometimes one thing leads to another ? Well, I ended up cleaning all the cabinets in the kitchen too . That lead to the hall with all the dirty carpets , so sent them out to be cleaned , which in turn lead to much sweeping and mopping . I am exhausted and Ramadan hasn't even started yet ! I have had to talk to myself and tell me that enough is enough . I mean this might start a new fad or something like a ( shock / horror !) habit ! Need to nip this in the bud right away .

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Today's Laugh

I had a laugh today when driving past the port in Tripoli .There was the most fantastic sight , a non normal looking ship / yacht ( ? ) docked in port . It was all gleaming white , with four tall masts standing to attention on deck . No sails in sight though . It was a beautiful craft . Of course just the sight of the masts jutting in to the sky was causing traffic to slow down on a usually busy morning commute along the beach road into town .

I was as curious as the next person , so I slowed down in order to gawk , wondering who was in town . Who could possibly own this ship ? It's after the 1st of September celebrations , when most important foreign guest come to the country to pay homage to the Revolution that Col. Khaddafy lead in 1969 . So , who could it be ?

We drove closer toward the ship along the road , all the while keeping the ship in eye sight . Moe and I speculating the whole way who might be on board . It definitely was a private ship . It wasn't the run of the mill cruise ship we get more often now that diplomatic relations with the West have been restored . Nope , it wasn't a Carnival cruise ship that's for sure !

The road curved and the name of the ship was revealed . It wasn't a Carnival cruise ship . It wasn't a rich Greek tycoon's ship either . Nor was it Queen Elizabeth's private yacht , though it was large enough to be hers . You will never guess in a million years , so I will put you out of your misery . Here is when you get to laugh . It was named the CLUB MED 2 .

Club Med as you may or may not know, made a name for it's self in the 70's for offering vacations in exotic locals with all kinds of fun things for it's patrons to choose from while frolicking in a free atmosphere .Things such as nude swimming on nude beaches . Alcohol on demand , as much as a person could drink .Many other things , but that was the draw back then . I had to laugh when I saw the name on the ship , as I thought about this , because you won't find those things here , or as far as I know , you won't . Maybe Club Med has turned a new leaf . They might have matured, grown up , and remembered that those people that partied hardy then in the 70's are older , wiser , and richer with families . Many possibly with grandchildren . So , maybe they are now offering a more cultured itinerary these days and came to see the wonders that Libya has to offer that they would have passed up thirty odd years ago .

Well , with the advent of Club Med on the scene and the new western security camera's that will soon be all over town , I am seriously hoping we will next see a super Wal Mart store , or maybe a Target spring up somewhere in town . Next thing you know I will go to the store and be able to find Secret deodorant ! Oh , oh oh , do you think Este Lauder might be in the cards too ? Progress with a capital " P" my friends !

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Needed Essentials For Life In Libya

If you are planning to move to Libya , then here are a few of The Essentials for Life in Libya that you will need .They are pretty straight forward . You will need; a go with the flow attitude , patience, the mind set of a saint , a great sense of humor , a skin as thick as a brick , the lack of needing to be on time , and a great car horn ! If you have any ,or better yet, all of these skills or items then you will live in Libya just fine . If not , you need not apply !

The Go With The Flow skill is very essential here .If you are not flexible enough to bend like a willow in the blowing wind then you will snap into the very first time you encounter the "New Rule" policy . This "New Rule " policy happens a lot around here , so practice swaying in the wind .

Patience , well all I can say is that patience is a truly underrated virtue , with out which life in Libya will be totally intolerable .You will need this skill when standing in all lines , waiting to see any health care personnel , especially in the emergency room , and when dealing with plumbers . Beware of all plumbers here !!!!

The Mind Set of a Saint ……. self explanatory ! Just in case you need examples here are a few ; keep in mind that sometimes ignorance is bliss when dealing with a foreign language . If you don't understand what is being said to your face in a foreign language , then you are more likely to be saintly . Turning the other cheek , evidence of more saintly behavior . It can work wonders and almost always amazes and dazes all to whom you use upon .

That goes hand in hand with having Skin As Thick As A Brick . Sticks and stones blah , blah , blah , and water off ducks backs, are all truisms here . You will need a lot of these skill too !

I skipped a Great Sense Of Humor . If you are lacking in a sense of humor , then please live somewhere else ! There is a constant source of things to fill your days and nights with humor and laughter . Open your eyes and you will be entertained non stop, irony not withstanding .

Many people that move to Libya fail to adjust to the Libyan system of keeping time. They think in Western terms , not realizing that everyone walks to a different drummer here . Everyone of course having their own drummer and no synchronicity applied to the whole . That means the band is totally out of step with each other and the drum major is off a whole beat ! Besides all that we are either two hours ahead of English Greenwich Meantime, or one hour behind Saudi Arabia. These being the two main places where many of the English speaking TV channels are broad casted and scheduled .You are constantly calculating your location and time for programming . Programming time is always subjected to non notified changes .So, time is very liquid .

But I think that the most essential thing to have in Libya is definitely a car horn . IF you drive . I have mentioned before about driving here and it isn't for the faint of heart. It is almost an impossible act if one doesn't have a fully functional car horn . If you should ever find yourself in a situation where the car horn is non functional , then by all means just stick your head out the window and yell as loudly as possible ….HONK , HONK ,HONK !!! Repeat as often as needed , until the car horn is repaired ! There , I think that about covers it all . Come on to Libya and have a wonderful stay !