Saturday, October 18, 2008

What's Going On

All sorts of things are going on this month that's worth mentioning . One was the first ever United Nations Hand Washing Day . That was Oct. 15 , 08 . They say that washing your hands is actually more effective than taking vitamin C to ward off the common cold . Imagine that , just by washing your hands . It was predicted that more than 120 million children in 70 countries across five continents participated in this new hygiene campaign sponsored by the UN this year to help combat disease . You think that washing your hands is a basic thing , right ? But just think ... if you don't have access to water or can't afford to the luxury of buying soap then how can you wash your hands ? That's what being poor in a third world country is like for many .

I have asked the neighborhood children if they had any discussions about washing their hands in school and they all looked at me like I was crazy . So , I am assuming this wasn't a teaching opportunity here in Libya .

The Pink Ribbon Day is Oct.27,08 . This day brings Breast Cancer awareness to everyones attention hopefully . The whole month of October is Breast
Cancer Month . Great strides have been made in the detection and treatment of this deadly disease that not only strikes women , but men as well . I am sure you have heard it said that it is easily treated if it is caught in time, in most cases . A simple breast exam can be done in the privacy of your own home or if a more detailed exam is needed , a mammography is readily available in most hospitals or wellness clinics . Once again this isn't true here in Libya . I am sure some of the larger hospitals have mammography available if the doctor asks for it , but not at the local clinic level , sad to say . Also sad to say , I haven't met any breast cancer survivors here in Libya either , or heard of any .

October 16 was World Food Day . This was another UN sponsored event world wide to bring hunger into awareness . The 17th of October was End Poverty Day . October is also Dyslexia Awareness month . Dyslexia is one of many learning disorders that can be helped sometimes . October is host to the following celebrations as well ...... the 7th was " My Lucky Day " , on the 10th it was "Tuxedo Day" , wow , we really missed out on that one . I think Libyans celebrate October 23 , "Drive Fast Day " ,and October 25, " Don't Follow Any Rule Day " all the time ! There was even a " Someone Is Waiting For You Day ' on the 5 th . That happens a lot here too . So maybe October is Libya's month?
My personal favorite one was on the 3rd ..." Wear Clothes Today Day" LOL !

I have been busy these last few weeks . We have had a whole slew of weddings . I went to a wedding the other night where one of the guest was so bored that she spent the entire time on her cell phone texting a friend . I wonder why she even bothered to come if her companions were so uninteresting . But maybe it was because as usual the music was so loud you couldn't carry on a conversation with the person seated next to you . I did hear some music I never heard before though so that was good . Another wedding I am going to this week will be serving over 1000 men for lunch one day this week .I wonder how many women will be going to the wedding night celebration? Maybe I better go early so I can find a good seat in front of the air conditioner and away from the speakers , lol ! The mother of the groom is a foreigner like me.She has family flying in from as far away as Sydney , Australia to be at the wedding .

Moe and I went to the new mall yesterday . While we were there we had lunch from one of many little restaurants available . You have seating in a main commons area for all the
restaurants situated near the children's play arena . It was noisy of course but surprisingly the kids were mostly well behaved and pretty well mannered too . That was so nice to see !

As Moe and I ate we noticed something you don't see very often here in Libya . The women were walking around with smiles on the lips and happy faces . Normally a woman will not show too much emotion in public here , like smiling , since it might be misconstrued as flirting by some males . That in turn leads to unwelcome advances or gossip . So , women just don't walk around smiling here too often . It was so wonderful to see those smiles along with the laughter . I miss seeing happy people . The best part was the men were happy too. They were not busy trying to see who was looking at their women the whole time . They were relaxed too . It was such a normal scene that I completely forgot where I was until we walked outside the mall .


Rose Bud said...

OCTOBER is a busy month!! Sounds like you have been having some adventures. Next time to go to the mall, try to snap some pictures!

on the edge said...

Unfortunately we aren't allowed to take pictures in any of the stores or malls here . Go figure !

Anonymous said...

You miss seeing happy people? How strange and misleading! But I know what you mean.
Thanks for a very informative blog.
Best wishes, Umm Salwan.

on the edge said...

There are happy people in Libya . I am one . But public displays of smiling by women are actively discouraged , at least by most of the Libyan women and girls I know , that are well brought up .It is because if you go around smiling the men and boys seem to think you are trying to flirt with them ( of course the world revolves around men here !),there fore you must not be well behaved or you must be on the look out for some one to have sex with , sad to say that is the general thinking here by MOST MEN .Wish it wasn't so , but it is and that's a well known fact . Myself , I am not looking for a boyfriend , sex , or any sort of wild adventures , but am merely happy when I smile in public .

Having said that ... it is also assumed by many( men and women ) here and most Muslim countries that a foreigner such as myself have no morales and we are ALWAYS on the look out for a good time .Which is totally NOT TRUE !It is also true that we are many times a Muslim just like you ,and deserve the same respect you receive .