Saturday, May 20, 2006

Getting Set to Go

Ok, let me just fill everyone in. I have been married to my husband for 20 Years this month and we have 5 kids between us. We tried to first go to Libya in 1990 and due to unforeseen circumstances never got there. Well, the kids have grown and I knew that if we didn't go soon we would never get there. So I set out to plan our trip early last year. I estimated end of May as a good travel time and began to make preparations. I went to the internet to learn all I could about my husbands homeland. We have many friends who have visited there and all said it was a honorable place to visit and how nice the people of Libya are. I knew that the embargo had left the country without many of the everyday items we consider necessities! How had the country recovered since the US had renewed negotiations?

First task was to inform the family and the kids. His family is very excited as he has not returned home since 1980. Now with five kids he is not the 19 year old child he was when he left. Many of his family members have passed away and kids he knew are now grown with children of their own. My kids are of course going through all sorts of emotions. Especially the oldest. Suhayb is 16 and plays Hockey for the HS hockey team. He's the goalie for the senior division and as we all know there is no hockey in Africa. Suhayl my 14 yr. Old is a gamer as well as most of the kids to a varying degree. Did the country have Nintendo or SEGA? Yep they do. Well the kids have pretty much come to a comfort level regarding the trip and are making the plans for early leave from school.

Medical Horror 101. My youngest Fatimah is a type 1 diabetic. Having had it since she was 1 we have pretty much gotten into a routine with her care. My next worry was care in case of an emergency while abroad. Medical facilities may have suffered greatly due to the embargo and medical supplies may be hard to get or are not stored properly. So, I am having to take months of supplies with me to safeguard her care. As well as all of her medical records.

Family Home. Most people from the ME region live with extended families all under one roof. I knew that I had a home that was ours but was someone living in it? Much to my surprise it is quite large and although my in-laws are in the lower level and my brother in law lives upstairs, I do have a second floor reserved for my family. After much searching I finally got enough data to locate the approximate area of the family home; as time had changed most of the landmarks my husband knew, finding his home was like finding a needle in a desert of sand. On notice of our arrival plans they have gone about cleaning and repairing the home to welcome us.

Cost. Well anyone can tell you any trip abroad can be expensive and times being what they are all flights are costly. We finally arranged a loan on the value of our home to help us defer the costs to travel as soon as possible. We are still looking at over 10,000 dollars for a round- trip journey.

Culture. Libya is modern as compared to most countries from what I can gather. Unlike other ME regions women can drive and work in just about any field. Students there have studied many technologies and most people now speak English for school and work. But, the people of Libya have a strong heritage of staying the same without change so you can still see men and women still wearing clothing from the early years of Libya. Music and Art are a big part of the culture and historical sites abound throughout the country. I hope we are able to explore the history of Libya while we are there.

Well this is just a start of a long journey. Hope you visit us often and stop by my profile at to see how things are going and meet my family.