Friday, June 30, 2006

Any Reservations?

Well we are down to one day left before our trip and many people question my sanity in going to the ME region at all. Well a promise is a promise. I want to go and my kids deserve to go so that is the simplest explanation I can give. Trouble can be found anywhere lately. I will keep aware of my surroundings as much as possible and try to be as Libyan as I can haha! God knows all things so for this reason I leave my decisions in his hands. I wanted to be in Libya in May and he saw to it that I go in July. Hey its only 5-7 degrees hotter there than here right now so what's a few more degrees. And I will be able to see the ocean again. I was watching a program on sharks in the Mediterranean yesterday and I promise to stay out of the deep water. Otherwise I have no fears for travel to Libya. A good friend of mine came yesterday to visit, she went to Libya in 1990. She stayed 6 months before she had to return to the USA as one of her children suffered from seizures and they could find no answers there. She wishes she was coming also. She loved Libya! I have made a vow to keep her abreast of all my parties and visits I make. We are two of the three muskateers! Janel my friend in Libya was the third. She left in 90 also but stayed in Libya. I can't wait to see her. We have both changed and grown from the young married ladies we once knew but with time I think we will be the same as we were before. Three of her kids were like my babies here. Now they are young adults, will they remember auntie? I know they do but that was the memories of children. I remember Janel telling me that Sakina asked when we were going to my house just days after they arrived in Libya. I got the same recently from my 6 yr old when she said, "Oh we can see grandma and then go to school next week!" With year-round school we will miss almost two months of the new school year. So I am not sure of what we will do when we return.
Maybe a year overseas will be nice! The girls all want to stay from now so I just have to convince the boys!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Our Goodbyes and See Ya later's

Since we don't yet know if we will end up living in Libya, I have had a hard time in saying Goodbye to people. We are scheduled for a round-trip yet life there may be more than we ever imagine and so staying is an option.
I have two older daughters from my first marriage who are taking things in various ways. My oldest Rachael, has two children and has lived in Texas since the kids were born. I saw her last year when she remarried to a wonderful man named Dale. He loves her to no end. Rachael was also the child of my high school sweet heart and we found out 4 years ago that he was living in the USA again. He was never sure if he had a child as he left to the military when I was just 4 months pregnant. Well, last year he came to meet his daughter for the first time and walked her down the isle. Funny he hadn't changed a bit! I met his wife a lovely lady from Europe named Uba. Well needless to say they are both wonderful people. Recently they offered her assistance in buying a home so they decided that moving back to Utah would be great as this was were Rachael and Melissa grew up. They arrived last week. She has been showing her husband and my grandkids the town and even went to the old house and showed the kids her footprints in the cement on the driveway. And they even stopped in to Farr's Ice Cream Parlor for a scoop of shamrock mint and grape ambrosia.
My second daughter Melissa is having a bit harder time thinking about mom living overseas. She moved to me after my ex-husband died 7 years ago. She never really felt like home with us to many years of untruths had gotten in the way. So she left us and married a wonderful man as well, Mike. They live not to far from me but with work I rarely see them. As of yet she has no children and we talked about me coming when she does have kids so I can see them. To her I am dying. If I stay in Libya she will only see me occasionally and may never see all of her siblings again. She is dealing with this in her own way, yet I cannot begin to help her.
The older kids don't even want to think of staying, as they see life here as the only possible way to live. I want them to have family and with my family there is no family. So seeing my husbands family is the only hope I have for the opportunity of them understanding the bonds that can exist when families love each other. Military life was so much easier. You never had a choice you just did as you were told. Finally, I try not to say goodbye. Only see you later. I don't know what lies ahead for us only God knows that answer.
P.S. if for some reason anything happens to me or my family I am telling everyone that Rachael and Melissa have rights to the china cabinet and the hope chest my only worldly possessions. God forbid something were to happen but in this day and age it is better to plan ahead. And in the event of a major issue they are my power of attorney for all matters regarding our property and assets. All living children shall divide equally all assets and the older children shall have rights over care of the younger if they so choose or the younger children can remain with relatives in Libya. Let us pray that no problem as such arises yet to be prepared in case. And I have sent a link to this blog to each of my girls as evidence of this testimony.

All Our Bags are Packed and Ready to Go

Well the airlines told me 2 bags checked for each person not weighing more than 50 lbs. And a carry on for each person of less than 20 lbs that can fit in an overhead. Well being a military brat I said hey lets just use boxes and save on the extra weight! I had five boxes packed each measured to exacting airline requirements. I had a bag of medical supplies for Fatimah and a bag for each of the other kids all ready. Well last Saturday my husband storms in and starts telling me I didn't know anything about packing! That we needed suitcases for everything! So off to find some bags. Well of course I had shopped for bags before so I knew how much they ran and the best places to buy them. But hey I don't know anything. So after 4 stores we ended up at the local Target the store I had first suggested, and found a deal on luggage. Eight pieces for 52.00$. A steal deal. The problem they only had one set left. So I asked if they could check availability at local stores. Well since the scan code was identical to another item but not the bonus deal, the store could not tell me just by the item code. So I had to call a few stores to find someone who could do a visual check. A store on the north side of town had 7 in stock. Well since it was tottering around 100 degrees that day we went home and ate lunch and then went out again. We got two more and he asked if I needed another one. I told him lets wait to see how the bags did and if I needed another set he could pick one up when he had time the next day.

Needless to say, I managed to pack everything into the bags. And I still have 200 lbs. To go! And two bags or boxes I can pack stuff in. We ended up buying another set when we finally went out to buy the final gifts for the family. But hey I now have a lifetime of luggage!

Funny, I look to my shopping here and wonder how different things will be in Libya? No Target or Walmart there. No superstores or mega malls. Although I don't go there I will miss how they cover the landscape of our city. I have a friend that has lived in Libya for 16 years now and I think how much our city has changed. If you don't know the main roads you would be lost. I went to a new mall area last week and boy what they accomplish in a few months. The even put in a mega cinema. Shall I tell Sister Khadijah just how soon houses and businesses are built here?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Passports and Visas

Well even with planning ahead I guess we can expect a few roadblocks. The kids passports were sent out but they were not expected back until June 7th. Thankfully there was no more holidays to delay their return.
My visa on the other hand was another story. I sent it back to the embassy to ask for the stamping of my visa and was notified that they had no records of my visa application. So hey could I just redo all that again. NO. And as usual the lady who did know that it was done was on VACATION. So we had to wait till she returned. Then I found out that a 30$ fee was still unpaid from last year. So we sent that out. The kids got their passports just a expected yesterday and I put into a safe place their old ones and had them sign the new ones. As for travel, well with two delays that's another story.

Now we are headed out July 2, 2006. And will arrive July 3. Funny that's the day we buried my father 12 years ago. Aieysha wanted to buy fireworks to take to Libya but I told her the FAA would not allow it and since we would be in Libya till September 19th, we would see the Libyan independence Day on September 1st.

Our layover after leaving the USA will be in Schiphol, Amsterdam and I decided to Google some info on the city. Seems as it is famous for its urinals in the men's rooms.
See the small black spot? Well that's a fly painted onto the bowl. Guys just aim and shoot!! What mom wouldn't love a bowl like that for all the men in her house?
Well the next few weeks shall be packing and buying last minute items. And then we finally begin our journey.