Wednesday, January 20, 2010


OK, I have to set the story on this one. As mentioned previously, three of us went on a working trip to Ghadames last weekend. Our guy from the south region was very impressed with the improvement in quality on our contractor, he requested the contractor to give him some steel rebar ties that they were using to hold the block walls to the columns. We packed them in the back of the car and brought them back to tripoli. He was getting up early Sunday morning to catch a plane back to Sabha in the south of Libya. I emailed him later in the day to send him some information and asked if he made it back with the rebar. What follows is his reply to me. . .

In the “hard to believe” category… Libyan Airlines looked at my rebar and kindly explained to me that it would rip the shit out of their conveyor belts if they let me check it, and that there was no way in hell that the security people would let me board a plane with these weapons…and that I should go sit down.

Five minutes later a big guy in a trench coat came over (non-english speaker) and pointed at the bars and then at me, and motioned me to follow him (I am thinking, does Libya have KGB, if so, this guy is it). He takes me to a room that has all kinds of warning in Arabic which loosely translated I believe said, “Enter and Die”. He takes the bars from me and I go to follow him in. He turns and looks at me and says (with body language) “what part of ‘enter’ or ‘die’ don’t you understand?”. I go back to my seat. Three hours later I am waiting for my bag to come off the conveyor line at Sabha, and the first things on the belt are my bars. What a country!!

I guess I could have just told you “got em”, but this was too much fun.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sorry that it has been some time without a blog. Dad passed away and I made a trip home. After returning, getting a new visa and cleaning up from being gone, it was away again for Christmas. Anyway, I'm now back in Libya working. This last couple of days, we decided to visit a site on the western border where Libya, Tunisia and Algeria meet. It is a wonderful old town with much history named Ghadames. Toward the end of the day, we drove out to the dunes to watch the sun set. I am told that these are not as spectacular as the Sahara in the south, but it took my breath away.

This morning, we got up early as we had 5 different construction sites to visit as we drove back to Tripoli. One of our guys had been to an oasis near Ghadamas and on the way to our first site so we decided to take a quick side trip to explore. It was lovely being out in the middle of nowhere and seeing this beautiful pond bubbling up from the desert floor.

From the top of the oasis, we could see what appeared to be another oasis near by without any vegetation. We decided to explore it and as we drove along we thought that it had snowed. It was chilly out but not near freezing so we got out to investigate and found the desert floor covered with salt. In some places it looked just as if a dusting of snow had covered the area, in others the salt was in these polyps bursting up from the ground. We did find the other oasis but the amount of salt present explains why there was no vegetation.

I never cease to be amazed at what nature can show you.