Two more months before the foreign schools break for a long summer holiday and even less for the Libyan schools I heard. Time to plan our trip to base country and maybe even holidays within the holiday. But before that there will be tests to study for and exams to be written. Lines to be learned for the end of year play and reports to be written. Hard work to earn the break.

It is also the time of year for farewell parties. The down side to expat life is the frequent goodbyes we have to say, moving house and getting settled in a new location or maybe back in the home country. For me the last one has been the hardest so far. After a 4 year posting in Australia we moved back to the Netherlands, to a part where we had never lived before and with no family or friends nearby. Because we were locals nobody came to the door to show me around town or to invite me to a coffee morning to meet other people. Things that do happen when you move abroad. With our site we hope to make settling into life in Libya easier for expats and returning Libyans alike. I have never lived in a city where things change so quickly (and so far mostly for the better).

With the Schengen situation solved and the volcanic ashes out of the way, people are on the move again. I do wonder what the effects of the volcanic outburst will be on the environment. The ashes have ruined farmland on Iceland and have stopped all air traffic in Europe for quite some days. Although the ash will have an effect on global warming, the reduction in air traffic has reduced CO2 emissions tremendously. Like the Dutch footballer Johan Cruijff once said: "Every disadvantage has its advantage."

There is something that happened to me twice now, and I hope that it is an unfortunate coincidence, that I would like to share with you so it won't happen to you too. At two different petrol stations they filled my tank without setting the meter back to zero before they started. This meant I had to pay for my petrol and for the amount of the person in front of me in line (that had already been paid for).  Even when I pointed out to the man that my tank doesn't even hold that much petrol, I still had to pay the full amount. So be warned and check the meter before they start filling.

Have a great week!


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By Fokkelien Spaander

Sunday 2nd May 2010

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