Here are some new and exciting pictures! No, Mimi didn’t go to Libya; Libya came to Mimi! On the beautiful Tunisian island of Djerba there was an old hotel that was not being used. The owner opened the doors for a group of Libyan refugees from the town of Nalut, which is in the mountains just across the border from Tunisia.
Almost all of these refugees were women and children; the men were fighting in Libya. I am usually aware when traveling in Tunisia that I am in a foreign country. I also keep in mind that I might be the first foreigner someone (Tunisian) has ever met. That is more likely out in the countryside or in the smaller towns than in the big cities. I mention all that because there we were, in Tunisia, spending a week with Libyans who had never met Americans before! I am still grateful and amazed at the experiences I have had. I thank God, and Mimi the Clown, for opening the doors.
As I said, these families were from the mountains in Libya. I wish I had pictures to share from the day we went on a ‘field trip’ to the beach. For most of them, it was the first time they saw the (Mediterranean) Sea. Another day, a large group went to a cultural museum on the island. The kids had never been to a museum before. They climbed under or over the ropes right into the exhibits! The museum workers kept telling them to get down. We tried to be serious, but it was so funny!
We went to the refugee hotel for about a week. Along with the excursions to the beach and the museum, we also did crafts with the women and activities with the children. We did the famous ‘Chicken Dance’, we played games, and at the end of the week we had a clown show.
My husband, Hector, even joined me in the clowning! He is the more natural clown in the family.
As happy as these adorable people were to meet us, we were equally as happy to meet them! And I believe that the purposes were not only temporary, but eternal.