Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Libya Frees Medics

This has got to be one of history’s most bizarre news stories. For years, these Bulgarian (and one Palestinian) medics have been accused of deliberately infecting Libyan children with the AIDS virus at medical facilities.

Do you believe they did it? Most medical people are in the profession because they want to help. They have consistently denied their guilt, except under torture, and we all know that under torture people will say anything to make the pain stop.

I am betting the procedures in Libya were so primitive, the sterilization minimal to none, and the disease was transmitted by accident. Of course it would be too embarrassing for a nation to admit 1) that any Libyan had AIDS and 2) that poor hospital procedures and equipment caused the infection of children, so let’s accuse the guest workers from a poor country.

Here is a case where patient, persistent diplomacy prevailed. Although convicted in the Libyan courts, and although the guilty verdict was upheld by their courts, they were released to Bulgaria where they received an immediate pardon. Pardon my cynicism, but I don’t believe even the Libyans believed they were guilty. It became an embarassment all the way around.

HIV medics released to Bulgaria

The medics were greeted by tearful relatives and well-wishers
Six Bulgarian medics who were serving life sentences in Libya have arrived in Bulgaria following their release, ending their eight-year incarceration.
They were immediately pardoned by Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov.

The five nurses and a Palestinian-born doctor were convicted of deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV – charges they have always denied.

You can read the full story at BBC News.

July 24, 2007 Posted by | Africa, Crime, Cultural, Health Issues, Hygiene, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The Apple Market, Pensacola

The Apple Market isn’t a big chain. You can hardly maneuver in the aisles, they are so close together. They have their own deli, with Boar’s Head meats, they have a big section with deli-made food, made with fresh ingredients, that you can take home and heat – some are already hot! They have rotisseried chickens, they have fresh key lime pies, boutique breads, a whole huge refrigerator full of freshly made salads . . . the Apple Market is my kind of place.

I can’t imagine the odds against the family grocery stores staying in existence against the giants. But I can walk into one of the giants here – Winn Dixie – and walk out without buying a thing, the giant is so tired looking, so sterile, so packaged. What the Apple Market offers is personal service.

When I walk up to the counter with a container of “Mama’s Gumbo” they ask me if I have had it before, and when I say I have, and loved it, they recommend the Shrimp Loxlie, in the same brand, and recommend that I serve it over rice or noodles, to make it go further. I buy some, serve it over angel hair pasta, and it is a gourmet feast. They encourage you to bring your own re-usable bags, or buy one of theirs – they are earth friendly.

You pay a little more. I don’t mind. They buy locally, the produce is always first rate, and they have an amazing variety of goods in a relatively small space. I can always fine something to fix up for dinner there, and I always love the service. Give me The Apple Market over a big box store anyday!


July 24, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cooking, Customer Service, Family Issues, Florida, Living Conditions, Shopping, Social Issues, Uncategorized | 5 Comments