Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Rain Tomorrow?

Weather Underground Kuwait forecasts RAIN for tomorrow:

April 29, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Uncategorized, Weather | 7 Comments

Today’s Crack-Up

From today’s Kuwait Times:

Citizen Sneaks
Border police detained a Kuwaiti citizen for attempting to sneak through the Salmi Border on foot to enter Saudi Arabia. They approached the man thinking he was a sheep, as he was wearing sheep wool to disguise himself.

On questioning him, he said he was banned from leaving the country due to alcohol cases pending against him so he planned to sneak into Saudi Arabia.

This cracks me up on so many levels. First, just the visual, the idea of a man wearing a sheep’s pelt to sneak across the border. Second, a man with alcohol problems wanting to sneak into Saudi Arabia, where alcohol is slightly less friendly to alcohol than Kuwait. You have to wonder if he was sober when he donned the sheep’s pelt?

April 29, 2008 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, News, Saudi Arabia | 7 Comments

Eat Your Tomatoes!

I have a Kuwaiti friend who grows tomatoes, and was grousing because this year’s crop wasn’t as abundant as last year’s. Two short weeks later, he changed his tune.

“Come get tomatoes! We have all the tomatoes in the world!”

He had planted a large variety this year, partly because I wanted to see how some American “heirloom” seeds would do here. Either the climate is a little funny this year, or the heirloom seeds just take a little longer, but oh, what a crop there is! One of my friends said “it is like eating tomato candy!” Some of them are that sweet!

Just a little balsamic vinegar and a little of the best olive oil, a little fresh ground pepper and a little salt – oh, what heaven.

But there were so many, we cooked up a tomato sauce, just tomatoes, not even any onions. It was magnificent.

And then in today’s Health News, we learn that in addition to helping us have a healthy heart, eating tomatoes can also help protect our skin against the sun:

(photo courtesy BBC News)

From yesterday’s BBC Health News. (You can read the entire article by clicking on the blue type.)

Tomato dishes ‘may protect skin’

Pizza and spaghetti bolognese could become new tools in the fight against sunburn and wrinkles, a study suggests.

A team found adding five tablespoons of tomato paste to the daily diet of 10 volunteers improved the skin’s ability to protect against harmful UV rays.

Damage from these rays can lead to premature ageing and even skin cancer.

The study, presented at the British Society for Investigative Dermatology, suggested the antioxidant lycopene was behind the apparent benefit.

This component of tomatoes – found at its highest concentration when the fruit has been cooked – has already been linked to a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer.

Now researchers at the universities of Manchester and Newcastle have suggested it may also help ward off skin damage by providing some protection against the effects of UV rays.
Anti-ageing paste?

They gave 10 volunteers around 55g of standard tomato paste – which contains high levels of cooked tomatoes – and 10g of olive oil daily. A further 10 participants received just the olive oil.

After three months, skin samples from the tomato group showed they had 33% more protection against sunburn – the equivalent of a very low factor sun cream – and much higher levels of procollagen, a molecule which gives the skin its structure and keeps its firm.

April 29, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cooking, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Kuwait, Living Conditions | | 12 Comments

Lemba, Arc of the Covenant and DNA

As I work in the Project Room, I often have the radio on, BBC. I get to hear all about the US elections from another point of view, I get exposure to music I might otherwise never hear, and I hear things that show up weeks, even months later in the news.

AdventureMan called and asked if I had heard the segment on the Lemba in Zimbabwe. I hadn’t, but I listened closely for the next couple days and it was repeated.

It is about a professor who discovered what he thinks is a replica of the Arc of the Covenant in a dusty museum in Zimbabwe. He explored further, and discovered the Lemba claim ancient connections with the Arc, and had priestly customs similar to old Jewish customs. When they underwent DNA testing, the priestly clan of the Lemba had the same genetic markers as the priestly clan of the Jews, the descendants of Aaron.

How fascinating is that? Legend has always claimed the Arc of the Covenant is or was hidden somewhere in Ethiopia . . . transport to Zimbabwe from Ethiopia would not be out of the question.

I went to BBC news online and did a search – no results. Maybe it takes a while for their newest stories to be documented in their search files.

Googling on the internet, I found Ethiomedia which says the following:

In a newly released book, University of London Professor Tudor Parfitt claims to have located the treasured artifact on a dusty shelf of an out-of-the-way museum in Harare, Zimbabwe.

“It was just by chance that I finally managed to track it down to a storeroom in Harare, was able to analyze it and discover that quite apart from anything else, it’s quite probably the oldest wooden object in sub-Sahara Africa,” said Parfitt, an expert in Oriental and African Studies.

“It’s massively important in terms of history, even apart from its status as the last surviving link to the original Ark of Moses.”

In his HarperCollins’ book, “The Lost Ark of the Covenant: Solving the 2,500 Year Old Mystery of the Fabled Biblical Ark,” Parfitt describes traipsing around the globe, decoding ancient texts and deciphering numerous clues to locate the enigmatic object.

Along the way, the man dubbed the “British Indiana Jones” by friends, colleagues and the Wall Street Journal uncovered genetic evidence confirming claims by the Lemba tribe that they
are descendants of ancient Israelite priests, the caretakers of the lost Ark.

He experienced a major breakthrough in 1999 when he took DNA samples from 136 male members of the Lemba tribe. In a finding that drew worldwide publicity, a genetic analysis confirmed they were descendants of Aaron, the brother of Moses.

So many discoveries have proven to be fraudulent that I hesitate to put too much faith in this discovery, but I have to admit that it appeals to the little girl in me, who still believes archaeologists have great adventures, and loves the Indiana Jones movies!

(I hear there is a new Indiana Jones movie coming out soon. I hope old Harrison Ford can recapture enough of his youth to make this as good as the first one.)

April 29, 2008 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Arts & Handicrafts, Community, Cross Cultural, Entertainment, ExPat Life, News | 5 Comments

Sunrise 29 April 2008

I awoke rested this morning, and although the sunrise is getting earlier and earlier, I was up for it. Actual sunrise was a non-event – whatever is on the horizon, and I think it is a thick bank of clouds – the sun didn’t make it through for many minutes. When I first could see it, it was barely there. Looks to me like it will have to fight through a thick cloud of “haze” most of the day.

It’s that haze that worries me. Did we have so much haze last year at this time?


I guess summer is here. It is already 88°F / 31° C at 0600, with an expected high today of 100° F / 38°F. 

April 29, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 5 Comments