Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

5 M Sunday 26 Aug and Isaac Wobbles A Little More to the Left

. . . and straight into poor Louisiana, who surely needs no more hurricanes. Oh, poor Louisiana!

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August 26, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Hurricanes, Pensacola, Weather | Leave a comment

Tap Tap Whiiiiiinnnneee Screech in Pensacola

Pensacola is a Job kind of city, circumstances keep sending lethal blows and Pensacola keeps bouncing back, but not without pain. Already, we have had floods this year, record rains, and several of the places who were flooded, Waterfront Mission, Manna Food Pantry, Loaves and Fishes, etc. were charities on which the poorest of the poor, the jobless, the homeless and the transients, rely.

And now Isaac.

Sunday mornings, as in many towns in the South, the people go to church. The biggest churches are Baptist and then maybe Methodist. Then comes the rest of us, the Presbyterians, the Episcopalians, the Congregationalists, the Unitarians, the Mormons, so many different kinds of Christians!

We hit the early service, which, for one of the last Sundays in August, was relatively well attended. After church, while it was still relatively cool outside (in the 80’s F. not the 90’s F.) we put up our window shields and brought all our outside furnishings inside. Tomorrow we will bring the plants into the garage. Anything that can be picked up by a high wind can become a missile; we want to give the high winds as little ammunition as possible.

All aroound us we can hear the tap tap of hammers hammering in plywood slabs (those who were lucky enough to buy plywood early; rumor has it that there is no more plywood to be found) and the whiiiiinnnee of electric drills screwing window coverings on and the Sccrrreeeeech of window coverings being drawn closed. We are also exchanging phone numbers, so we can help one another if the worst happens, and we suffer a direct hit.

Today, Father Tim reminded us in the midst of all our self-absorption and survival-oriented errands that we are to be a blessing to others. I saw that happen when Hurricane Ivan hit Pensacola, and our son stayed. He met another fellow living nearby and they have become fast friends. Out of the worst circumstances, can come great blessings.

We trust God has this all in his hands. And we also continue our preparations against the coming of Isaac.

The newest 5 day forecast shows Isaac has wobbled to the West:

August 26, 2012 Posted by | Circle of Life and Death, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Hurricanes, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Pensacola | 4 Comments

Ominous Signs in Libya; Shrines Destroyed

I’ve been watching for news out of Libya, and have been surprised at how little there has been – and then this. This is not a good sign. This is not Libyan; this is outside influence. Similar destructions are going on in Mali; an intolerant branch of Islam beieves saints shrines to be idolatry. From today’s AOL /Huffington Post News:

TRIPOLI, Libya — Attackers bulldozed a Sufi Muslim shrine and mosque in the Libyan capital on Saturday, one day after hardliners razed a similar shrine and library elsewhere in the country.

It was not immediately clear who was behind Saturday’s attack, the third on a Sufi shrine in Tripoli in recent months, although officials have blamed past vandalism on Islamic hardliners, some of whom are followers of the ultraconservative Salafi doctrine.

Libya is a deeply conservative Muslim nation, and Islamists were heavily repressed under longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was captured and killed in October after an eight-month civil war. Since then, there has been a string of attacks on shrines across the country belonging to Muslim sects.

The campaign appears to be aimed mainly at shrines revered by Sufis, a mystical order whose members often pray over the tombs of revered saints and ask for blessings or intervention to bring success, marriage or other desired outcomes. Hard-line Salafi Muslims deem the practice offensive because they consider worshipping over graves to be idolatry.

Libya’s Grand Mufti, Sheik Sadek al-Ghariani, condemned the vandalism and said it was the government’s responsibility to protect the graves.

“No group outside of the government should use weapons and it is the responsibility of the government to provide security and prevent religious strife and division,” he said in a statement Saturday.

Resident Abdullah Zakaria said he saw the bulldozers destroy the Sufi tombs Saturday morning. Hours later a group of men bulldozed a mosque in the same area that also contained tombs.

Security officials closed the road leading to the shrines and mosque but did not intervene to stop the men from attacking the mosque hours later. Police were seen instead protecting a nearby hotel.

Interim President Mohammed el-Megarif said in a televised speech Saturday called the actions “unacceptable” and vowed the perpetrators would be prosecuted. He also called on citizens and the security services to be more vigilant in preventing disruptive behavior.

Following the civil war, Libya has been largely without a military or police force and has relied on disparate militias to provide security and protect government installations.

Libyan writer Fathi Bin Eissa, a Sufi, said he had hoped the police would investigate who ordered past desecration of the shrines and wanted answers as to why security forces moved to protect the hotel, but did nothing as the mosque was being bulldozed before their eyes.

A security official said the police were ordered only to ensure violence does not break out.

Other attacks have taken place in the past against shrines in the eastern cities of Darna and Benghazi.

More recently, extremists on Friday bulldozed one of Libya’s most important Sufi shrines and Sufi libraries in the city of Zlitan, 90 miles (145 kilometers) southeast of Tripoli.

Security officials say the attackers took advantage of deadly clashes between tribes in Zlitan this week to attack the more than 500-year-old shrine and library.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

August 26, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Arts & Handicrafts, Crime, Cultural, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

26 August: Isaac Projected Straight into Pensacola

That red dot where Hurricane Isaac is projected to hit, right there on the Florida /Alabama border, that’s Pensacola.

We’ve checked with all the old timers in the area; they all say unless you are in a mandatory evacuation area – the beach – to stay. Pull in all the garden furniture, anything loose. Have a three to five day supply of food you don’t have to cook, medications, emergency funds, flashlights / candles, etc., water, lots of water, bottled for drinking and more for flushing, if the water mains become disrupted. The major factor at this time of year is losing electricity; if you lose electricity you lose air conditioning, and it is still hot and humid.

Our son and his wife have sturdy shutters they are closing over their windows; we will put up our coverings today.

The sky is blue and placid; still the calm before the storm. Who would know what chaos is coming, were it not for these forecasts?

August 26, 2012 Posted by | Hurricanes, Pensacola, Weather | | 6 Comments