Sunday, July 29, 2007
First - this isn't Tommy - this is his Mom, Brenda. I spoke with him Friday and he was gracious enough to give me his password so I could write this post, kinda for him. He hasn't had any internet access yet. This is the third time I have written this and hopefully I will get it posted this time. You can definitely tell, Tommy didn't get any of his computer skills from me. I lost the post the second time when I stopped to google the camel spider Tommy had told me about. I spoke with him Friday about 1:00 my time. We had a great conversation, he sounded very upbeat and happy. Evidently he happened to be in the only spot where he could get a phone connection. He asked me to tell you, his friends, a little about whas been happening so far. I am not the story teller he is; but maybe I can make it interesting for you. They are in a place called Ras Lanuf; on the northern coast. So, for a few more days, until they move farther into the desert, they are enjoying the Med breezes. They are in kind of a military compound; three meals a day; no snacks and drinks except water. I guess that means no coffee and no coca cola. Frankly, I don't know how Tommy is making it. Near this compound, there is a group of older men called expats. They have been in Africa for 25 to 30 years. They are British, South African, Swedish, Dutch and Serbians. They are pretty much self-sufficient and are this way mostly because they make and trade moonshine. It's called flash; the first run is 90 proof and the second run is 98 proof. These men have a deep fat fryer, ICE MACHINE, and other tools and they trade the flash for gas to run these things. They also trade it for cigarettes and food (not camel and cous cous). Tommy and the rest of the guys were invited to eat with them. And, in Tommy's words, "since we wanted to be hospitable and fit in, we had to have a drink or two". Yeah, right. He and Wes got blitzed and as they were leaving Tommy tried to climb an oil tower. He said they did not want to appear to be freeloaders but since they don't have a lot of money to spare, they asked what they could do to help. So far, Tommy has peeled quite a few potatoes and either Friday or Saturday night, he was going to cook. He will really enjoy that. I have always been amazed at how good a cook he is. He definitely did not get that talent from me - I hate to cook. He said he has really enjoyed hanging out with these guys. It is a once in a lifetime experience and I am sure he will give you more stories and greater detail when he has a chance to get on the internet. The temperature is pretty harsh - 120 degrees. They have been going to bed relatively early and are pretty exhausted at the end of the day. I mentioned earlier that I had lost my post because I had googled the camel spider. I did this because Tommy saw one a few days ago. He said he really couldn't describe it to me except it was about the size of his hand. You really need to google it to see what he is talking about. One more note about the expats. He said one of the guys is a great talker and his accent is to thick, Tommy wasn't sure what he was saying most of the time. So he just nodded his head and laughed a lot and just hoped that the man didn't ask him a question. I have covered most of the things we talked about. April called just before we finished our converstaion and needless to say, he got off the phone with me real quickly. I guess I know who is the important lady in his life - LOL - and rightly so. I am just glad they had a chance to talk to each other. I know they miss each other a lot. Take care everyone.