Death sentence lifted!

The Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor in Libya have had their death sentence commuted to life in prison. They were accused of intentionally giving children HIV, despite the lack of scientific proof of the supposed crime. The hospital they worked at had a long history of atrocious sanitation, but Libyan authorities pinned the blame on these foreign workers and extracted confessions through torture and rape.

This week, blood money has been paid to the parents of the children and now negotiations are under way to transfer them to Bulgaria. When we were in Sofia, everywhere we went there were ribbons in support of the nurses, on taxis, in windows, on government buildings and on most people's lapels.


7 more things.

I've been meaning to join in here, so I'll add my seven random facts to Jay's:

1. Jay and I met in a Sikh temple. We've been together almost 9 years (this August) from that day.

2. You may have guessed it already since I've alluded to it: I'm French Canadian and learnt both French and English as a wee child. I don't have an accent when I speak English though, so I can pass incognito in anglophone groups. This had led to hearing English Canadians speak about my people as "scum" and wishing that we'd "just fucking separate from Canada already". Good times.

3. I've had the fortune to share a stage with three Nobel Peace Price winners: the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Shirin Ebadi.

4. I'm a language nerd. I decided to learn Japanese at the age of eight, after meeting a Japanese girl at camp one summer. Her dad was a diplomat in town for a few months, and Akiko and I became friends despite not sharing a common language. I wanted to write to her in Japanese, so I started taking courses. Since then I've also studied Russian (1 year) and a West Coast Aboriginal language (2 years). I don't speak these languages that well (though I understand a fair amount and can write/read Japanese and Russian scripts), but I really loved studying them. I'm hoping to gain some conversational fluency in Slovene this year (right now my language level is that of a small child).

5. I also used to be a punk (part of how Jay and I met). I had a mohawk and then a shaved head for many years.

6. When I'm not in Slovenia, I work as an organic farmer in a small town an hour from Vancouver. I've been doing that for 5 years. I also teach, and am trying to make a go of my freelance writing work.

7. I'm good with money. I have to be considering #6: none of my jobs are known for being well (or even adequately) paid.

Well, that's it. Now you know me a little bit better, eh? Sorry it took me a while to get to this, P.

Both Jay and I are really busy working, going to school and getting ready to go back to Slovenia, so we won't be posting more than once a week, most likely. Check back Mondays, that's when we will have new postings up, if any.


Seven Random Things About Jay

Awhile back Pengovsky tagged us for a meme. Allow me to elaborate:

1. I like 80's New Wave. If you knew me, you would find that hilarious.

2. I'm a comic book geek. Seriously, I've been reading them since I was six years old. I haven't been able to purchase funny books for five and a half months, and now I face another eleven months of withdrawal symptoms.

3. I'm trying to learn French and I suck at learning French.

4. I was a punk. Mohawk, leather jacket with spikes and studs, bad hygiene - I was a walking cliche.

5. I'm bad with money.

6. I eat condiments straight from the jar. It's awesome.

7. I still get scared when I get a writing gig.