Thanks to all of you who have written to ask after my safety. I am far too safe, as a matter of fact. I came to Dubai last Wednesday to give a session at a workshop. I had committed to doing so in November when I believed Paige was only staying in Tunis until Dec. 28. Then she got a new return flight for Jan 20. I was quite sad to leave her on her own, especially so close to the end of her stay with me, but I made sure that all this year's new teachers and all those who live in my neighbourhood were alerted to keep her company. I'd be back on Monday and we'd have three days together before she had to leave.
Anyone who was reading and listening knew about the protests and suicides in the middle and north west of the country, but there wasn't a whisper of anything going on in Tunis. I left not knowing that the powder keg was about to explode 5 km away from my home.
I got on the plane and all he'll broke loose. Now I am stranded in Dubai (without a functioning credit card!) and Paige is stuck in Tunis. She says our area still feels completely safe and that they have brought in some pretty beefing looking security guards to back up the 70-year-olds who normally patrol our residence. She does not feel personally threatened. On the other hand, she can smell the smoke from burning buildings and hear intermittent gunshots all day and all night. As you can imagine, I am going out of my mind. The Canadian Embassy is not evacuating citizens the way the Europeans are. They do, however send out a daily bulletin, which is eassuring, but not helpful. I’ve tried to contact them several times to no avail.
The situation is "fluid", which I’ve learned is code for chaotic. I had dinner with a man from Egypt the night before last, and he told me the whole Arab world, his country in particular, is watching and taking notes. There is not doubt in my mind but that Tunisia has started the dominos of these corrupt regimes falling. It is a dangerous, but necessary thing. I would be more cheerful if my girl wasn't in the midst of it.
It would be easier for me if those who are interested kept up with events via my blog or FaceBook. I am getting buried in emails.
P.S. Tell at least one person you love them today and every day. Life is less certain than we think.