White Birthday

Trip Start Sep 03, 2006
Trip End Apr 01, 2007

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Flag of Tunisia  ,
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hi Everyone!

So yesterday was my birthday (thanks for the emails and ecards) and what a birthday it was!

We hired a taxi van and driver to take us around the south of Tunisia. We figured this would be the best way to see everything we wanted to see. The driver spoke English (and ' other languages- North Americans are lacking in language trainng compared to the people we have met on our trip). This gave us an opportunity to find out more about the Tunisian government, education and school systems and culture in general.

We went to Tozeur and saw Troglodyte homes that are built into the ground to be invisible from the Romans. It was here that they filmed Star Wars (the original) -Luke's Aunt and Uncle's home. we also saw homes built out of the stones of the atls mountains (desert of rocks) that were also invisible to the eye until it was too late (Roman safety again). We then drove to Douz which is the start of the Sahara desert. We did the typical tourist thing and rented camels (dromider spelling? actually) for an hour and went into the desert and played in the sand. Morgan got a new nickname - Dune Dude - as he was decked out like a sheik with his nike shades to boot. My camel must have known it was my birthday as it kept kicking me in the foot as it walked. We figure it was giving me the bumps!

The sand was white, so although I didn't have my normal white birthday I still had a white one. The sand is so fine that when it moves it moves like water. Its hard to explain.

We learned that a teqcher here makes about 850 TD (Tunisian Dinar) a month. 1 dollar CDN = 1.26TD. A police officer starts at about 350TD and if he is good and moves up he will earn more than a teacher a quite a bit. The taxi driver (who did not own the car) makes about 350TD a month. It is very difficult to get a taxi lisence. We asked about disabled people. The government saves 10% of jobs for them and if they are so disabled that they cannot work the government gives them a lisence for a taxi or to sell cigarettes. They can't actually do these jobs due to their disabilities but they can rent out their lisence to earn their living. The divorce rate in the north is 12% and here in the South 1-4%.

We had a wonderful day. We are planning to stay here at least another week. I'm afraid I won't post pictures though as it is a slow connection. We are looking forward to seeing you all soon. Keep emailing we love to read your letters.
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