Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tunisia, April's Virtual Paint Out

Tunisia, in northeast Africa, covers 64,000 sq mi. and has a population of about 11 million people. It is bordered by Algeria, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea. It is an ancient culture dating back to 5000 BC.

The northern mountainous region has mild rainy winters and hot dry summers. The fertile eastern coast is one of the world's premier regions for olive cultivation. The flat south and central plains are semi-arid, merging into the Sahara Desert.

A Code of Personal Status was adopted shortly after Tunisia’s independence from France in 1956. This law gives women full legal status and applies to all Tunisians regardless of their religion. This remains one of the most progressive civil codes in North Africa and the Muslim world.

Education is given a high priority. A basic education for children between the ages of 6 to 16 has been compulsory since 1991. While children generally acquire Tunisian Arabic at home, when they enter school at age 6, they are taught to read and write in Standard Arabic. At the age of 7 they are taught French, while English is introduced at the age of 8.

Dar Elbidha, Tunisia, 9x12, oil
Dar Elbidha is a luxurious resort on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

This painting is available in my Ebay Store - Virtual Paint Out.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Brown Zippered Bag

Rural communities like ours, without a physical library, are eligible to receive books by mail from the Maine State Library. Library books are ordered through their website catalog and are sent by mail to the patron’s home. The only cost is the minimal return postage. It is a excellent service, eliminating the drive to a library in a neighboring town.

I do miss visiting the actual library. The grandkids and I have spent lots of time in the Belfast library, but finding that much anticipated brown zippered bag full of books in our post office box is a delight.

As a child growing up in Connecticut my girlfriend and I spent many hours in the library. We would walk from my house, through the neighbor’s back yards, into a small patch of woods, then to the railroad tracks that ran behind The Bon Ami Soap Factory. We followed the tracks into the north end of town, walked past the few shops, past The Blue Moon Tavern and on until we reached the library.

The library was a small stone building. The four rooms had high ceilings, dark paneled walls and ornate trim. I can still picture the tall shelves of books and the little wooden foot stools used to reach the highest books. There was that calm sense of quiet that only a library has and the wonderful smell of books. A librarian worked behind a tall counter, busily stamping and sorting books. She always gave us a stern look to remind us that only whispering was allowed. After carefully choosing our books, we returned home by the same route.

It’s sad how times have changed. There wasn’t any danger back then for two young girls to walk that route alone.

This morning we received a brown zippered bag from the state library and spent the day reading, trying to ignore another gray day and snow falling on this first day of April. I’m lucky to have a husband who loves books as much as I do.

No painting today, but I did find out that our Virtual Paint-Out for April is Tunisia in northern Africa. Another challenging trip……  Maybe tomorrow……..

Thanks for visiting,

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