Friday, July 27, 2007

The Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit

Fulfilling my promise to Debi, Rima, Frances and others to post some pictures of the Prickly Pear Cactus fruit. In the Middle East this is a delicacy, normally found being sold on streets by vendors. They ripen and are commonly sold on the streets around July/August. Street vendors have them displayed on large metal trays on blocks of ice, stools are placed around the trays, and people normally sit and watch the vendors as they peal the prickly skin expertly and offer them to eat. Delicious!

As you can see, nowadays they are more hygienically packaged and sold in supermarkets! I’m not sure that I don’t prefer the old fashioned way.

The scientific name for this species of cactus is Opuntia Lasiacanta. Here’s an interesting website on the subject:

My apologies for the quality of the pictures, they were taken today with my cell phone camera.

The fruits before peeling

After peeling

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Kina's Graduation Celebration BBQ

A gathering of family and friends to congratulate Kina on her graduation the night before:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Kina's Graduation Day on 07-07-07

It seemed that every prospective bride, groom, and their dog apparently arranged their wedding on 07-07-07, and preferably at 7 pm, taking advantage of a phenomena that occurs once in a lifetime which everyone hopes will provide them with good luck for the rest of their lives.

The graduating class of 2007 were no exception.

Linda was emotional all day long, anything said or heard seemed to reduce her to tears, so I put on some CD’s and enjoyed watching her burst into tears whenever a song she liked, or reminded her of something, came on.

The day started off beautifully, sunshine, very few clouds, and a nice refreshing breeze. Even the ball cactus that flowers rarely, and its flower lasts for only one day, managed to grace us with a flower on that morning. All the omens looked well.

Even Sir Timothy (Timmy to the rest of us) sensed that this is a special day.

Randa, as usual, was her very helpful self, volunteering to apply Kina’s makeup

And the day starts.

Linda and Kina. Alia, Hisham and Kina in the middle picture. Kina and Nado.

The graduating students, friends, gather around savouring this special occasion. Such wonderful memories in the making.

The anxious mother waiting for Naimy, Lori, Nancy and Mike.

Family and friends start arriving and taking their places. Saad Square also savouring the occasion and directing parents to their places and telling them to be quiet.

The dignitaries start arriving. On the left H.E. The British Ambassador Frances Guy arriving and being escorted by an awestruck Saad Square.

More dignitaries arriving. In the middle picture Naimy, Linda, Nancy and Lori.

On the left MP Ghassan Mukheiber. In the middle the procession starts with the British Embassador accompanied by the School Principal Dr. Walid Khoury and BHS Chairman of the Board Miguel Abboud, and followed by the graduating class of 2007, Kina amongst them.

No Speech Day is complete without speeches. On the left speaking in Arabic, Valedictorian for the Lebanese Programme, in the middle speaking in English, Valedictorian for the International Programme, and on the right Miguel Abboud, Chairman of the Board.

Then the distribution of the Certificates. In the middle Dany Matar receiving the Albert Abu-Khalil Award for sports excellence from Mrs. Amal Kamel.

In the middle Kina receives an award commemorating 15 years attendance to Brummana High School. On the right Kina's friend Joelle receiving a similar award.

Then the Graduation Address, delivered by H.E. Ms. Frances Guy.

And in the middle Karina receives her High School Certificate, with Honours. She then sits back down, all smiles!

Finally the official ceremony is over and everyone can relax.

Kina comes through the crowd, still all smiles. Now the posing starts. In the pictures Lori, Nancy, Kina, Michael, Naimy, Linda and myself.

The proud mother with the proud daughter and proud me. On the right Kina poses with Miguel, Linda and myself.

Then Kina poses with friends.

The ceremony ends with a buffet for all present. However, even though the ceremony is over, the partying is just starting.