Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Purple Country

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am headed to Tunisia next month!  I will be visiting our Associates, projects and partner organizations. I have never been before (wahoo! a new passport stamp) but I have heard that it is a beautiful country, full of history and culture, and I really can't wait to go. My neck pillow and jar of peanut butter are waiting to be packed.

I am also secretly hoping I can ride a camel.

However, I know there are some who may not be familiar with the exact location of Tunisia. I admit, I had never even noticed it on the map until I began working at my current job. So, ponder no longer, here it is:

Do you see it? It is purple, just south of Italy, between Algeria and Libya. It almost looks like New Jersey, except they speak with different accents.

In my attempt to be more familiar with it before I land, I have found some little/widely known facts about this beautiful place:

  • The following movies have been filmed in Tunisia: The English Patient, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars (Episodes I, II, III, and IV), Jesus of Nazareth, and Monty Python's Life of Brian.
    • I am going to personally request a tour of the sets. They'll probably just point me towards the desert.
  • If you are invited to a Tunisian's home, a gift of pastries, nuts, fruit, candy or flowers is expected.
    • I vote pastries. You can't go wrong.
  • The family is the most significant unit in Tunisian life and plays an important role in all social relations.
    • I can relate to this. I mean, have you met any of my 48,291 cousins?
  • Tunisia is one of Africa's top tourist destinations with over 5 million tourists each year.
    • I love being a tourist but I promise, no white tennis shoes.
  • Tunisia has been to the World Cup finals four times.
    • What is the World Cup? Is that soccer?
  • The official language is Arabic but French is widely used.
    • How well do you think Spanish will go over?
  • The Tunisian scorpion can live without food or water for an entire year, survive the desert heat and being frozen and has strong resistence to nuclear radiation.
    • I guess that old age is the only thing that can kill them. Let's pray that I only run into geriatric scorpions.
So, if you have any more fun or interesting facts about this place, feel free to pass them along. Or if you have been before, give me the scoop on how not to embarrass myself or my country. Consider it your patriotic duty.


  1. "What's the World Cup?" (My head droops in shame.)

    I have friends who live in that purple country. Give a shout out to the Lebanese American pastor who used to live in my old country. :)

    1. Will do! I'll shout real loud, just for you.

  2. blah blah Tunisia, its cool that Star Wars was there and you can in fact visit those sets, at least for Tatooine, http://goafrica.about.com/b/2007/11/21/star-wars-tours-in-tunisia.htm

    But whatever. The real story here is the highly concerning sudden sharp rise in number of cousins. Using only the metrics available through your years of blogging I have created the following graph.


    A) what happened 9 months ago in your extended family?
    B) if your family's current rate of growth continues I fear a worldwide food shortage.

  3. Andrew,
    We are a highly evolved family. And when you couple that with the fact that there isn't anything to do in Oklahoma, you end up with exponential growth in cousins. It's the truth.

    1. Enlightening observation Sarah, I better hire a deprogramming team to kidnap my son and get him out of Oklahoma, at least until he is married and graduated from college. Is Colorado a haven safe from such phenomenon?

  4. There's apparently something called the Tunisian stitch in knitting.

    I've got nothing.

    - The Seester

  5. I'd like to place an order for pastries. Yum!