I used to work for a small company that made waste water evaporators. We supplied several units to the US DOE for installation at a research reactor in Libya. This was in 2007 / 2008, in the time period between when Mummar owned up to the Lockerbie bombings and the overthrow of the government and when we were on semi-friendly terms.
The reactor was built by the Russians in the late 70s / early 80s but the Libyans and Russians had a falling out before all of the equipment was commissioned and so their waste water evaporator was never used, but nobody knew how it worked. The US was part of a team that was helping developing countries better manage their radiological programs and while this was out of the norm for their type of assistance, we were willing to help.
I traveled there three times over the course of a year, with a team made up of several different agencies. My first time traveling overseas, too... Luckily they were all old pros and were very helpful. The first trip was training and site evaluation, the second was supposed to be startup but we found that they were not ready, and the third was more training and startup with plain tap water.
While I'm not afraid to say that it was pretty scary, especially the first time, the people there were nothing but nice to us and were very interested to talk any chance they had. All of the engineers and scientists there had been trained at some point in the US so they had varying degrees of fluency in English. Their reading and writing was better than their speech because they had nobody else to converse with, so sometimes we had to resort to pencil and paper.
Luckily for us, the Russians refused to provide documentation in Arabic and the Libyans refused to accept Cyrillic documentation, so they compromised on English.
I took loads of pictures while I was there. I should load them up to Flickr but here are a couple. I'm the guy with the blue booties in the first picture. That was the official startup and had some local dignitaries in attendance.
My biggest regret was not getting to see the reactor in operation - they would gladly open up the cover to the pool while it was running so you could see the blue glow, but I was too busy with actual work to get a tour. The other thing I wished I had had time to see was the Roman ruins in the desert. I never did get a chance to try camel meat, either. Unfortunately with my not working for that company any more and the political situation there I will likely never get a chance to go back.