I love Egypt!

I went to AFRICA! Well kind of. Egypt is such a magical place!

We started the trek to Egypt on a big bus and I loved every minute of it! The drivers in the middle East are a little wild though. They all joke that they grease their cars in the morning to slide through traffic. Im not sure if there is such thing as traffic laws here. At one point our driver was in the left hand lane trying to pass a semi to our right, and ofcourse right then another car was headed straight for us. Instead of slowing down our driver just kept going staight towards the car until the car comming at us pulled off to the side of the road onto the sand.

The bus ride was very entertaining. I sat in the back of the bus and felt like a little kid playing road trip games for hours with my friends.

When we first started to be out in the middle of no where the desolate desert I felt so vunerable not being able to see any civilization for miles. But the more we drove the more I began to see the beauty of the desert.

Our first night we went to the famous pyramids of Giza. They kind of intimidated me at first. It was all dark and the pyramids were lit up by lazers and a spot light showed the Spynx narrating in a really low voice, "Man fears time, but time fears the Pyramids". It was a little frightening but in the morning the pyramids appeared much more friendly.

Every morning they give out only 200 tickets on a first come first serve basis to get into the pyramids. Luckily most everyone was able to get a ticket. When you go into the pyramid you duck and walk through this tunnel thing for about 70 feet and then it opens up and you come to this black square chamber that feels like a sauna. Alot of people broke out in song and some people were even laying in the Sarcophagus. One of my friends was running around saying "someone kiss me!" People go wild in there maybe it was the heat. But they say the pyramids have been a tourist attraction since Abrahams time so they are something to be excited about.

Our tourguide Ahmed was the one of the nicest men I have ever met. To be a tour guide you have to study for 4 years at a University and know every monument, statue, and all of Egyptian history past to present. When we got back into Jerusalem I kept finding myself looking for him. Life is so simple when you have a guide.

When we entered Egypt we got these really nice armed guards traveling with us that made me feel so safe. They wore these really nice business suits with gel in their hair and had these machine guns strapped on underneath, which is kind of scary but they were very nice men.

This is in Memphis the ancient capital of lower Egypt (from around 2200 BC )

The Egyptians have so many wonderful works of art and acheivenements like the pyramids and hieroglyphics but the most impressive part of all was the kindness of the people. Everyone asked me if I was Egyptian. I wish kind of I was, they are so warm and welcoming.

We toured around and went to lots of the Egyptian temples. This one was at Queen Hatshepsuts temple. She was one of the first poweful woman who wore a fake beard and pretended to be a man.

This is the Goddess of Music and Dancing at Queen Hatshepsuts temple.

We rode in this little boat a Feluca, across the water and when we got to the other side of the Nile it was pure Africa. Fields of crops, animals grazing, and families out for strolls.

Our Feluca Captain was Captain Cat, he let me drive for half of the way, or steer. The Felucca is just powered by the wind, I loved it. Captain Cat seemed like such a peaceful man and he doesnt even have to wear shoes with his job. I feel such a kinship with Egypt. Being by the water kind of made me miss Hawaii a little bit. Egypt is incredible in that it is so dry but then immediately you get by the water and its lush and green and life is springs up from everywhere.
I love Luxor so much. It has a really great feeling about it. The people are so kind. They always ask you if you "have a wife" I think they mean if you are married. We rode these cute carriages everywhere. This is Mustafa our driver, he was kind to let me take the reins. The men wear these beautiful man gowns called Galabias I bought a few myself.

This trip we managed to travel on every form of transportation, on foot, on bus, airplane, train, camel, feluca, and carriage. I loved it!

I saw so many beautiful children on this trip. I saw whole families saddled upon donkeys and people working in their fields, harvesting wheat, just so much beauty all around me. It was incredible. People dont seem to have much but they seem happy. We got to take camel rides through their village just as the sun was just beginning to set.

My camel drivers name was Alex and it took a little while for me to gain his trust. The first few minutes into the ride he told me to take the reigns of the camel and walk alone for a little bit. When he came back I asked where he went and he said he needed to get a drink. I offered him my water but he said "No, I only drink beer."

I guess there is no drinking age in Egypt. After this I was a little nervous about him, so I started being a bit of a chatterbox. He told me I was the most talkative rider hes ever had. He was 17 years old and wanted to be a tour guide when he grew up. He sang me some arabic songs and I sang some Whitney Houston by the end of the ride I loved Alex!

We shopped in Egypt at a Bizarre and it was truly Bizarre! For some reason Im always a prime sales target in malls in the US as well as the Middle East markets. At one point these great salesman had me convinced I looked awesome in this outfit. Though I look like the palm reader Miss Cleo, this outfit made its way home in my luggage.

This is the symbol stands for the Nile River, the lifeline for all of Egypt.

Not being able to drink the water in Egypt made me realize how greatful I was for water so readily available from the tap.

The Muslim people are so wonderful. I feel I knew nothing about them before comming here. The more I learn about Islam the more I feel we are more alike than different.

Two beautiful things I learned on this trip: One of the Pilars of Islam is Zakat or giving of Alms and they belive that whatever they give in alms will be given back to them ten fold. So true!

Another thing I noticed was that alot of the men have these bruises on their foreheads. I asked the Feluca driver Captain Cat about it and he said its from praying several times a day. Touching their heads all the way to the ground over and over creates the bruise. What a beautiful thing to be so commited!

I found myself fascinated with the Bedouin people. They just live in the desert and are sometimes nomadic. I saw their houses all over the place driving through. Theses kids didnt speak any English like the kids in the city but you can tell they take really good care of eachother.

This little boy is Abrahim he was very sweet!

Our last day in Egypt we got up at 2:00 am to hiked Mt Sinai where Moses talked with God and came down the mountain with the Ten commandments. We started and it was pitch black but the feeling on the mountain was so alive. There were camels everywhere and Ive never seen stars so bright. It reminded me of what it must have looked like when Christ was born in Bethlehem. I tried to pretened I was one of the people going to visit him. It was kind of cool not being able to see what was up ahead, it made things less tiresome in a way.

Just as we came up to the top of the Mountain the sun came up with us. It was beautiful! The best part was the incredible amount of love I felt at the top. People came from all walks of faith and traveled from different lands to walk where Moses walked.

The night before the hike we stayed by a Bedouin village and I loved having dinner at this place! There were people from all over the world, it gave me an incredible feeling. There was a tour group from Kenya in the dinning room that I felt especially drawn to. One lady in particular was so kind, her name was Grace from Nairobi. We exchanged addresses and she invited me to stay with her in Kenya. She belonged to the Anglican church but I told her that I loved Jesus too and it seemed to turn on a switch in her that made her very happy.

I didnt expect to see her again so soon but when I got to the top of the mountain the next day there was Grace praising Jesus, and dancing with all her friends on the mountain!

When Grace saw me it was as if she had known me for much longer than one day. This Kenyan gentleman with the countenance of Santa Clause embraced me with the biggest smile and hug and said, "MY SISTA!" I love the people of Kenya. Their joy was contageous as they danced and sang African songs. Dancing with them filled me with a greater desire to love freely and instantly all my brothers and sisters like they do.

After Egypt I have so much more respect for Abraham and Sarah's family who wandered through the wilderness. It takes alot of faith to leave a beautiful place like Egpyt and walk into the unknown. I too was sad to leave, but I hope to return someday!

1 comment:

Matt said...

magical. i'm glad you're loving it. and i can't wait to see you rock the miss cleo garb....