Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Walk Like an Egyptian

Salaam from balmy Cairo!

I've been thinking that I haven't really kept my end of the bargain with this whole blog thing, so now I will. I've been in Cairo for nearly two weeks and I've had an interesting ride.
The first night that I arrived, my baggage was lost and I didn't get it for 5 days. I was seriously at my wit's end and had a breakdown in my room about it. Luckily God works in small ways and has lent me a helping hand in more than one way. First of all, He sent me Robert Berg. I don't know what I would have done without him. He stopped me at customs at the Cairo airport and we got to talking and come to find out he went to UMKC and knows Dr. Klausner. If you don't know who she is, she is the professor that introduced me to the Middle East...in lectures anyway. On my third day, Atef (the hostel manager) told me that two American girls had just arrived from Israel to study at the same language center. I was so worried about taking a taxi the next morning that their arrival softened the nervous anticipation. On the second day of school my luggage arrived and I had excellent clothes to wear! I went thrift store shopping by golly!!! (old man slang today...yup)

And now the way exciting stuff. Last thursday, me and the girls from class went on a tour to the pyramids. The day was excruciatingly hot and I saw them mostly from the viewfinder of a camera. When we were in the Temple of Mummification that leads to Kefren's sphinx and pyramid I put my hand on granite that had been worked and moved by ancient peoples. How amazing. It didn't really hit me until last night. As I lay in bed I kept saying...my God, I am in Egypt. I went to the pyramids, I touched these things. How awesome. They are so majestic and what is bewildering is that they are SO old and yet still standing. I can't believe how great it is to feel this close to the beginnings of civilization. Wow!
This weekend will probably prove to be just as exciting. We are going to Luxor and Thebes. We will see the Valley of the Kings where King Ramses and King Tut were buried. We will also be visiting the Valley of the Queens where Queen Hatseptshut was buried. By the way, did everybody hear that they just discovered which mummy she is. Fantastic!!!
An my Arabic class is going great as well and I've met so many interesting people from all over the world. I may not become fluent on this trip, but I sure as heck have learned a great deal. I feel enriched.
I'll end on this note...and I'll update again soon. Oh, I apologize for the lack of pictures. The internet connection here is super slow and uploading pictures is time consuming.
Love to all!

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