Amidst all the homework and thesis-writing (let me just tell you: two theses per house is too many. I mean, someone has to do the laundry…) we did manage to have some adventures in 2013. We both graduate with our Master’s degrees this year, so I’m hopeful that 2014 will bring more site-seeing and travels.
Here are our top 4 Favorite Moments of 2013 (in order of appearance):
1- Hot-air ballooning over the West Bank in Luxor and seeing the monuments from the air
2- Working for 4 weeks in Luxor at a monument restoration project
3- Visiting Disneyland again with my family
4- Camping in the Western Desert and visiting the Fayoum archaeological sites
1- Getting a tour of Luxor and Edfu from Bry
2- Our Anniversary getaway at a fancy hotel
3- Visiting Disneyland for the first time
4- Camping and driving around in the Western Desert
Last month we got to do something we’ve wanted to do since moving to Egypt: camp in the desert! There are many popular places for desert-camping in Egypt and I wanted to share some photos from this experience. We’re looking forward to camping in some other places in the future. (I’m dying to get to Siwa Oasis and the White Desert!) The trip was organized as an Egyptology field-trip to the Fayoum, so we visited several ancient sites as well – I’ll share some of those photos in a separate blog post.
We were driven across the desert to our campsite in 4-wheel-drive vehicles, with our possessions, tents and meals packed atop them. Getting stuck is something that happens often, but the pause while the vehicle manages to free itself from the deep sand is a beautiful respite from the bumpiness of the ride.
A view of of Lake Moeris, an ancient lake that has given life to the oasis’ inhabitants for thousands of years.
The campsite from a distance.
At the campsite.
The little blue domes of our tents are visible in the distance as we drove away to see more desert sites.
Sunset over our campsite.
After being away from our apartment for my 4 week stay in Luxor at the South Asasif and our 7 week trip to the US to visit friends and family, we are so very glad to be home again! We’ve returned to Egypt during a chaotic time (almost everyone we talked to right before our return was incredulous that we still planned on coming back)… the “second revolution” began on June 30th and culminated with the removal of democratically-elected Egyptian President Morsi just days later. Brice and I were in line for a ride at Disneyland with my family when we saw the news… and all we really wished for was that we could be here to experience it with our adoptive home country.
When we finally arrived back to Egypt a week ago, most of the country was experiencing a curfew that began at 7 pm and lasted until 6 am. Living under curfew is a very different and interesting experience! Traffic in Cairo, already notoriously bad, is worsened by the city-wide change in work hours, visiting hours, etc. The curfew was moved to 9 pm a few days ago, and yesterday moved again to 11 pm, hopefully making mobility in Cairo (grocery shopping, seeing friends, etc.) a little easier for us. My last semester of classes at the American University in Cairo begin tomorrow, on Sept. 2nd, and with this latest curfew push-back, all the evening classes on campus should be all to go ahead as scheduled.
All that being said, we are glad to be back and have had some quality catch-up time with our cats, apartment and friends. We’re excited to see what Egypt has in store for us next!
Tomorrow I am saying goodbye to my husband and getting on a plane to spend 4 weeks in Luxor. I am excited and nervous. It will be 115 degrees F when I land, and stay above 85 every night! I am preparing myself for an adventure and a lot of story-telling this summer.
Last week the AUC Egyptology department took a weekend jaunt in Luxor as our end-of-the-year field-trip. It was wonderful (and wonderfully hot!) and I’m looking forward to spending the next 4 weeks with those monuments. The high-light of the trip was the hot air balloon ride over the West Bank. We left the hotel at 4:15 am and watched the sun rise as we slowly lifted off the ground. The view was breathtaking. One cannot truly understand the landscape of this sacred place until you have seen it from the air.
So, I think it’s time for a little expat advertising.
All expats have their favorite websites, restaurants, traditions or possessions that help them feel more “at home” in their new home, and closer to their loved ones than they are. One of my favorites is an app called Postagram. I can sit on my couch or at school and send slick, shiny postcards with a photo of my latest adventure to my friends and family thousands of miles away! The photo on the postcard even pops out into a 3×3 in photo that you can put into a little frame! They’re fun to send and fun to receive!
I got one today from two of my favorite nerds. Definitely going on the fridge! :)
Last semester I was made President of the Egyptology Club at the American University in Cairo (a huge surprise!). We’ve done some fun stuff so far (a museum trip and hosting a lecturer) and this week we have a booth set up on campus. Through a friend of a friend (how anything works here in Egypt) we found a woman who would make these ankh cookies for us to sell at our booth. And we were totally blown away by their cuteness!