Camping in the Fayoum: Scenes of the 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. DSC_0862

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A view of of Lake Moeris, an ancient lake that has given life to the oasis’ inhabitants for thousands of years. DSC_0858

The campsite from a distance.

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At the campsite.

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The little blue domes of our tents are visible in the distance as we drove away to see more desert sites.
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Sunset over our campsite.

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Postcards Are Cool

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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! :)

“Occupy AUC”

 

These photos are brought to you by the on-campus student protests at AUC this week. They are asking for a tuition cap and a reduction of the tuition fees that were raised 7% this year. After waving signs outside the admin building the students (led by the Student Union) “occupied” the administration building.

As for me, I’m thrilled to be able to go to school here. While I don’t think a mini-protest is necessary, I’m continually entertained by the undergraduates’ passion in this post-Jan 25th Egypt (This sentence originally said “post-revolution Egypt,” about which I was informed by anthropology-student husband that we can’t call it that yet because the revolution continues.). And their masks.

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Kittens in the Closet

In Kenya, when your arrival in a village coincides with a rainstorm or the birth of a calf, you are said to bring God’s blessing with you. For rural areas, the necessity of rain for crops and cows for milk is crucial. While I never depended on cows for my survival, since living in Kenya I’ve considered rain the most obvious form of God’s approval to me. And without fail for the last five years, when I’ve traveled God has sent me rain to remind me of his continuing presence with me.

Yesterday, it rained in July, and kittens were born in my closet. While cats have no survival value in rural African society to me they mean everything. I’ve owned cats almost since I was born, buried more than I care to think about, and have never found a better source of companionship. For my birthday last year, Brice gave me a six week old kitten who I named Willow after Grandmother Willow from the Disney movie Pocahontas. I cannot take Willow with me to Egypt, and I will miss her more than I let myself realize right now. But God sent me a reminder of his blessing for our move: five kittens born two weeks before I leave the country.

And did I mention it rained in July?

His grace is way more than sufficient.