Last week we posted some Ancient Egyptian Crafts for our GiveAway. This week a friend at church arrived home from six months attending language school in Egypt and I thought it would be a great follow-up to ask her about her trip to Egypt. First I asked her se7en questions:
- What was your reason for going to Egypt? God laid Egypt on my heart in 2003! It has been a long wait and process.
- Were you able to work while you were there? I volunteered with a Christian group that taught art to the street children. I also studied Arabic at a language school.
- How did you meet people in a foreign city without speaking the language? Art is a powerful language! It crosses many boundaries.
- Did you find other Christians? Many! From all over the world! Church on a Friday morning was a small taste of Heaven!
- Do you hope to go back there? Yes, definitely.
- What did you miss the most? Drinking water straight from the tap!
- What was the hardest thing to do there? Getting around! So much traffic, pollution that a simple task is very difficult or rather takes up much energy.
- What do we take for granted here, in Cape Town? Greenery! Fresh air! Clean streets! Happy people! Happy pets!
And the Se7en + 1th Question:
This is what she had to say about her trip:
Good morning all friends (Sabbaar el kheur kullo asaabis) I would love to share some of the wonderful experiences I had in Egypt!
When you first arrive in a foreign land you realise how different and unique every country is. I spent most of my time in Cairo which is the main city in Egypt. This city is so full of people, cars, factories that the air is full of pollution and it is difficult to breathe. There are so many cars that most of the roads are constantly a maze of cars stuck in a huge jam. They all hoot constantly and drive so close that is is a miracle to get any where safely. Now because there are so many cars it is also very difficult as a pedestrian to cross a road – you walk between the cars as there are no traffic lights (or at least that work). Most of the men and women wear a loose dress called a galibayo. The men wind a cloth on their heads that it looks like a crown and the women wrap the cloth that it covers their hair and then hangs over their shoulders. Everyone speaks Arabic.This is a beautiful ancient language. I had to try and learn it and it is very difficult to learn because words change if you are speaking to a male or female. Verbs and tenses change depending if you refer to yourself, we, he, she, or them. When you study Arabic there is the language that is spoken on the streets and then another form that is written and they are very different! I managed to learn enough to tell a taxi driver where I wanted to go, to buy what I needed and to greet and have interaction with some of the Egyptians that helped me on a daily basis. There are shopping malls in the wealthy areas but the majority of people eat food from little ‘holes in the walls’ – these are shops that make sandwichs. The bread that they all eat looks a bit like a pita bread because it is hollow inside. They break it in half and fill it with yummy filings (beans/mousaka/sesame paste/egg/chick pea balls). The Arabic word for bread is aysh, which means life, this is their staple food!
Where ever I went I saw beautiful art. Egyptians are very creative as well as romantic. They love sitting on the edge of the Nile River holding hands. Or families will go on boat (falooka) rides with Arabic songs and lights flashing (the flashier and louder the better). When you visit the Museum you are amazed by the amount of ancient treasures they hold. Seeing the gold jewelry that the pharohs wore make you realise just how young and small they were by the size of their wrists. The detail and craftmanship was impressive. The Giza pyramids take your breathe away. Cairo has grown so big that the bussle of the traffic pushes right up against the one side of the pyramids, but when you walk to the back of the pyramids there is the open dessert (this is the view you will see on all the tourist brochures).
It is awesome driving from Cairo to the Red Sea. The journey is harsh. The whole way is dessert, with the sun beating down, some areas are rocky and when you get near to Mount Sinai the terrain is challenging because of the mountain ranges. Mount Sinai looks like a mass of rocks pushed together. The mountain has lots of “folds” and crevices and is quite high. The Red Sea looks like a huge bath because it is so flat! The ships are a reminder that it is a huge sea and you get another glimpse of God’s power to know that He separated that mass of water to allow His children to cross over!
Well that all for now – so to say goodbye I say “Masallema!”