Friday, August 27, 2010

Snapshot: Transportation to School #2

If you thought riding to school in the back of a small truck would be difficult, try this one.

Even in the States, where we are from in SW Missouri, I would not be too excited about riding a motorcycle to school, but here, in Cairo Egypt, it would be my worst nightmare. First of all, just thinking about breathing in all of the exhaust from the traffic makes me tremble. I do not even like to ride around in my car with the windows down because of this. There are so many cars on the road, and Egypt does not have the regulated laws on exhaust emissions. Secondly, it would just be scary because of sheer number of cars and the crazy way they drive. Being in a car on the streets of Cairo is dangerous enough, but being on a motorcycle is even more dangerous. Unfortunately, we have seen lots of accidents involving motorcycles. And, last but not least, some families (like the one you see above) probably can only afford a motorcycle, so, the whole family travels together, on the motorcycle. We have seen some crazy things in Cairo, but this one blows my mind every time I see it. My son Levi said he has even seen a family traveling on a motorcycle with a goat sandwiched in between two of the riders. Maybe someday I will see something like this and be able to snap a picture for you to see. If you are like me, and from the "Show-me" state of Missouri, you may not believe it until you see it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Snapshot: Transportation to School

Click on picture to make it larger.

If you are reading this from the States, you know that most schools are starting this week. The public school here where I am at the time (SW Missouri) did anyway. The majority of kids attending public schools here ride school buses. The others are either taken by parents, or, if they are old enough, may drive themselves. In Egypt, there are lots of modes of transportation to and from school. Most of the private schools do have buses that run and pick up the kids, but this is not a free service. If the students attend a public school, there are several options. One of those options is pictured above. Now, we do not see this very often in the areas we are usually in, but in the more poorer areas of town, you can see this quite often. They are picked up in the back of small trucks. Can you imagine having to travel this way? First of all, it can be a very dusty ride. Most of the streets in these areas are not paved. Most of the time it is very dry, but if it does happen to rain, this can cause problems too. One problem can be that you are in the back of a small truck, with no covering, and you could start out your day getting drenched. Another problem is that it can get very muddy in these areas which can cause many more problems, from vehicles getting stuck in the mud to children who have to walk through it. Then there is the problem of the weather. As you probably know, it can get quite hot in Egypt, so travelling in the back of a truck can be pretty uncomfortable in the heat. It can also get pretty cool in the winter time. The coolest I have known it to get in Egypt is around 45 degrees Farenheit, which is a little over 7 degrees Celsius. Now, while that is not freezing, it can be very, very cold to someone who is riding down the rode in the back of a truck. So, the next time you are tempted to complain about your mode of transportation, just think back to this post, and about the people and kids that have to travel this way. I think most of us who are wealthy enough to have a computer to be reading this blog in the first place would not have a reason to complain at all. In fact, it might just make us a little more thankful.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What-not: Sorry

Sorry for the delay in posting a new post. I had a wisdom tooth removed recently, and also, we are starting to get busy packing to go back to Egypt. I hope to get a post or two done before we actually leave.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What-not: The Town of Dahab

A beautiful view of the hotel we stayed in with the beautiful mountains of Sinai behind.
That beautiful "golden" sunset.
Levi on a camel ride.

Me, with a couple of little bedouin girls.

"Dahab" is the name of a beautiful little town in the Sinai that we visited several years ago. It is situated among the mountains of the Sinai. It used to be a small bedouin fishing village. Now it is mainly a touristic site, known for its great diving spots. Following the Six Day War, the town was occupied by Israel and is known in Hebrew as Di-Zahav, a place mentioned in the Bible as one of the stations for the Israelites during the Exodus from Egypt. The Sinai Peninsula was restored to Egyptian rule in the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in 1982.

Dahab enjoys large numbers of tourists. It is world-renowned for its windsurfing. SCUBA diving and snorkelling are also popular activities with many reefs immediately adjacent to waterfront hotels. The nearby Blue Hole-Which is nicknamed as "The World's Most Dangerous Diving Site"- and Canyon are internationally famous dive spots. Land based activities include camel, horse, jeep and quad bike trips. Mount Sinai is a two hours drive, with Saint Catherine's Monastery being a popular tourist destination.

The word Dahab is Arabic for gold and is possibly a reference to the geographic location; gold washed down from the desert mountains may have accumulated on the flood plain where the town was built. The name may also be a reference to the colour of the sands to the south of the town itself. Some locals attribute the name to the colour of the sky, just after sunset.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Every once in a while, when I don't have time to post much, I am just going to post a picture, probably with a short explanation. I just thought I would post this one of me and the camel. Lots of you have probably seen it because it is the first picture I used for my blog, but there may be some out there who haven't seen it.

I am fascinated with camels. I think they are so neat. My son just happened to snap this picture one day when we were at the pyramids, and it looks like the camel is smiling. I just love it.