Monday, November 5, 2007

Egypt - Time to go home, 24 hours to snow, aaahh!!

Just a short entry from me as we pack our bags, preparing to check out and leave for the airport on our 3 flight, four airport journey home over the next 24 hours or so. Egypt has been a wonderfully complex mixture of experiences which will no doubt gell for all of us over the next few months. Our hosts have been kind and accomodating without exception, providing us with a very positive introduction to Muslim culture and hospitality. Fortunately (or unfortunately from the kids perspective) our hotels have not been five star tourist accomodation, rather an Egyptian 2 or 3 star level (which in Canada would be 1 maybe 2 star) and have been much closer to the pulse of real Egyptian day to day life. We have had to venture out to provide for ourselves many simple day to day necessities such as water, food, and toilet paper of all things! My journeys to the local internet cafes have been especially interesting ( 'internet broken' in each of our hotels except one) as I have had to venture down many dark back alleys, up dilapidated stairways in crumbling buildings, in order to find the local internet hangout. Invariably these cafes have been busy with chain smoking teenagers doing full multimedia social networking, just like at home. But always friendly and helpful, despite my obvious lack of Arabic language skills, with most making every effort in English to help me. It is a fair comment to say that I feel safer here than I do along the bike path around Fort Calgary back home!

Anyways, this has been a great trip for our family as we have taken on many new challenges together and have strengthened bonds between us. New awareness and appreciation for foreign cultures, and different people, has certainly been the greatest benefit for the kids, in my mind. All for now, ma'a salaama...John

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