Selected Travels

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Felucca ride down the Nile.  Actually we just cruised up and down a 1/4 mile stretch, but the sunset and Koshery (traditional Egyptian peasant dish made of pasta, chickpeas, lentils and sauce) was nice.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

This first week has been wonderful (and a bit overwhelming too!) could Cairo not be overwhelming though?!?!?
Here is a brief list of what we have done in 4 days:
Apartment hunted
Moved in- we will post photos soon...
Visited Saqqara (ancient step pyramid...more later)
Took a Fellucca ride down the Nile
Ate yummy food
Got technology hooked up
Wandered neighborhood lost- looking for our new home (with 7 bags of "stuff")
Met 25 of our colleagues

So, the Fellucca was so calming. Our school's director scheduled it so that we can all let our housing worries float away down the Nile as we relax and watch the sunset. There are photos posted below. The Fellucca is a sailboat. We had Kosary (a type of Egyptian "take out")...yum!

The next day we went to Saqqara- ancient (2000 BCE) site that includes many tombs, pyramids and other remnants of the civilization.  Many mind boggling things to look at as you hear, "Madame, want to buy....?"  while strangers pick up your husband (Chris) and put him on a donkey and dress him in a head scarf!  The people want money for this fine opportunity of being man-handled and dressed up...amazing and funny too!! 

 Our day ended with a brief visit to an art community where 60 years a man moved to the outskirts of Cairo and taught 40 locals how to weave, batik and do pottery.  Today this site is a UNESCO site for architecture.

These past four days have been busy, hot, sweaty and terrifically exciting and challenging....but as we sit here in our apartment, which with share with nocturnal and speedy ants...we KNOW that we made a great choice of coming to Cairo and working for AIS-West!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Well, after 6 months of "talk"...we are finally here!!! Cairo is definately different from home! Everything went as planned with our arrival- the flights were good and the school picked us up and transported our luggage. There were about 10 people from the school helping the 17 new teachers. It was great!
We are in a hotel for the next few days. The hotel is really nice and has a fancy with a pool that makes you think you are in the carribean! BUT Justine can't find her swimsuit yet, she thinks it is barried in the luggage we packed a month ago.
The school administrators are SO super friendly and helpful and genuinly excited to have us here. Most of our new collegues are cool.
We found an apartment today. It is under buget and clean. The first apartment we looked at had a super moldy frige and washing machine. We were really worried they would all be like that. We tried to keep positive and the next apartment was better, not great....kinda stale smelling. They were also 2000 square feet! Then we said we only wanted to look at 2 bedrooms apartments around 1000 square feet and then looked at a beautiful apartment NICELY firnised and SUPER clean with granite counter tops and VERY expensive....then we finally got to a good apartment...2 bedrooms, "American" style kitchen and live-able. We have a few colleagues in the neighborhood (Maadi) and are only a 3-5 minute walk from the teacher-bus-stop.
So far the food has been good---have not ventured from the hotel to eat though. We have a staff faluka (sail boat) ride down the Nile planned for Thursday. We have also seen the pyramids from the plane and three times by car already! The Nile has lush green banks that stretch for about 1 mile either side with palm trees and other plants growing too. Maadi (our neighborhood) is in that mile...the school is NOT! Outside that mile stretch is just sand. Garbage is kinda scattered everywhere as are mango/fruit/veggie vendors...traffic is not as crazy as India or China and most of the vehicles on the road are cars or van/buses...very few mopeds and three wheelers.
Hope all is well wiht you all in the states.  Take care,
Chris and Justine