Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Sphinx Responds!

The Sphinx responds to the idea of "renting" Egyptian monuments to tour companies

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Antiquities ministry refuses to rent Egypt's archaeological sites

Antiquities ministry refuses to rent Egypt's archaeological sites

I had heard that it was somebody in Qatar who floated the idea. I think Egypt is really desperate if the Ministry of Finance would even look twice at such a thing. Who knows, maybe it's just media hype...

The latest cartoon:
President Morsi says: "Choose the Pyramid you like. If you buy two, you'll get the third free!"

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Golden Sunset

The dust/sand in the air yesterday made this golden sunset possible.
There were some nice clouds too!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

An Egret in the Garden and in the Movies

I finally got a couple of the videos I took of the egret who visited us this week edited. It's wonderful how nonchalant the bird is! I apologize for shaky camera work as my arms had started to tire by this point. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An Egret in the Garden

Just after lunch today, as I was returning to the library from my room, I was privileged to be able to watch an egret in our garden. He stayed for quite some time and I was able to capture some still photos as well as videos. I'm still editing the videos, but here are a couple of of the stills:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Karnak and Memnon News

Lots going on these days in Luxor! The two most recent events are the completion of Hatshepsut's Netery-Menu chapel at Karnak in the Open Air Museum and the lifting of two colossal seated statues of Amenhotep III in his mortuary temple behind the Colossi of Memnon.

Netery-Menu of Hatshepsut at Karnak
Colossal statue of Amenhotep III at Memnon
You can check out the Al-Ahram article here. Never a dull moment here in Thebes!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Beau Gets "Snipped"

Yesterday it was finally time to take Beau out to Animal Care in Egypt for his little operation (we figure he's about six months old), something that is required of all cats who wish to live at CH. I had to stop feeding him Friday night, and couldn't let him out of the room because he would be sure to find food somewhere else! The night wasn't so bad, but come morning he began to realize that he wasn't going to be fed or let out of the room. Let the wild rumpus start!

Beau is quite loudly vocal even during normal times, so we expected that the ride out to ACE might be somewhat noisy. We were not wrong! If we had needed a siren or horn Beau would have sufficed. I took videos of the ride just to memorialize the sounds he made. One stretch of road happened to be where men were busy harvesting sugar cane, which slowed us down a bit. Let's just say that we were ALL quite "happy" to finally arrive!

So, we finally arrive at ACE:
In the waiting room:
In the treatment room:
After the injection:

After the operation:
Back home:
He wouldn't leave my side all last evening, but you'll be pleased to know that he's back to his old self today, as if nothing had happened. Bravo, Beau! And thanks to all the great staff at Animal Care in Egypt!

Friday, February 15, 2013

40 Days Later...

The murder of the Andraus Pasha sisters was perpetrated sometime during the night of January 6-7, 2013. Today the memorial Mass that is traditionally held 40 days after a death was celebrated. Representatives of CH, of whom I was one, made a point of being in attendance. Here is the announcement:
I never cease to be astonished at the way life goes on during a Coptic service here in Luxor: women chatting, children playing, and people, mostly children, snacking (the children in the pew in front of us were feasting on Hostess cupcakes, Doritos, Orange Fanta and bread rolls, etc.). It is all truly life-affirming!

An acolyte brought around a basket of blessed bread chunks after Communion--it was the first time I have "taken communion" in years.

We greeted and were greeted by Andraus family members as we left the church. They were all most appreciative of our presence and of the flowers that Tina had organized for the funeral.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Peek-a-Boo Sphinxes

Yesterday, I caught these sphinxes at Luxor Temple playing a game of peek-a-boo among the trees:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Lovely Sefkhet-Abwy

First visit this season to Luxor Temple this morning. Had to re-visit my lovely Sefkhet-Abwy on the back of a seated colossal statue of Ramses II:
She wears the most beautiful leopard skin:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

From "The Nile Project" and more...

Vibrant and joyful!

More at "The Nile Project"...

And check out NubaNour, a Cairo-based collective of Nubian singers and musicians:

Friday, February 08, 2013

Not Egypt: The People's E-Book

This is just so cool--I had to share it! All kinds of ideas for e-books are swirling around in my head...

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Tuesday Morning in the West

Hard as it may be to believe, until this Tuesday I had not been into the Medinet Habu temple precinct this season. Some of us had the opportunity to join one of Bill Petty's Museum Tours to visit the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens, and got to hang out at MH until they picked us up. I only walked around the small Amun temple, inside and out.
View of the main temple from the small temple
This visit gave me another chance to test how the new camera performs in low light. I continue to be impressed!

Detail of kilt in previous photo
If you would like to see really professional photos of the interior rooms of the small Amun temple, you should check out the free downloadable file at 

After we visited the exquisite Nefertari, always an emotional experience, especially since one has to make the most of the ten to fifteen minutes groups are allowed in the tomb (no photos permitted), we returned to MH to wait for our ride. So I will end with a couple more photos from that great temple complex.
Beautifully carved flagpole recess on the exterior of the main temple
Ptolemaic Pylon with giant winged disk

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Not Another Sunset!!!

Sorry, just can't help myself. The sunsets here can be so glorious. Here is a sequence from Wednesday:

And just one from last night:

Quilts for Africa

It's been an interesting day for a quilter like me: two quilt projects helping out in Africa. I'm doing them in reverse, starting with an email received this evening from a quilter who used to do a blog called "Real Women Quilt". She's started up a new blog and her major project right now is raffling off a quilt called "Living Water". Here is what she writes on the crowdrise fundraising website: "My heart has been breaking lately for communities around the world that do not have access to clean drinking water.  It's hard for my brain to even wrap around this concept having lived my entire life with clean running water available in my home.  I've never even had to walk outside to get it!  There are places where people walk miles each day with jugs to get water for their family.  Guess what?--many times the water that they are gathering isn't even clean. 

"So with all that in mind, this quilt will be raffled in an attempt to raise money for a well in Africa."

Here is a photo of the quilt:
I've donated, and so can you by clicking on the link in my sidebar.

But what is so curious is that earlier today, Kent Weeks and I made a visit to the SunShine Project here in Luxor to deliver another batch of quilts made by two lovely women in Washington State and one quilt made by a fourth-grade class in Everett (WA). I say "another batch" because these women have made and donated dozens of quilts to the SunShine children. The "lead quilter" is Barb Krause and she says this about her experience: "Several years ago I had the pleasure of being able to travel to Luxor, Egypt. There I visited Sunshine Project International, a home for abandoned and orphaned children in Luxor. They stole my heart! 

"The following year I took a quilt for the 1-year-old boy that we sponsor. I had appliqu├ęd his name on it so they would know whose it was after I left. He didn't care, being only 1, but there was a girl there, about 10, who asked about the quilt and how his name got on it. I told her I made it. She says, 'with your own hands?' miming sewing with a needle and thread. I said yes. She was so amazed. I decided then and there that I had to put a quilt on each one of the children's beds!

"The following year I took over 15 quilts. I visited again the day after I dropped them off and saw them on the beds in two of the rooms for the toddlers. I almost cried. I am still making quilts for them. I truly hope to make a quilt for each one of the kids. They have just about 80 kids now, so some of the babies may get fleece throws, but I will keep stitching away!"

Kent and I had never been to the facility, so it was a real pleasure to visit and deliver the quilts and have a tour provided by Mr. Bahaa. Here are some photos from our visit.

Mr. B and Kent with the student-made quilt

Mohamed and the dinosaur quilt
Habiba made a bee-line for me and wouldn't let go!

Toddlers on the new quilt (with an earlier one underneath)
A bedroom for the little ones 
Computer lab

And here are some of the kids (there are currently 86 in residence):

You can find out more at their website: SunShine Project.