Friday, March 14, 2008

Crossing the border...

Day Two:
The second day of our Egypt trip we woke up early to try to make it to the border first. With 80 people, if there are any problems at the border it can take a very long time. Luckily we got through with relative ease. We took this picture right after leaving Israel and right before we went through the Egyptian border. We were so happy to have finally made it to Egypt!

Molly, Me, and Steph

Crossing the border was really exciting, but after we crossed we had a long drive ahead of us until we got to Cairo. We had been driving for a couple of hours through the middle of the African Desert, when all of a sudden our bus driver pulled over to the side of the road. We weren't really paying attention to what was going on until we realized that our bus driver was on the opposite side of the freeway (if you can call if a freeway) hitchhiking! At first we thought he was just asking for directions and then when a car stopped he got in and drove away. We were half really amused and half very confused. None of the teachers knew where he was going, and our guard (we had to have an armed guard at all times on our bus in Egypt) had no idea either. We were in the middle of the desert in a bus in Egypt and our bus driver had just booked it.

We decided to take advantage of the situation and took our first steps in the Egyptian desert (and on the African continent) outside of border control. Teachers were sitting on the bus guessing how far kids were going to run off into the desert. After a little while our driver finally came back. He had to get oil or water or something for the engine. We weren't abandoned after all.

Molly and I running out into the desert in Egypt.

When we got to the first rest stop in Egypt we were very shocked to see the bathrooms. Luckily this was the only "toilet" of this sort that we came across. One of the things that I am excited to come back to america for: clean, sit-on-able toilets.

After a long all day drive we finally pulled into Cairo around sunset. The city was huge and dirty. Probably the dirtiest city I've ever been in. There was trash and dirt everywhere, even a dead horse on the side of the road. This was our first view of the pyramids as we drove into Cairo. It was so amazing to see them. Its was crazy to see these huge ancient monuments in the middle of a modern city. It was amazing to me to think that these people just go about their every day lives, probably not thinking twice that the pyramids are right there.

Guess what??

I'm back!

So I am officially the worst blogger ever, but I am going to try very hard to be consistent for the rest of my trip, which I know isn't very long, but it's better than nothing, right?

I guess I'll start with Egypt (so long ago!)

Day One:

The first day of our Egypt trip we spent mostly driving. We stopped at a couple of sites along the way and then spent the night at a kibbutz. The first stop we made was at Tel Beersheba. This was an archeological site that has existed since probably around the time of Abraham. They said it was very possible that Abraham would've spent some time here and very well may have been the area that they were in when Sarah sent Hagar and Ishmael away. The most fun part about the site was wearing hard hats!

Us standing infront of Tel Beersheba (from left to right: Shea, Molly, Steph, me)

Steph and I hiding behind a tree. We think were funny.

At the tel there was a very large water cistern where they held all the water for the town. Underground in the tell there were lights shining against the wall so we decided to take fun pictures!

After we went to the burial place of David Ben Gurion who was the first prime minister of the new state of Israel. From his memorial you could see the Wilderness of Zin (background of the picture) where the Israelites spent a lot of their time in the wilderness.

That night we stayed at a kibbutz near the border of Egypt. At dinner there was live music playing and we sang and danced for over an hour. All 80 of us singing and dancing around the tables. It was so much fun! I'm trying to find pictures of it so as soon as I do I will post them.