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.


Sara said...

Welcome back Claire!!! I've missed you!

I love your posts! I was laughing so hard about your crazy bus driver!

Sherrelyn said...

Dear Stephanie & Claire (I will be sending a copy of this comment to you both),
I found your blogs by accident, sort of blurking through "friends of friends" and as a former BYU Jerusalem Center student, I had to write and tell you thank you for posting your photos and experiences online! So many wonderful memories have come flooding back. I was a student in 1992 from January to June and visited Jerusalem again (my favorite city in the world) in 1999. I am currently DYING to come back. Anyway, if you don't think I am too strange I would love to ask you some questions about Jerusalem and the program. Maybe even give you some ideas for good clean fun that staff and teachers probably don't want you to know about. :) You can check out my blog(s) and if you feel comfortable, please comment ?? If not, enjoy your time there because you will reflect on it for the rest of your life and IT IS LIFE CHANGING to walk where Jesus walked.
p.s. I am not psycho, just jealous.