Otherwise entitled, how I spent my Christmas vacation.
Sunset on the Nile – photo courtesy Sara Lawrence
Last year, my mother, brother and niece came to visit just after the holidays. We went to Luxor, and saw the sights of Cairo – all chronicled here (in TOO much detail, I am quite sure). This year however, to my great disappointment, Steve and Kenzie did not come. On the happy side, my mother did make it for a 2 week visit.
We planned a grand adventure for the holidays for the three of us. Unlike last year, we traveled for the majority of the time that mom was here. It was loads of fun, but also quite exhausting. *Note to self – vacation time CAN be spent doing NOTHING*
This year’s adventure took us back to Luxor, floated us along the Nile to Aswan and finally to Abu Simbel for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We visited temples and sites along the Nile, took loads of pictures, taught mom to crochet and watched the rhythm of river life, as it has been forever.
From me and Jack to all – this is how we spent our Christmas, the two of us and my mom in Upper Egypt. Life is good.
Believe it or not, we were freezing our BUTTS off. Happy Holidays.
This semester has been rough. Mostly due to my own pressures and expectations on myself – as is usually the case. There have been a few true “saving graces” that have helped get me through.
Jack, of course, has been amazing. In his own inimitable manner, he has reminded me that life is more than the job one has. “Work less, live more” He has pointed out my ridiculous breaks from logic and made me laugh at myself.
Other touchstones for sanity have been the truly excellent people that we’ve gotten to know. One friend (Thank you, Tiffany) even brought me back YARN from Germany!!! Other friends have “helped” me make time to go shopping and remember to get out of my office. Now my mom is back in Egypt for her 2nd visit and we are hanging out and doing whatever strikes us.
The switch from “School/Work” to “Holiday” each year is a jarring transition, this year had even more craziness wrapped up in the work than usual, and the friends and family have made it all worthwhile.
Seems the little things are what really count.
Just went back thru my old entries to find a particular one.
Last year: September 18th
I blogged about a taxi driver who had a sob story about his five “bee bees” one of whom had breast cancer – he needed money.
Fast forward to yesterday – I’m on Mara’ashli going to school and I flag down a taxi. Before I can even tell the driver where I want to go, he starts yammering at me. I tell him “Shwaya Arabi” (just a little Arabic). He responds in broken Arabinglish – my “binti” (daughter). Biggest of 5. Only 17. Breast cancer.
No kidding – apparently this is a yearly statistical event – take the number of taxi drivers in Cairo, divide by the number of times I ride a taxi and multiply by days in a year and you’ve apparently got a likelihood of once every 15 months that I run into this particular guy!!!
This time I did not ride in his taxi. I waved him off and got in the next one. No wailing stories. No asking for loads of cash.
I am either turning into an unfeeling soul, or getting used to Cairo – city victorious.