First of all, Happy Birthday to Bonnie Alice Green. She has officially exited the teenage years and entered the looming twenties.
Next thing that I should announce, so, Saturday night I had returned to Cairo from Siwa and was slaving away at my Arabic workbook when out of the clear blue sky the phone rang. A little irritated that I was the flatmate in closest proximity to the phone I got up to answer the device. And who do you think was on the other end of that reciever? It was Brittany Hanson and Bonnie Green and S.Fo and Abby Baldwin and Anna Drehmer and the rest of 3CMTE in the background. Tech yes, I love those girls. It was the most wonderful surprise. Now, these ambitious girls did not have my number in Cairo and instead of calling my parents (who do in fact live in the United States) they thought it would be a good idea to call Andrew (who lives in Egypt) to get my number. I thought that was funny. In conclusion to this subject its a comfort to know that it is Rockstar Monday in Egypt and Indiana today.
Aren’t you all just dying to hear about my weekend? Because it was incredible. We got on the bus around 1:00 pm on Wednesday to begin our 8-12 hour (everything is up to slight variations in Egypt) trek to Siwa Oasis. The accomadations were lavish in comparison to Alexandria and we all slept well that night. Siwa is this place literally in the middle of the desert; it is this tiny town that survives because of the underground water sources and springs there. I began my first day with breakfast at this garden paradise like place with 5 other students. We watched the waiter leave to go shopping for the ingredients for our breakfast after we ordered and even though it took about an hour and a half to eat one meal we enjoyed every second of our time at the New Star Restaurant situated there in a grove of palm trees.
That afternoon I had what I am going to go ahead and call the most incredible experience of my life. I know that’s a bold statement, but just wait and see. Before I begin: Mom and Dad don’t freak out, it really wasn’t all that dangerous. Okay, so that afternoon we hired some men to take us the Great Sand Sea, which is a region of the Sahara (yes, I am in Africa). The 24 of us plus a random Australian that we met piled into 4 land rovers that looked much like relics from World War II. As our vehicles left the pavement and plunged into the sand I was struck by the sheer expanse of the landscape; the sand dunes stretched before my eyes as far as my human vision would reach. So, these crazy men in the land rovers took us on the ride of our lives, at several points in time we executed 90 degree angles coming down the dunes. After that we stopped and played in the sand for awhile rolling down the hills and burying ourselves in the sand and then struggling to climb to the top again. After the crazy land rover men had quite fully gained our trust they asked if anyone wanted to ride on top of the vehicle. Severly out of character, I thought it would be a good idea to volunteer to go first. So, I climbed up the rickety ladder along with two other girls and I was having a good time, only slightly terrified, when we approached one of those 90 degree drops I was telling you about. I almost cried and then I realized that I was having one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The others had to beg to take a turn, because I felt like Indiana Jones or Cleopatra or something except even cooler than that and I just can’t even express.
Later we visited what used to be a reef and I scavenged for sandollars and other shell type things. Apparently the Sahara used to be completly underwater. Then we watched the sunset. And later that day we walked back to the desert to watch the stars…maybe I’ll say more about that later. In short the desert is amazing, one of my favorite things and you should probably go sometime. That night in the shower 3 tons of sand came out of my hair, ears, eyes and nose.
The rest of the weekend was relaxing and a good break from the chaos that is Cairo. There is probably more to say, but I don’t have to engry to say it. So for now that’s all and maybe you’ll be hearing more soon.