Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa

Emmett met Santa a little while ago at the British School Christmas Fayre.





They reportedly discussed motorcycles, forklifts, and Sarah, the triceratops.

Christmas in Egypt is pretty understated.  There is a sizeable Coptic Christian minority still here.  They celebrate christmas on January 6th.  So there is a general awareness of the holiday.  But the Coptic celebrations tend to focus on fasting and prayer, not so much buying presents or Santa Claus.  Also, this isnt a rich country.  The Holy Family, according to one of the gospels, fled through Egypt to escape King Herod, and there are three or four churches around town that claim to be the site where Mary, Joseph and Jesus stayed when they were here.  To the extent anyone talks about Christmas, it's really the basics: baby Jesus, born at this time, fled persecution.  I have to say, it is so much nicer than Christmas in the U.S.  Except the lack of family, snow and traditions.    

Monday, December 19, 2011

shows

Emmett likes to climb on one little pillar, and sometimes announces that he will put on a show there.  Here is one about a farm and a tractor:




Thomas has now also adopted the spot for his shows.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Luxor and Kirkpatricks Part Deux

I agree with Andy's comments.  Light is a big theme!  Also hats.  Here is some more of the Thomas oevre, with some other pics thrown in.

Here Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Doug are amused by some ancient Egyptian humor.

The journalist ponders.


Our tour guide Mohammed, who was going to impart his knowledge no matter how many people were throwing tantrums or falling asleep.


Here Emmett prepares by the Nile for future matches with Grandpa Peter:

Perspective:















 rare family photo:




Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thomas' point of view


As mentioned earlier, Dave brought home a camera for Thomas from his last trip to Libya.  It really fired his imagination for a few weeks there.  He left it to me to pick out the best of the best, so here are some representative snapshots of Thomas' view of home life, travel, grandparents, Luxor etc.

See if you can pick out any themes or recurring subjects!





Dinner at the British club with Grandpa Doug and Grandma nancy:
The boys' room:



3 legged dog at the horse farm:


 

Here we move to Luxor: the famous Valley of the Kings where many of Egypt's ancient pharaohs are buried.  This whole place was covered in sand for centuries, then dug up and restored when the French/ English 'rediscovered' Egypt in the 1700-1800s.  There is a whole avenue of sphinxes that was recently rediscovered that links two of the biggest temples across the town.  Here, the sphinxes become rams-- some kind of fertility signal.
Lots of hieroglyphics.  Nobody knew what these said until a Frenchman decoded them with the Rosetta Stone I think around 1900.  I think because so much of the work and study of the pharoanic era was carried out by Europeans, the Egyptians themselves seem a little distanced from this aspect of their history.  They publicize it for tourism purposes, but the history Egyptians seem to embrace is the story of the Arab conquest in the 6th and 7th centuries and centuries of Islamic rule that followed.  My understanding is that most Egyptians are descended from these Arab conquerors, and it is the Coptic Christians who are most closely related to the ancient Egyptian people that built the temples at Luxor.  Indeed, many of these temples were used and repurposed by early Christians before the desert swallowed them up after the Arab invasion.
   




 At the resort.  We did history in the mornings, and swim and nap in afternoons.








If I were organized enuff to do a christmas card, this would probably be it: