Friday, April 20, 2012

Garbage City Redux

When Grand Kathy was here, I knew she would like Art Cafe, Fagnoon, and the art galleries in Zamalek.  When Grandpa Doug and Grandma Nancy were here I thought they'd appreciate the history of Luxor and Coptic Cairo.  But what about Grandpa Peter and Uncle Arthur?  What part of Cairo would they like best?

The question answered itself: Garbage City  

There we could see Egyptian-style recycling and alternative energy in action.

Here our guide Magdy explains to Dave about how his rooftop biogas generator works just like a cow's stomach.  Kitchen waste goes in, methane gas comes out, and travels through a long and totally unsafe rubber tube to light the burners in his kitchen.:

But first we had to appreciate the cave churches.  As Coptic Easter would be celebrated the next day, they were already filled with worshippers, or closed.  Nonetheless, Arthur created quite a stir and was mobbed by young "Dogwalker" fans: 

A few old men in a tea shop shouted out what sounded like "Fragile Structures! Fragile Structures!" as Grandpa Peter strode past.  We couldn't be sure though because the phrase for "large jewish spy" in arabic sounds very similar.

Here we are in someone's apartment.  It might have been Magdy's.  There we were shown the generator and a short film claiming that fart gas could save the world.

Saba, one of the leaders of Solar Cities, the NGO who runs the tour, provided free babysitting while we checked everything out.  This is one of my favorite things about this part of the world- everyone welcomes children and no one considers it a bother if they run around, make noise, sample toys etc. 

(note the black race car on the floor.  You'll see it again in a moment.)

The night before we had gone felucca'ing.

Here Emmett and Thomas hold up gifts from Grand Kathy.  There's that race-car again, which rarely leaves Emmett's side these days.

After garbage city, we washed off the grime in the Maadi House pool.

So there you have it.  Egypt's not just camels and pyramids!