Photo courtesy of watchsmart – flickr
As the site of my first overseas experience, Egypt holds a special place in my heart. Long before the 2011 Arab Spring uprising, I had been a teacher at the St. Mary’s School in Shoubra, a poor Cairo neighborhood.
Photo courtesy of Arian Zwegers – flickr
During one kaleidoscopic summer, I traveled the road from Cairo to Alexandria under a canopy of desert stars, explored the marvels of the Sphinx and Pyramids on the Giza Plateau as well as the tombs of the Valley of the Kings. Every day led to new discoveries in customs, courtesies and culinary delights.
Photo courtesy of juliegomoll – flickr
The trip was not without its share of challenges, however. While I avoided vendor-offered homemade-flavored drinks and always kept bottled drinking water in the refrigerator where I lived at the orphanage, I still ended up with daily gastrointestinal problems.
Then late one afternoon I entered the kitchen and spotted one of the girls standing at the sink. She looked at me over her shoulder and flashed a beatific smile. My eyes widened when I saw her holding one of my water bottles under the faucet tap, carefully filling it up to the brim. In her quiet way, she had been taking care of me, her respected teacher, by ensuring that my water bottle was always filled. Oops.
Photo courtesy of eviljohnius – flickr
Despite those pesky gastrointestinal problems, exploring the magic of Egypt set the stage for what has become my lifelong love of travel adventures around the world. 5 continents down, two more to go . . .
What about you, wanderboomers? Are you ready to explore the wonders of Egypt?