Sunday, August 8, 2010

Endurance

For the past 3 days, we have been in Aswan, Egypt. The difference between here and Cairo are night and day. Although we did not really get a chance to roam the streets of Cairo, there is a difference that one can sense in the people. We had all been told that Aswan was much more laid back and had a “southern feel”. After being here for 3 days, and called “cousin” by countless Nubians, I have come to love this place.

The weather here has been unbelievable. I have NEVER been anywhere that had a low temperature of 91 and a high of 113. Back in the US, we have nothing to complain about! Lol. I have never been so hot in my life. But through it all, I have to remember that we are here for a great reason, but I know that I wouldn’t miss this for anything.

Our hotel, The Movenpick, located on Elephantine Island is beautiful and has a very nice view of the town. One of my favorite memories here was going to the market. We did not know where exactly it was, but once we stumbled up it, we entered an entirely new world. One block off of the main street, we were immersed into Nubian life. Bargaining with vendors and walking among the people, we all agreed that this place was great! It is amazing to see how many people are out late at night. It seems like the city never sleeps.

Yesterday we visited Philae Island and the Temple of Isis. After a short boat ride, we came around a small bend and were all awe-struck by the immensity of the temple and the small complex surrounding it. Walking between the columns, and noticing that EVERY column had a different design, attested to the creativity and skill of the Egyptians. At every site, I am amazed by the craftsmanship and longevity of the monuments. The conviction in the beliefs that Egyptians possessed definitely serves as an inspiration and aspiration for me.

Today, we drove out to Abu Simbil. It was amazing to see the temples of Ramses II and Nefertari hidden in the mountains. I applaud those who helped move the temples and the incredible care that was taken in doing so. The buildings are massive and the walls are very heavily adorned. It seems that nothing has really been changed after all of these years. We were not allowed to take any pictures inside, which was a huge disappointment. I wish that I could share with you the brilliance of the walls and the stories that they told. Every day here, the sites that I see amaze me. This has truly been an amazing trip thus far and I think that everyone should visit here at least once in their lives to witness the great history of our people.