Awesome Sign. Only in Egypt....
Okay, so I'm back from Egypt and it's definitely been a bittersweet feeling. There were SO many wonderful things to do and see in Egypt, but the Jerusalem Center has really come to feel like home for us. We were all cheering as we ran through the entrance upon our arrival :) The word Egypt means "forbidden" and in many ways that's how it was for us. We were forbidden from drinking the water there... which meant we were forbidden from eating any cold foods that may have been prepared with the water (ex. fresh fruits and vegetables... and any desserts containing these things) Exhibit A:
It was so tempting.... but I knew death was imminent, so I refrained.
It was forbidden to have ice in any of our drinks because apparently the ice there most likely contained feces... sick. Along the same lines, when we showered we had to be careful not to wash our faces in the water to make sure it didn’t get into our mouths or eyes... this also included brushing our teeth with the water from our sink. Anyway, it was just a lot of precautions that made life a little different than usual. Thus, this past day at the JC has been heaven with the fresh food! YUM!
A good motto to live by... wherever you may be! :)
Some of my favorites in Egypt:
-Mummies of King Tut, Seti I, and Ramses II (SO incredible!)
-Karnak Temple and the Great Pyramids
-Camel ride and my cute guide Abraham (Abe-raw-heem)
I’ll start in the order I’ve written my favorite Egypt experiences… well some of them.
Unfortunately they wouldn’t let us take any pictures in the Egyptian museum in Cairo. I really, really wish we could have because there were so many cool things there. I just loved the mummies so much because it made everything extremely real. I mean, you can only imagine, it's not like you are hearing about someone in history and imagining if he or she really exists… that person is RIGHT there... you aren't looking at artifacts from his time or possessions of his... you are looking at HIM…the actual body is right before you. It was pretty dang awesome. I think mummies are pretty cool. As Brother Skinner put it, "You are looking at the man who shook the hand of Moses." As I looked at Seti it made me think of how he was Moses' adopted father... that really put things into perspective. I began imagining Moses growing up in his court with Ramses II as his brother. I usually imagine Moses as an old man with a beard, but the Egypt trip made me think of him quite differently. Actually, a lot about this trip has made me think of the scriptures differently. This is something I was expecting, but I wasn't quite sure how it would happen. I have begun to accept the scriptures as more fact than ever before. I do not think I have ever had a real struggle with my faith... as in... I don't think I've doubted that things in the scriptures happened, but it all seemed so ancient that it was hard to comprehend. Now, after being in Egypt for 8 days, four thousand years ago doesn't seem like that long ago. It is incredible to me how similar we are like the ancient Egyptians.
The Karnak temple was one of the coolest spots. I really, really liked the columnade. It had 134 columns! It was so beautiful and we took some pretty sweet pictures there. The Great Pyramids were great because they were so huge! I cannot even begin to fathom how they made those things! There was so much time and willpower that they put into the preservation of one person. To me, it showed that they really respected and revered people to great lengths. They would be willing to do anything for a Pharaoh as they saw him as a god on earth. They believed he would help them and never lead them astray and only do what God commands and would want for the people.
Here are some pictures from the columnade at the temple and a few of the pyramids and Sphinx:
A successful GQ photo. Should probably send it in. Ha.
Hieroglyphics on the columns.
Another fun shot.
The first Great Pyramid; it is the biggest.
Me, Ang, and Rach.
Crazy, Me, Sallison, Ang
Nothing quite like kissing the Sphinx.
The sunset over the Nile was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It shows me that God really does love His creations and makes things beautiful for man. I loved it. I just basked in the sun as it descended contemplating how wonderful life is. I like those small and simple moments when inspirational thoughts come to you... it is such a great feeling. It is like everything in the world is right. Awww. I felt that again when I went up to the top of Sinai. I'm not gonna lie... it was a dang hard hike. I tried not to complain too much and I kept thinking of that quote, "Nothing is so bad that complaining doesn't make it worse." I tried to be strong and remember not to complain like the children of Israel had. I imagined Moses at 80 years of age hiking up that mountain all alone. Our group made it in very good time and sunrise was magnificent from up there. I have never, ever seen a sunrise like that. I took some pretty good pictures. It was freezing, freezing cold! I couldn't believe it! I don't know if I have ever been colder in my life. it was negative 4 degrees up there… not including wind chill. What made it worse was that I had been sweating previously, so then my sweat turned ice cold and there was nothing I could really do to stay warm. It made me think of Moses and I'm sure it was cold for him too. I got a Mt. Sinai scarf to remember the experience... both the place and the amazing events that took place there... but also the bitter chill I experienced while atop.
My feeble attempt at a heart.
Pictures just don't do it justice.
Maybe my favorite picture in all of Egypt. Thanks Steve.
Capture it. Remember it.
Sinai. The dawning of a bright new day.
The brilliant sunrise.
Cool silhouette... even if I do look like a cone-head with my hood.
Camels. SO many smelly camels in such a short time....
Well, I think this is enough for now… I will keep you in suspense about my awesome camel ride… Actually, there isn’t TOO much to say about it, but I did take a lot of pictures that I'll post later. Thanks for reading and looking!