Wednesday, February 4, 2009

We traveled by: Airplane, Bus, Carriage, Camel, Faluka, Foot, Sailboat, Taxi, and Train in only 8 days!

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

-Nile Sunsets

-Sinai Sunrise

-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.

Karnak Columns

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.

Contemplating life.

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!


Meganis said...

sweet pics heid!! I love the heart one--way cool. We might go to Egypt this summer with my boss and his family. That would be so crazy to see a mummy...

Anne Pearson said...

Dear Diana,
I love your blog with all my heart, but most of all I love you because you are the best friend ever. and you're beautiful so how bout I call you Cordelia from now on?
Anne Shirley
PS I <3 Gilbert so so much.

Heidi said...

Thanks Megs! I really really hope you make it to Egypt. It was such an awesome experience! Just make sure to be safe and not touch the water... being sick would have really put a damper on things... if you have any questions about it... please ask :) Also, the Egyptian men are SUPER pushy and try to make you buy stuff... so tell Davey to take REALLY good care of you in Egypt (which I know he already does :)) Love ya! Also... have you heard from Cam?

Jess said...

your pictures are amazing and you are so so cute! i'm so jealous of your experiences! ahhh you are making me want to travel so bad! keep taking pictures and posting the. i love coming and reading and looking and living vicariously through you :]!!

jess wright

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely incredible Heids! I'm so completely jealous of all the amazing things you're seeing and experiencing, but even more than that, I'm just thrilled that you get to do it. Beautiful pictures! I wish I was there with you!

Noelle said...

I just wanted to tell you how awesome your sunrise pictures are! Thanks for posting them! (I'm Stefanie's sister btw :)

Julie T said...

And I'm Stefanie's mom-Noelle told me to come here if I wanted to learn more cool stuff that Stef has been too sick to post about!
Thank you so, so much for sharing your insights, testimony and most gorgeous pictures!

Tucker Davis said...

Heidi! oh my goodness it all looks amazing!!! i cannot even tell you how jealous i am, i cant believe i wont be able to go for two years! but it looks like you are having the time of your life, i love you! p.s. a week from thursday!!..hopefully

Kristen said...

ooh my goodnesss, your Egypt and Sinai pictures are incredible!! I love it. And I love that you are wearing hoodies at the pyramids, I think we were sweating by the pint. I am so glad you've had such a wonderful time so far, HX! Love yoU!

DavidOakes said...

Those are some gorgeous pictures!! The one of you by the water with the sailboat is my absolute fav. What an experience!

Ramaa Abdou said...

Really nice Blog :) anyway, Iam from Egypt and i loved your blog very much and i loved your photos.
and if u came to Egypt again just tell me Iam talking seriously.
and i will be your guide, iam a girl called Rama and my father works in tourism company so he knows lots and lots about every single place in Egypt.
my facebook account is :
if u wanted to contact :)
nice to talk to you anyway :)