Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Day 2

Today was a busy day, so this is going to be a brief post. I will post some pictures tomorrow when I have some more time. (Not to mention the Internet is crawling tonight for some reason.)

We started off the day by visiting Coptic Cairo. This is one of the older areas of the city, which is not very old by Middle Eastern standards. We visited a very old synagogue and saw where Moses was recovered from the basket! As if that was not great enough, we then went to a Coptic Orthodox church and saw where the holy family stayed while they were hiding in Egypt! From there we went to the Coptic museum, which was great. There were a lot of icons on display, but the highlight for me was seeing some pages and covers from the codexes (I don't think that is the correct plural word, but I don't feel like looking it up right now) recovered at Nag Hammadi. For those of you who are not in Div. School, these early forms of books were found in the mid 20th century in Egypt and contained some Gnostic texts that were previously unknown such as the Gospel of Thomas.

From there we were off to visit a Coptic and Evangelical NGO called CEOS to learn a little bit about what it is like to do the work of the church in a country where Christianity is the minority religion. From there, we went back to the hotel where we had just enough time to get a bite to eat (the group I was with ate at McDonald's -- they have a chicken Big Mac over here!) before we headed off to see a presentation by Sufi Whirling Dervishes.

It is now 11:30 in Egypt, so I am going to head back to the room. I will post a more detailed post tomorrow and include some pictures. We are heading off to see the birthplace of Christian Monasticism, and I will have some time in the bus to compose my thoughts and time when I get back to upload pictures.

All of the lost luggage arrived last night, and as far as I know, everyone is doing fine.

More tomorrow....

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