Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tombs in the desert and chatting with the locals

Well we have seen much of Luxor and its historic sites and have not experienced a fraction of what is here. Luxor is much cleaner than Cairo and the weather is a bit more temperate. The atmosphere in the street is one of business people trying to make a living off of tourists, and even little children are hard at work selling smaller items to benefit their household's income.

I have had the opportunity to meet two Egyptian children and one of the workers from the hotel while journaling on the rooftop of the hotel. Because they speak English fairly well, I have had the opportunity to learn a bit more about Egyptian life from their perspectives. I have learned that they, like any resident of a city with tourist sites, have not seen many of the monuments and temples that I have been privileged to see outside of those that are in walking distance of the hotel. Each of them, upon hearing that I am an American, have said Ă„merica is very beautiful"; but none of them have ever been there. I realize that they know as much about America that I knew about Egypt before making my trip abroad. They are very open to speaking about their religion, customs and beliefs and have inquired about mine. It is interesting that many of our Western misconceptions about Muslims in Muslim countries have proved to be untrue in my experience in my short stay thus far in Egypt.

Today I stood astounded at the age of the structures in which I stood--cared for and preserved. It is so very interesting that the economy drives what actually is cared for, because immediately after leaving the last temple that we visited today, we walked through an impoverished street of locals from Luxor--who outwardly appeared to be uncared for. We are far more than privileged to be enjoying Egypt in the style that we are.

Tomorrow will be yet another busy day; so I will sign off.

Blessings and a suggestion to count your blessings,


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