Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cairo Traffic

The joy of Cairo can be expressed in two words most days. "Cairo traffic" is stickier than duct tape, slower than molasses in January...but at least the guys in the flatbed have a nice breeze and a decent view. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Free Parking

On my way to an attorney whose office is in downtown Cairo we found ourselves behind a horse cart on a major street and I had no time to whip out my phone. I had to be dropped at the law office and the driver had to go all the way to Zamalek to find a parking place. When I came out and was waiting on the Corniche to be picked up, I found this horse standing patiently by the side of the busy road where no one else could park. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Open Sesame

I had shoulder surgery this summer and only had my left hand to use for a month or so. This is the first week I've had the approval from the doctor to ride out. 

This is a flowering field of sesame. I'll bet you had no idea this is what it looked like. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All Tied up

Just before Ramadan started, about a month ago, I had to have surgery on my right shoulder because encroaching arthritis had produced some sharp bone that had severed a tendon in the shoulder. The hassle of surgery aside, this has meant living with my right arm tied up next to my body and absolutely no way to use both hands. I'm now slipping free of the bindings and have two hands for my keyboard as long as I don't move my shoulder.

So this young donkey reminded me of my predicament with its traditional village binding of the legs just above the knees and hocks and the stitched together ear tips. The villagers believe that if they don't do this the legs will grow crooked and the ears will flop, which is, of course, utter rubbish. When our George was born my staff at the time wanted to do this and I laughed at them pointing out that we never do this to foals. George has lovely straight ears and legs despite being deprived of his bindings.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Oh Canada!

Each year the Canadian embassy celebrates our national day, which is July 1, with a gathering at the ambassador's residence. This lovely Art Deco apartment overlooks the garden.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Things Tourists Do!

I took a rider out a year ago on a trek around the desert. She was on a long trek herself and had been given a small stuffed animal to take pictures of in various places. In honor of her ride, she put the duck (I believe) into Wadi's bridle. I love photos of people doing random things.

Apologies for not posting for a while but I was being a tourist myself and visiting family in the US.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Egyptian Jacks

If all these photos look a bit random, that's because they are, at least as far as my understanding of them. We were working on one of our vet clinics near a mosque in a village by Abu Sir and there was a very intent knot of young girls sitting together all facing inward on the terrace of the mosque. I noticed them but it wasn't until we had finished with most of our patients (donkeys, buffalo, cows, goats, and so on) that I got a chance to see what they were doing. One of the girls had three flat round stones and three flat angular stones. She would toss them on the tiles and then toss one stone up into the air and collect the stones on the tiles in various combinations. It reminded me of a game we played when I was a child in California with a ball and a set of spikey metal objects called Jacks.  In Egypt it is called "Al".

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sheep Branding

The village Bedouin in this area graze their flocks of sheep on the fields after harvest, which adds some organic fertilizer to the soil and reduces the stubble. With perhaps a dozen families wandering around the tracks, it's not a bad idea to identify the sheep in some way. These have been marked with a dot of henna on the face or back.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Killing Farm Land

The news has stories of thousands of acres being sold to Arabs, but out here near Abu Sir, they are building warehouses by the hundred on good cultivation land. This would look to be a factory. How can our government be so stupid and shortsighted? 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Eating My Garden

Today was Sham el Nessim, one of my favorite holidays because it is utterly unrelated to any religion or military victory.  On this day Egyptian families head out to some green spot for a picnic, which for some families today was my farm. I spent the day supervising children and puppies, winnowing our quinoa crop, and chatting with old and new friends. By the time everyone left, I was starving and really wanted some greens. After my post about khobeyza, I decided to try out its cousin hollyhock leaves. I cut some off my many hollyhock plants, washed and chopped them and then a autéed them in olive oil with onions, garlic, fresh coriander and dill, and a chopped peeled tomato. I layered a bit of rice, some chopped roast chicken and then the hollyhock greens. Delicious.