Monday, March 9, 2015

Come Back Later

While in a nearby village on an errand we parked across the road from this shop. Naturally it was closed in the morning sunshine. I suppose it only opens after dark. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Checking His Mail

Waiting for a train to pass a village level crossing I spotted this man leaning against a bridge over the canal and checking messages or mail. Mobile phones have changed life immeasurably in rural Egypt. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Thread of the Story

On a visit to Bab Zuwayla in old Cairo, I walked past this small factory making konefa, which is the base of a sweet made in Egypt. In the first photo you see the rotating drum where the thin stream of batter is cooked into threads. These then are collected on the tray below the drum. 

The threads are then gathered into sort of pads and sold by the kilo. They may then be used as a base for a dessert where a layer of fruit, nuts, cream or many other things might be baked between layers of the batter threads. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pigeon Palace

Egyptians are serious about their pigeons. They live to eat squab, young pigeon stuffed with cracked wheat, and they like to fly or race them. The elaborate structure on top of the apartment building is a multistory pigeon coop. The pigeons are usually out free by day foraging and come home at night to be shut in for feeding and safety. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Third World Problems

Egypt doesn't have a lot of trees. We have a lot of palms, which are technically a grass, but wood trees are definitely in the minority so when we see someone cutting down the eucalyptus along the canals in the countryside, we stop to ask.  I went to ask to se the orders but the gentleman with the crutches was already grilling the guy loading the truck, so I left them at it. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Filming In The Countryside

A couple of young women are making a video on donkey care so they have been joining the vets of the Rural Wellness Initiative for filming. During a quiet moment the crew share stories

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

But Don't Sit Down

A banana seller has a mobile stand but the seat for the bicycle is long gone. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Cairo traffic is infamous. Crowded, slow, name it. Motorcycles and scooters are commonplace as they can slide among the cars in a traffic jam, but his guy was carrying something extra, a stout walking stick to protect his legs or to rap an encroaching car on the hood maybe. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sand Sifters and Floor Coverers

It's a problem in the countryside. We live in an area where the most common surface for a road is sand or dirt. People wander in and out of homes all the time and the dust blows in from the desert. Stone or tile floors are cold and hard, and in village homes most people sit on the floor rather than on furniture. Rugs are nice but they collect sand and dust and really hard to clean, so these woven plastic mats are a great solution to the floor covering problem. They provide a bit of cushioning, a bit of warmth and the sand and dust just sift their way through the mat to the floor surface. The mats can be rolled up, the sand swept out, and you are good to go. When you want to wash them, all it takes is a hose and few minutes to let them dry in the sun. AND they are quite cheap.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Clip It And Don't Lose It.

It has been ages since I've posted to the blog and truly I feel bad about that. Life has a way of getting complicated and busy, especially here in Egypt where nothing is as easy as it should be, nor as easy as it was some years ago. Power failures, internet failures and no time to leave the farm due to work that we are doing here all make it hard to take photos and post.

But I had two women who wanted to go to see the Menawat Sunday market last week, and I have some lovely photos of a country market in Giza. One friend needed a donkey harness for the donkey at her farm that hauls the manure cart, while the other was a visitor who was up for anything interesting...and the Sunday market is interesting. Imagine all the goods in a large supermarket unwrapped, unpacked and then distributed along narrow dusty streets and you have roughly the idea of a village market. You will find EVERYTHING there if you have the time to look for it. One of the things that I noticed that brought a huge grin to my face was this enormous pile of wooden clothes pins. My housekeeper is a tiny woman and the washing line at the house is quite tall, so clothes pins go missing regularly. She often will just tug at a sheet and the pins separate flying in opposite directions. When I saw this, I knew that I needed a shot of this place where the missing clothes pins must go to breed.