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.

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".