Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The School Bus


I was on my way into town to do some urban errands and school had just let out in the larger village near me. It runs in two shifts, children come mornings and go home just at noon and then others come for the afternoon. Part of this has to do with the fact that there are too many students for the school and part with the fact that these kids usually have to help out with the family farm or business as well as attend school. There are a very few buses around for children, usually for the very young, and the rest of the children get to school and back by any means that they find. These two scamps jumped on the back of a pickup loaded with tomatoes to catch a ride home.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The National Sport


If ever a country was made for photography, it is Egypt. Not only are there so many subjects available, but the light itself is extraordinary.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Camels Yes, Rain No


One of the wonderful things about Egypt to my way of thinking is the fact that we get about 360 days of sunshine in Cairo/Giza. But sometimes we don't. I took some friends of mine to the Giza plateau on camels on a day of storms blowing down the valley leaving us with wonderful patterns of sun and shadow in the desert. When I warned them to bundle up as we were a bit late in the day and the wind by the pyramids could be bitter, I got some pretty patronising smiles. "Poor thing, she's gone soft living here for so long". Those smiles changed to chattering teeth when that wind came blasting past the pyramids and crawling inside sweaters. And when it started raining, well....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Smoke in the Wind

Cairo has the unfortunate honour of being one of the most polluted cities in the world, which is one reason that I live on the edge of the western desert. Oddly enough, one of the reasons for the pollution can't be seen easily unless the wind is blowing enough of the crud out of the valley for the chimneys of the cement factories of Helwan to be made out....like today.

So nice to be back. I really missed having a camera.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Motor Men


A stable electrical grid is a wonderful thing. An unstable one has the tendency to burn out electric motors with amazing efficiency. One of the nice things about simple electric motors is the fact that they are simple and someone who is willing to patiently rewind cable can bring one back from the dead. Most Egyptians have more time than money and the motor man can become your best friend.