Monday, June 6, 2011

Fire Season


The flame trees (poinciana) are in bloom now and they light up the roads, countrysides and gardens. They provide beautiful shade all summer and then the leaves fall in the winter. A perfect Egyptian shade tree.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wake Up Call!!


I really hate posting ugly pictures of Egypt when there is so much beauty here, but every now and then I have to in hopes of helping people care for our country. The government (old government) built an extension of the Ring Road to connect the end of the Moneeb coming from Kattameya to the part of the ring road that circled around to the north of the city. Originally the road was intended to go around behind the Giza Plateau but UNESCO blocked that route arguing that the construction was not good in an antiquities area. Just last fall someone put up some tent material along the canal just where the extension took off from ground level and began dumping garbage there. Now every day trucks come and dump load after load of smelly gross garbage under the overpass while bulldozers dig it up again and put it in big trucks to move somewhere else instead.

All of this is incredibly stupid. Instead of investing money in the Zebaleen who recycle roughly 80% of the waste they collect, we are paying people to move it around in trucks, using gasoline and polluting the air further. And it goes to landfills, which as might be expected, FILL UP!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Black Land


In the time of the pharoahs Egypt was divided into the Black Land of the Nile Valley and the Red Land of the desert. Most of the desert near the valley is a reddish colour. You can tell where the antiquities were by a slight white tinge to the desert where the stone chips still cover the sand after the limestone was cut up. The black soil of the valley used to be replenished by the silt from the Nile during the yearly flood. Now it is replenished by the addition of the manure from the water buffalo, silt dug out of the canals during dredging and the careful rotation of the crops by the farmers.