Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Don't Care

When a soft dirt road provides a warm sunny spot for nap, this black donkey couldn't care less that a jeep might want to pass. The Photography Elf was driving the jeep and decided to record his adversary.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


An almost bare poinciana tree against a winter sunset is enough to take your breath away!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Picture Of A Possible Disaster

These are mango flowers. In February. Our mango trees should not be flowering now and if we have a week or so of cold weather in March or April, as is entirely possible, we won't see any mangoes because the flowers will fall.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Home Delivery

I have some visitors here and as we were returning home, quite hungry after a 3 hour ride, we encountered our sweet potato seller and gave him directions to the farm. My staff had lunch ready for us but we still bought some of the roasted sweet potatoes. The oven set up is quite interesting.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Making A Sidewalk

Coming from North America, I was always used to sidewalks being something that the city provided. In Egyptian cities, the sidewalks are often something repaired or even provided for by property owners. In this case the owners of the building on this street decided to make a nice brickwork sidewalk. I have no idea whether the man standing and watching was a supervisor, a friend, or just watching.

A Gardener

A week old beard and an intent look could make him look rather sinister, but this man spends his days caring for seedling plants and selling trees to farmers. Many men in Egypt like to patronise a barber for a shave and a haircut once every 10 days or so. The shave is done with a straight razor and is astonishingly close. The beard doesn't appear for days.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Children

I love taking photos of the village children out here. They get such a kick out of seeing themselves in pictures or on the screen of the camera. The countryside children, while financially poor, have lots of good fresh junk food here...clean air and lots of room to play outdoors with toys that they have to make themselves. Not such a bad life.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Unpacking The Shopping

Ok, so we got the cabbage, macaroni, some rice, the chickens....and don't forget the sheep. This is truly bulk shopping.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Conference Call

Mobile phones are a godsend to the farmers. Where they used to be out in the fields far from their families all day, now they can check in on the home, or be in touch with help in case of emergencies. Of course, now they have to worry about the camels listening in.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Women

There is a small grouping of about four houses on a trail that I love to ride in the countryside just north of Sakkara. The track is narrow and can only be navigated by donkey, motorcycle, on foot or by horse. The children who live here are always happy to see us come by and greet us politely. The women are also very welcoming and willing to be photographed, something that isn't so common out here. It's pretty hard to get a good photograph from horseback, but this time I did and I have to take them into town to have them printed for the women and the children.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Not Canadian Tire

Repairmen make do with whatever space they can find. This village tire sales and repair shop mostly lives out of doors with the goods stored in a small room at night.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


At one time the pyramids were known as granaries, though you'd be hard pressed to get much inside them...or get it out. These, however, really are granaries, although they are fairly small. The grain is poured into the hole in the top and can be reached through the door at the bottom.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


We were waiting for some clients to come back from visiting the antiquities in Sakkara with a guide. A garden nursery that we've bought plants from us gave us a quiet spot to sit and relax with the horses until the guests arrived. The Photography Elf gave me the camera and became lost in thought. The boy was a bit more watchful.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Always Wanted One Of Those

What more could you ask for than a poolside sphinx.....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Parking Place

As we were about to pull out of our spot we noticed a car across the road from us revving its engine and making little honks on the horn. Looking down in front of the car, we noticed a cat quietly hunkered down on the road ignoring the car and its driver. The driver didn't want to run over the cat, but the cat was paying no attention. Finally a passerby stepped into the street and the cat ran off. That's playing chicken with the big boys.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Always Time For A Story

Okay, it isn't so good for productivity, but I suspect that the Egyptian propensity to stop to talk about almost anything is good for the soul. One man rests on a motorcycle, another squats with his back against a lamp post, and a third leans against the front of a shop. The hand gestures tell the story.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Branches Waiting For Spring

The Photography Elf was waiting for me outside my physiotherapist's office and got these great shots of poinciana and jacaranda trees.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Back End

So we were driving along the road and there was this interesting shaped object on the sidewalk. Camels are so oddly shaped.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Photography Elf's Friends

Years ago a friend of my daughter's gave me a plastic lizard that we called George. He lived on the dashboard of the jeep and gave great fear to many gas station attendants until he had an untoward end when the jeep (The other jeep, the good jeep, the newer jeep) fell into a canal while in another person's custody. The person and the jeep survived (the jeep more or less and needed to be sold while the going was good.) but George had vanished never to be seen again. A few years later I spotted George the Second at a bazaar, enchanted by his orange and green stripes. George the Second took up residence on the dashboard but he isn't scary at all, so another well-meaning friend decided that we really needed Snaky, a yellow plastic snake, as we were missing the gasps and hand jerks that the original George had occasioned. Another friend gave me George the Small, another beaded gecko, for Christmas. Ok, everyone. That's enough reptiles. It's getting crowded here and I'm worried about Mohamed spending too much time photographing toys.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Colourful Tree Trunks

I have no idea why they would paint the trunks of the trees outside a wedding center yellow and white. But they did.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Riding Home With Grandpa

One of the farmers drives his donkey cart home with his grandson riding along side.

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