Monday, September 30, 2013

Treats For Crows Too

Every summer a pair of Hooded Crows raises a couple of hatches at the farm, so we go from two crows to about a dozen by fall. The first batch help to raise the second. Since the dogs at the farm are free fed a local kibble that is primarily dried fish (dogs love it and the Omega oils help keep them young!) the crows have essentially an inexhaustible buffet. I find them perched on the feed tray every morning. Today a neighboring butcher gave me a bag full of veal bones for the dogs and the crows are nibbling on any unoccupied (dog wise) bones. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cleanliness Is Next To Zucchini

These are loofah, used for scrubbing dishes, floors,and even people. They are sometimes pricey items in upscale pharmacies and makeup shops in Europe and North America. People sometimes think they come from the sea, thinking, I suspect, of sponges. But they come via brilliant yellow flowers from a vine much like that of zucchini.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Move Over, Nutella

Meet Datella, an invention of some chocolate lovers living in Egypt. Wanting a natural product without additional sugar so they mixed date syrup, dates, cocoa powder and a bit of oil.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Baladi Air Conditioning

On a hot afternoon, the dogs really appreciate the fact that we have an old refrigerator that needs defrosting every now and then. Our puppy, Mozza (which means a very cute girl in Egyptian slang) decided that the best thing was to alternate licking the ice and sleeping on it. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Staff if Life

We are having the first anniversary party of our veterinary charity, Rural Wellness Initiative Egypt, and did our grocery shopping in Abu Sir. The baker there makes some of the beat pita bread I've ever eaten. We knew we'd be waiting for a big order so Um Ali bought a couple of lia es from the oven directly to give her kids a treat while waiting in my car. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mystery Sticks

You see piles of them around town in any Egyptian city. It looks like bamboo and is closely related. Sugar cane has been grown in Egypt for thousands of years. Egypt was exporting cane sugar during Europe's dark ages. Now it is often crushed in the mother if all juicers to make sugar cane juice, a green juice that oddly enough isn't that sweet. The pulp retrieved from the crushing is dried and chopped to use as cattle feed. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Simple Pleasures

One of the things I love about living in the villages is the sense of familiarity I get watching the kids play. They don't have electronic toys. They play with marbles, sticks, wheels, or, in this case, by pasting stickers to their faces. They found it very amusing. My horse found it quite odd. 

Not Quite Pretzels

You see them along the streets in Cairo generally at a corner to serve a quick snack to a motorist of a boiled egg and one of the pretzel shaped pieces of bread. The cart owner here was finishing up for the day and taking his bread down from the rack that would ordinarily be covered. But this is more a morning treat and by 2 pm he was ready to move on. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Murder Of Crows

Hooded Crows are not loved by Egyptian farmers but I really like them. They can be destructive of crops and they will capture and eat the hatchlings of other birds, which can be less than endearing. 

This group was happily digging bugs out of our lawn, though their favorite food seems to be the dogs' kibble.  A murder of crows is what a group of crows would be called and the two large beige hairy things are two of my dogs. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ice Cream Break

I went into Maadi today with a friend who needed a ride in and some moral support. On the way back we stopped at a locally famous shop that sells honey and products made with buffalo milk. The sign's spelling is amusing, but the ice cream is simply wonderful. It's the only place in the world that has a soft chocolate ice cream that I really like. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mean Streets

This is a street in the "village" of Abu Sir. This "village" houses about forty thousand people. It has no mayor, no town council, no police, no sewage, no trash collection, no running water...among many other things that it lacks, like paved roads. This is rural Egypt, the place that the government never thinks about. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tapping For Freedoms

This isn't a photo but a video done by some of the Egyptians who are not happy with the military coming in and running Egypt (not that they ever really left) after everyone took to the streets to declare their total disillusionment with the Muslim Brotherhood government (which was really only for the Muslim Brothers and not for the rest of Egypt). This video is to remind those who remember the brutal excesses of the security forces and army in putting down protests both under the initial military rule and under the Muslim Brothers (who had no objections as long as they were ruling, oddly enough) and to encourage them to protest in a peaceful way daily.

Most Egyptians live in apartments, no matter where they live, since usable land is so scarce here. We only use about 4% of our land and the rest is empty desert with sand, more sand and still more sand. So if you get people every evening leaning out of apartment windows and tapping on pots and pans in protest, it could get quite noticeable.

The film is  well-made and the tune is very catchy. Nice idea. If you want to borrow this for your own protests, I'm sure no one would mind.

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