Thursday, May 22, 2008

Out of Egypt

I haven't put anything on my blog in a while, I know, but it is not all of my fault. First I was a week in Egypt where I didn't have access to a computer, and since then I have been sick (with Ramses Revenge).

First though, I can't remember if I talked about the western wall which was an awesome experience. We went there on Friday night, so just before the sabbath, and I wish I could have taken pictures or video because the expereince was nothing like I would have imagined - but it wasn't allowed. Thousands of people were in this little square, and it was really more of a party than anything else. First there were all the ultra-orthodox Jews in thier fancy get-ups praying at the wall and in the synaguage - rocking back and forth like they do. But then all the rest of the Jews stand a little further back and they get in big huge circles, and everybody puts hands around each others shoulders and they sing and they dance and they mosh and whatever comes to mind. I did something that resembled the ramba with one group, and I tried hard to learn the songs, but mostly I just made vowel noises with the tune. At one point I was singing a really cool harmony, but kept getting looks so I stopped. After that I went over with the soilders who were the biggest partiers. I've never danced with so many people with M-16s strapped to them, it was a crazy time for sure.

Ok, so Egypt. We spent a day driving there, one day in Cairo, two days in Luxor, back to Cairo and a day driving back. I'll post some pictures later on but I'm having trouble with the data dump from my camera to my flash drive so it will have to wait. Anyway, I'll put up a bunch of pictures with captions and that way I don't have to talk about it here.

On the last day I woke up, and everything I ate the previous day was coming out both ends - pleasant imagery I know. I couldn't stand up without getting nausious, and my arms were all tingly. The doctor came and threatened me with an Egyptian hospital so I told him that I would get on the bus. That ride accross the Sinai Pennisula was one of the worst experiences of my life. I wanted to die. you would think that if you were making a road accross a desert that it would be easiest if made straight, but no, the Egyptians had to make them really windy with checkpoints, requiring busses to constantly be changing their speed and coming to stops.

Getting accross the border was like a scene out of a movie. I had to be helped accross the border - supported by my fellow immigrants. The Egyptian officials were really nice and let me to the front of the line, and basically just waived me through (probably because they were glad that something so sick was leaving their country) The Israeli side was hell. I was harrassed by border officials, had to wait forever, for them to X-ray my bags and in the end they ended up just searching the entire thing anyway - If you are just going to open up the bag, why don't you do it in the beginning before you spend hours xraying it? Anyway, I made it accross and was able to sleep for most of the Isreal trip back to Jerusalem, although I didn't get to snorkel in the red sea like everyone else, which was fairly disapointing.

This week has been finals for our block classes and so I've been mostly staying around the center and trying to recover - which has proved harder than I thought. But next week we go up to Galilee so I need to get better.


Alla said...

Sad to hear you were sick Randy. Hope Brian will take care of you :) Get better!

Bjorn said...

being sick sucks. hope you are better now, especially since that was like 2 weeks ago.