Archive | December, 2008

Turkey for Christmas

24 Dec

Dec. 24th, 7pm local time

Istanbul

The cafe we’re sitting in, called the Ocean’s 7, is populated by a hodge-podge of foreigners and Turks, talking loudly and eating from their steaming pots of tangine. The waiters are twentysomething Turkish men who are charmed by Finn and keep coming by to joke around with him. Patrick asks one of the men about the name of the restaurant. He explains that they, the seven bustling young men, are all brothers and when they opened the cafe, they played around with names until someone suggested Ocean’s 7 and it just fit. The tall man with the ponytail, who seems to be the oldest, says that people come into the cafe expecting George Clooney and Brad Pitt and he tell them “here I am!” The whole room laughs, the middle-aged woman with wild curly hair dining alone next to a wall covered in an Egyptian pharoanic print, the elderly German couple behind us who keep smiling at Finn. My loud burst of laughter startles Finn, who has had a long day, and he dissolves into breathless tears at Patrick shoves the bag of Cheerios in my direction.  The room is so narrow, it feels like we’re all eating together, a Christmas Eve meal with strangers who laugh at Finn’s faces and roll their eyes at the waiters teasing. One of the brothers stands outside, jumping up and down to keep warm as he invites passerby in to dine. Continue reading

Egyptian Christmas

16 Dec

It’s hard to get into the Christmas spirit in Egypt, despite the nurseries on the corners selling poinsettias and ‘Christmas trees’ which are just cleverly pruned bushes. We went to our branch Christmas party the other night though, and it helped some. Everyone wore their Egyptian gallabayyias and instead of turkey and ham, we had roasted chicken, tahina, hummus, and koshari. Continue reading

(Belly)Dancing in the Aisles

14 Dec

Among other things that kept us away from blogging recently, we’ve been up to our ears planning the annual conference for young single adults in our church’s Amman, Jordan district. We lead the small YSA group here in Cairo and figured we’d be putting together activities for maybe 10-12 people total.

Last Thursday, our group 0f 35 arrived from all corners of the district: Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. We had Americans studying abroad in various places, as well as Arab members visiting from their home countries. We had some preparing for missions and others who had been hanging on by a thread and jumped at a free trip to Cairo. Families in the Cairo branch offered beds and sleeping bags, so I farmed our group out around Maadi. Continue reading

Back in d’nile

8 Dec

Did you think we had been kidnapped while ATV’ing in the desert and sold to Bedouins? Or that we had fallen down a hidden shaft while exploring the inside of a sandy pyramid? Did it cross your mind that perhaps we hadn’t jumped out of the way of the speeding taxis quite fast enough? Or that the desert rats had carried us off into the dunes?

Well rest assured. We’ve just been lazy.

But no longer! I’m back with a vengence and promise to update so frequently it’ll be obnoxious.

So you don’t throw tomatoes at me, here are a few pictures to appease you!

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LDS Chapel in Cairo

8 Dec

If you’re LDS and want to find the church in Egypt while you’re visiting, it’s nearly impossible. We’re not listed on the church website and it takes some fine googling skills to find any kind of address. So I’m going to make it easy and hope that any who googles will come right to our page. The LDS (mormon) church building is Villa #21, Road 17 in Maadi. Taxis who know Maadi should have no trouble finding it and it’s one of the few buildings with a building number displayed outside. Services are on Fridays from 9:30-12:30. Hope this helps people!