Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Egypt Day Two

We woke up early again so we could grab breakfast at the Kibbutz before we hit the road again at 7:30. We drove ALL day and I only slept for a little, it’s hard to sleep when you are with such entertaining people. Then we had class on the bus, Brother Muhlestein gave an amazing lesson. He said that the expected journey for the Israelites to the Promised Land was 11 days but it took them 40 years because they didn’t trust the Lord and follow his instructions. They provoked the Lord by not believing that he would deliver them when he had promised them that he would. He connected it to our lives by asking what we are doing to prolong our journey and our spiritual development. What is too hard for us to give up in order to progress? What promises are we doubting that the Lord will fulfill? It was a very powerful lesson, not out of character for Brother Muhlestein. The rest of the ride was full of singing and games.

Getting through the border was pretty simple, I was afraid it was going to take forever and that they would question me hard core, but we all got through without too much trouble. It was at the border that I spent my first dollar… by accident. A man came and grabbed my bags to carry them to the next check point, he said it was taken care of by the American group so I thought it was legit, but when we got to the next checkpoint he demanded that we tip him… lesson learned… nothing is free in Egypt.

We were all so excited at the border. We were all sporting a shiny new sticker in our passports and we were all so ready to get this adventure started. No one could sit still on our bus. Driving through Cairo was crazy… People were driving within 2 inches of each other on the freeway, lanes didn’t exist, cars were packed with people, infants sitting on the laps of driver, and a bus literally stopped on the freeway to let a man off. There were tons of tall buildings with rebar on top, they said that in Egypt if you have an unfinished roof you pay less taxes so no one finishes their roofs. Also, when you purchase and apartment, you only purchase the walls and flood, if you want a window you have to purchase and install it yourself so each level of each building has different style of window. Then we got our first glimpse of the great pyramids! Everyone ran to the side of the bus and started snapping pictures, we were all so giddy and it finally started to feel real. Not going to lie, I almost started to cry I was so happy. It was odd to see the tops of these ancient pyramids intermingled with the modern, unfinished buildings. As we got off the freeway everyone was in the isle of the bus dancing and singing. I just kept thinking “this can’t be real”, I mean I’ve learned about this place my entire life and never did I ever imagine I would even have the chance to visit.

Our first stop in Egypt was the sound and light show. We got there early so we could get good seats and take tons of pictures. The light show was kind of cheesy, but it was fun for us all to be there making fun of it together. Basically they had the pyramids lit up and told the story of the pyramids on the pyramids… there were lasers and a talking sphinx involved and I felt like I was on a ride at Disneyland. It was so fun to finally be off the bus and actually IN Egypt catching our first glimpse of the pyramids. It just set the mood for the rest of the trip.We were all so exhausted that we headed back to the Oasis Hotel and slept like rocks.

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