Tuesday, December 29, 2009


We took a day trip to Cairo. This involved paying large sums of money, in cash (euros, to be precise) to some sketchy people, with the promise that a bus would pick us up at 4:30 a.m. Okay, they operated out of the hotel, so it couldn't have been that sketchy, but still.

The van did come at 4:45, so we had started to get a bit panicky. We drove to the airport, presented our passports and boarded a plane. Jason, helpfully, informed us that this very plane had crashed previously in Darfur. Way to instill confidence!

Surprisingly, we did not crash and nobody attempted to hijack us, even though (and this is true) almost everyone on the plane brought liquid. That's right. Water bottles, juice boxes, you know those things terrorist use. See, since the flight had nothing to do with the US, they used more sensible security measures, like multiple luggage screening and scary looking dogs. Everybody had boxed breakfasts from their hotels, so we all had liquid.

We arrived in Cairo and went to meet our tour guide. He was late, so we were a bit nervous, given the sketchiness of the whole deal. Fortunately, he arrived and it turned out to be just 7 of us in our group, along with Ibrahim, our tour guide.

Ibrahim was in his mid 20s and announced he was looking for a British wife. He also liked Russian women because they were easy, but he really wanted to marry a British girl and did we know any?

Our first stop was the Cairo museum. We look nice and well put together, which changed throughout the day. The Cairo museum was fascinating. We learned all about King Tut and had a great time.

Then we went to lunch at a boat on the Nile. It was billed as 5 stars, and I'm sure this is true if your rating system consists of 1 to 25 stars. We had a choice of chicken, fish or "meat." Our fellow group members and we decided that the "meat" was most likely camel. Yum.

After a brief stop at a papyrus museum (gift shop) we headed to the...

Pyramids! This was so awesome. We got to climb up on the great pyramid and then go down into one of the smaller ones. The way down was too steep for Daniel, so Sarah and Jason went down, and then when they came up, I was going to go down alone, but Sarah volunteered to come with me. The others in our group called her Indiana Jones because she could scamper up and down the steep ladders. She had the distinct advantage of being short enough to stand upright on the paths.

We then got to go on a camel ride.

Daniel was pretty unsure about this, crying, "Cow, cow!" But once on the camel, he did pretty well. Our helpful bedouin guide said, "happy baby!" The ride was about 30 minutes long and the most awesome thing ever. It was so cool to ride up behind the pyramids on camels.

We then visited the Sphinx. We told Sarah that they had just met and she should not be kissing anyone, but you know how kids are these days.

After the Sphinx we got dragged to a "fragrance" factory, which was another blatant attempt to sell us things. But, they had clean bathrooms and drinks, so who could really complain?

We headed back to Sharm El Sheik on the same plane, which (incidentally) was so filthy you couldn't see out the windows. Since everyone on the flight had up since about 3:30, there was some serious cranky pants going on. Our children performed admirably.

I did learn, while waiting to get off the plane, that if there is one thing people hate, it's waiting to get off a plane. I think we if we were trying to get off the plane to meet a firing squad people would still be groaning about how long it was taking.

All in all, a fabulous day!
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Christmas in Egypt

What I don't have pictures of is our actual Christmas morning. We spent it at the beach, snorkling in the Red Sea. We brought a couple of rolls from breakfast and fed the tropical fishes. 20 or so fishes swarmed around us--it was like standing in the middle of an aquarium. We honestly didn't see the "don't feed the fishes" sign until after we got out of the water. Honest.

The hotel held a big Christmas Eve celebration, complete with live nativity. This included camel rides. The food looked spectacular, but honestly, pate is gross no matter how it is displayed.
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Temporarily 7 Hours Ahead

We flew on a plane for our vacation. We meant to end up in Egypt, but it looks like we might have ended up in St. George after all.

Oh wait, even in St. George, Santa doesn't come on a Camel. On Christmas morning, Santa really did come up on a live camel. Of course, Santa was the head of the Kid's Club, a man named El Sayed. It was a very multi-cultural Christmas.

Jason really got into the spirit of things. Too bad he didn't collect some additional wives while there. I could really use some help with the post vacation laundry.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Random Newspaper


Friends of ours bought a very old house/restaurant/dance hall. Jason has been helping them with the remodel. This newspaper was behind the walls. The name is Der Kleine Nazi, which means "The Little Nazi." You don't find these things in the walls when you remodel in the US.
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Random Sausage


So much for the separation of Church and Dinner.
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Monday, December 14, 2009

The Primary Program

Yesterday was the annual "Primary Program" at church. Once a year the children put on a presentation where they show the congregation what they have learned this year. They sing songs and say short parts.

This year's theme was "Meine Ewige Familie." I know this is not helpful. In English, that would be "My Eternal Family."

Sarah had 3 different lines she had to say, which she did very loudly, and clearly--in German. She also knew most of the words to the songs, which is impressive.

We are very proud of her. It's scary to get up in front of an entire congregation and speak in your native language, let alone a foreign one.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

St. Nicholas Day


Tomorrow is St. Nicholas day. This is a big deal here in Switzerland. St. Nicholas comes and puts nuts, fruit and candy in shoes. He comes with his friend, Schmutzli. Schmutzli is a black man who kidnaps the naughty children and takes them out to the woods. To do what with them, I don't know. Draw your own conclusion.

One of the requirements is that you write a letter to St. Nicholas saying why you are good. We all wrote letters. Sarah's is above. I'll translate for those of you who aren't adept at reading First Grade:

Dear St. Nicholas

I have bin good. Because I have not had any screaming fits. Diig was bad. Because he pulled hair. But he is cute. (Then on the side, in case St. Nicholas doesn't know): Diig is a baby.

Isn't that awesome? I'm not sure where she picked up spelling Diig, when his name is properly spelled Diggas (poor kid, he's doomed, doomed, I tell you). All of it is true, by the way. Sarah was having major melt downs at least twice a week. She got promised a china doll if she could go two weeks without a melt down. She did it in October and hasn't had a melt down since.

I wish we could say the same thing for Daniel's hair pulling. Ouch.

So, our shoes are out on the back porch, with our letters to St. Nicholas in them. Sarah is convinced that St. Nicholas is real, but that Schmutzli is just a story. We told her to clean her room just in case.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Why I haven't been blogging much


Because this is what happens when I do.
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