Friday, February 19, 2010

Finished and back

We finally got the students to the site, and had a great experience. It was wonderful to watch them start to do all the things they have been training to do. We found lots of good mummies, and had a fabulous day. It was exciting to see so many good things happening and to see the students doing so well.

When we finished, we hurried home and went to the VIP reception at the hotel. Then I packed, and left for the airport with Paul. The flights home were relatively uneventful, and went well. It was very, very nice to be home again. Egypt seems a world away now, and since my heart was here at home all the time, it is nice for my body to be reunited with it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Good Things

It has been a while since I wrote here, partially because things have been so busy. We have been working on the dig, we brought the manager of the hotel out to the dig, we have been doing mini firesides/lectures for the students, and we took them to some places.

I have enjoyed working on the dig. It has been good to see this all coming together. Not having permission for the students to come out has been vexing and ulcer causing. It was a good experience to take the hotel manager out to the site. I rode with him in his mercedes to our excavation site. It was very good for me, because I had never figured out the way to get to our site before. It was very, very good to learn how to get there and to make sure I knew the way. We had a good experience there.

The next day I took the students on a field trip. We went to the Dashur pyramids. We went all around, doing some real exploring and examination. It was really good, and the students really enjoyed it. We went inside the red pyramid, which was very good also. Then we decided to go to Abu Sir. I have never been there before. It was closed, but with my antiquities pass and some money we got in. This is a very cool place, with some really cool temples, causeways, chambers, etc. We had a real adventure, and I really enjoyed it.

And then the best news came. We got permission for the students to go to the site! Tomorrow they get to go up, and I am so happy about it.

My time is almost up. Hopefully I can take a few photos of the dig and post them here within the next few days. Things are going well.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Whirlwind Days

Wow, this has been a crazy bunch of days. We had church on Friday, which was very nice. I have to speak next week. That night we went out to the airport to pick up the students.
The next day we went out to the site and opened it up. It requires going through clearances with the inspector general for all of the Fayoum, and then with the security police. Then we went up to our site. All of this takes a very long time. We had a few glitches with the security people while we were there, but we got things staked out and ready to go.
We spent the next two days taking the students around. We went to Giza and spent a whole day showing them various parts. We went at our own paces, and thoroughly explored the whole place. What a great experience. It was really very nice to work with Dr. Griggs there. I think we make a good combination. I learn from him, he learns from me, and we give each other good ideas. It is really quite delightful.
We then went to the Coptic Museum. It was a great place and a great experience. I really enjoyed it. There were things there that I think were very helpful for our dig.

The next day we went to Memphis. We spent some nice time there teaching the students some things, then went to a field where hardly anyone goes. There was a nice little temple there, with the remains of a number of altars. This was the Apis mummification temple and had huge lion couch altars for the mummification. It was a really neat site. Then we went to Saqqara. Again we moved at our own pace. We got into some very, very nice tombs, pyramids, etc. I again enjoyed feeding off of Dr. Griggs and getting ideas from him. I think we both really learned from each other, and that it was good for the students to be able to be with the two of us as we worked together. It was a long, but good day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Jul's last day

So yesterday was Mom's last day here. We finally got our SCA contract signed (there are a few unhappy glitches, but what can we do?). Then we went up to the Fayoum. We were not able to accomplish all we wanted to, but we tried. We ended up buying some baskets, I don't know why.

We celebrated Mom's birthday yesterday, since she and Dad will not be together on her birthday. We had a nice time together.

Now she is in the air, winging her way home, and Dad misses her. He misses the kids too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2 cool days!

These last two days have really been something. We met with our table makers for a while to make sure they were making the tables right. Then we went out to Saqqara. There we saw the step pyramid, its whole complex, a couple of tombs, and went all around the Unas pyramid, following its causeway all the way along. We mostly did things that most people don't do on

tours, because we thought that Julianne will get to do tour stuff some other time, and we ought to do this kind of stuff while we can. It was a great day.

When we got home we hurried and got ready for the hotel manager's reception. It was an upscale thing that was very nice. We met some very nice and interesting people, including the new hotel manager. Two men we talked to for a long time were very interesting. They fly a private 737 for a sheikh, who has a wife here as well as in Saudi Arabia. They fly him and his wives around quite a bit. They live here in this hotel when the sheikh is visiting his wife here (six weeks this time). Sometimes a wife will want to go shopping in Paris, so they will fly there. Interesting life.

The next day we met with the hotel manager for a while, and had a nice time getting to know him and letting him know about our project. The we got ready and met our friend, Jessica Kaiser, who excavates out at Giza. She took us all around Giza and told us about all sorts of interesting things going on there. We had a great time, and really enjoyed ourselves and seeing kind of the "backside" of Giza, as well as a little of the stuff that tourists normally see.

When we got done with that we spent a little time in a tiny little apartment of an old Egyptian couple that were her friends. It was a highlight to spend time with such a nice couple and see how they live and how gracious they are.

We hurried back and got ready for our dinner with the deputy ambassador from the US, a great guy named Matt Tueller, who is Jim Tueller's brother (Jim is one of our good friends from Hawaii), and Chad Emmet's brother-in-law (Chad is our friend teaching in the Jerusalem Center right now). We had a wonderful dinner, and really enjoyed ourselves. What a very pleasant evening.

Tomorrow we get to meet with the SCA and hopefully we get our contract and have it all set to start digging. Lets hope!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Another different day

This morning we drove out to the industrial part of town. We spent some time with a metal worker (who was welding without any kind of eye protection). Together we designed two tables that he would build for us to use on the dig. He will now start building them.

Then we spent a lot of time planning out transportation and lodging for the rest of the crew. We called, and our security forms are still not ready yet. They want us to call back tomorrow. So we planned out the next few days.

Then Julianne and Kerry walked along the Nile and explored a street with a lot of embassies on it. We also explored the palace we live in. Not the most exciting day, but it was mostly spent getting things prepared for other days. We made some good friends of some of the work here in the hotel. They gave us free desert! We like those kinds of friends. Yum!