Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Egypt: too much traveling

Left: Freezing on the top of Mt. Sinai waiting for the sunrise
Above: Dancing at the Hard Rock Cafe in Cairo
Below: Watching the sunset with my roommates

Egypt was amazing. We saw so many incredible things. But I must say I am more than happy to be back in Israel. It was just so disease infested and dirty there. Here are a few highlights from the week long trip.
Favorite sites:
Climbing Mt. Sinai: This was my favorite part of the whole trip. We woke up at 2 a.m. after only four hours of sleep and started trucking up the mountain, which we didn't know existed since we had arrived late at night after a days travel through the flat desert. The stars were incredible. I thought a lot about Moses going up eight times and what he may have been thinking about. I thought about how all of us at some point have wilderness experiences were the Lord refines us and then we go to the temple/mountain to receive greater instruction and our wilderness experience suddenly makes sense.
We sat at the top for nearly two hours like sardines trying to keep warm. But suddenly the frost bitten hands and numb legs seemed to disappear as I watched the sunrise. It was incredible. Suddenly you could see all these grand mountain ranges all around us, that we didn't know existed in the dark.
Life isn't about the number of breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away! This was one of those moments that just cannot be retold.
Beersheba: This place is highlighted often in the Bible because it was a main highway intersection and had a water system out in the middle of the desert. This was a place Mary and Joseph would have passed along with many other significant Biblical people. Interesting to note Beersheba means completeness or perfection.

Wilderness of Zin: Where the children of Israel resided for forty years. Yikes, there was nothing there but sand here. I don't understand how they survived. After only a week of being in Egypt I was so done with drinking bottled water and being in the disgusting disease infested country. I could better sympathize and only begin to understand the children of Israel's struggles.

Pyramids and Sphinx: It was incredible to see the pyramids that have been standing for so long. Even great-grandfather Moses would have seen these. We went inside and they really weren't anything special, just germs trapped for more than 5,000 years and empty, narrow hallways. Call me ignorant but I thought we would see all the treasures they found inside the tombs. Nope we just went down the pyramid to an empty room and back out. Not what I had anticipated. But it was still really cool, especially at the night show where they tell about it and have all these colored lights changing on them. It was a beautiful sight and pretty surreal.
Valley of the Kings and Tomb of King Tutankhamen: I think this was one of my favorite spots. It was cool to go through all of these tombs and see the writings on the walls. It was such a testimony to me that the temples are truly of God and have been the same throughout all time. He is in the details.

Temple of Ramses III, Colossus of Memnon, Luxor temple, Mohammad Ali Mosque, Suez Canal, Red Sea, Geyer Anderson Museum, Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, Egyptian Museum Tour, Colossus of Memnon, Funerary Temple of Ramses III, Tel Avdat, Sound and light show, Memphis and the Karnak Temple were all incredible.
I was amazed at all of the symbolism between LDS temples and the ancient temples. It made me appreciate that God is the same today, yesterday and forever.

Travel: We went by bus, train, plane, carriage, feluca, camel, horse, water boat, sailboat and walking.

Food: The food was disgusting. We couldn't eat any fruits or vegetables because of parasites in the water which they wash the food with. We also could not drink the water either, which makes it very difficult to brush your teeth and shower.

Do we seriously have to eat this mystery meat on the train?

Health: I got motion sickness the first day on the bus and threw up at the boarder. Then I got the flu on top of everything. I was coughing so hard the whole week that I bruised my ribs. One day I had a fever so bad that I wanted a blessing so I could survive the long day. The only place there was a quiet spot with few people was inside of a bar. Hahah, how many people can say they received a blessing inside of a bar, it was funny. I am sick of being sick.

Hotels: Kibbutz, Oasis, Sheraton Hotel, train, back to the Oasis, Morganland Hotel

Gratitude: Walking through the poverty stricken areas was heart wrenching. It made me appreciate the life I have been given. I cannot imagine having to beg every day. It broke my heart to walk through the market and see diseased people missing arms, legs and love. I couldn't help but feel horrible every time we went back to our fancy hotel and think "Even though this food is disgusting it is still better than any meal these people will ever have." I received a deeper appreciation for the things I have been given. We truly are so blessed to have the fulness of the gospel and not have to mimick the priesthood as on all of the temples. We are blessed to have food to eat, warm beds, clean water and a country of laws and regulations that helps maintain order and safe driving :).


  1. It's amazing to hear about the places you are visiting and to hear about your experiences. You must be having an unbelievable time!?!?

  2. amazing pics, i love seeing them and wishing i was there with you! i hope you feel better soon! i'm pray for you.

  3. Ha ha I love all your comments about Egypt. And to think we were there just a few weeks apart! It looks and sounds like you are having an amazing experience. I'm excited to hear all about it in person!
    We went to the Hard Rock in Cairo too. Did you see the signs on the bathroom stalls...those were my favorite...you've got to watch out for those drugs and nuclear weapons!
    Sure love you and miss you!!