Thursday, February 11, 2010
Pyramids and Sphinx
I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Egypt during the last part of January and beginning of February. The Fellows program opts to send Fellows in several neighboring regions to an annual English teacher's conference in Cairo, and adds on a couple days of ELF specific training. The requirement was that we submit a presentation proposal for the conference. They sure didn't have to twist my arm before I emailed in my proposal! I'll post some pictures of my presentation later.
I took a week of vacation before the conference and was able to travel with a friend from MN, Kassie, who met me in Cairo. It was great to see her and together experience things we've read about and seen in movies. We visited the pyramids at Giza--there are more than 100 pyramids in Egypt, but these are the most famous. We even went inside the Great Pyramid and also rode in a horse-drawn cart.
The pyramids are 4,500 years old! I can't conceptualize how old that really is. The Great Pyramid (or Khufu's pyramid) has 2.3 million blocks of stone that weigh an average of 2.5 tons each. That's a number I have an even harder time conceptualizing!
For me, the "Solar Boat" museum was almost as awe-inspiring as the pyramids. The 43 meter long boat was found buried near the Great Pyramid, dismantled. Restorers put the boat back together and now it's in a museum where visitors can view all sides of the boat as it's suspended in the middle of the museum. Historians are not sure if the boat was used by the pharaoh during his lifetime, to carry his body for the funeral, or if it was a religious item meant to carry him to the afterlife. Being from northern Minnesota, I've seen many boats in various states of disrepair, and they were much, much younger than this boat. Enjoy the photos!