Saturday, October 8, 2011

God's way is better than my way!

Finally sitting on the plane, ready to fly to Paris.  After a cancellation yesterday and an hour delay today I am thankful to be leaving.  This has been an amazing trip but there is nothing like returning home.

My anxiety level has been a bit elevated since yesterday's flight cancellations. 

Lord, please give me your peace as I fly and make my connections.  Bless each leg of this trip above and beyond what I could ask or imagine.  Thank you for such an amazing trip... for new friends... for great adventures... and ultimately more of You!

This trip has been all about trust...
  • will I trust you in a new land
  • will I trust you when my bank card is not working
  • will I trust you when things are not going according to my plan
  • will I trust you to be my rest and peace
God took care of each detail all the way back to Molokai including letting me spend the night with friends in LA and in Honolulu!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Change of plans

Alarm went off at 3:15am, got dressed and everything packed and moved to the front door.  Joe checked flight schedule only to find that my flight had been cancelled and rescheduled for Saturday.  Had to call Air France to verify and then Island Air to change my flight.  Island Air didn't have any flights available on Sunday so I am getting back to Molokai on Monday morning.  Argh!

Tried to go back to sleep but had so many things racing through my head with the changes that it took awhile.  Got up about 10:30am and checked email.  Talked to Adele so that I have a ride home from the airport... she eased my mind that the kitties are ok and reminded me that there is one constant in like and that is CHANGE!

Ended up spending the extra day cooking in the kitchen with Joe and Lori.  We made brownies and potato soup and lots of other fun dishes!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Last day in Egypt

Went with Joe and Lori to the dr's office.  The doctor determined that since Lori's arm was broken she needed a cast for the next 6 weeks... so she chose a green fiberglass cast.  After the doctor's we walked home to wait for Negaib.  Had Swarmma for lunch - chicken with a sauce on a hoggie type roll.  Another Egyptian food that was super yummy!

Negaib then drove us to Khan market to finish souvenir shopping.  Due to being with US diplomats we were able to park inside instead of on the street. 

While walking through the stalls I found it very comical as the shop owners call out.... "let me take your money... let me show you ways to spend your money".  Negaib knew several of the shop keepers so we got  some really good deals.  After Khan market we went to Coptic Cairo so that Lori could show me the Babylon gate and the hanging church.  Too bad I didn't have my camera as this was really interesting.  It is a church built above Roman ruins.  There are certain places where you can look down through the floor and see the ruins.

We got back to the house and walked over to Seavin to get a movie and some treats for the flight.  After showering and packing, we watched Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Went to bed at 9:30pm knowing that 3am was going to come quickly.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


A day to sleep in and catch up.  Lori and Joe both had to go to work, so I stayed at the apartment and did laundry and packed.  I expected them back around noon but since work and the doctor's took longer... they got home at 3ish only to turn around and need to get Lori's arm x-rayed.  It was determined that Lori broke her arm.  After the trip to Nile Scan we headed to Road 9 to look at a stone shop and silver shop.  Picked up a few items then went to the bookshop where we found a couple of children's books.  Lori and I ended up getting Auntie Annes pretzels and then headed home. 

Nothing like a day to do a whole lot of nothing!  It is also nice not to have to take home a bag of dirty clothes!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It all hurts!

Woke up early this morning because I needed to use the bathroom and find pain meds.  Once I took prescription strength ibuprofen, I went back to sleep for a couple of hours. Finally got up about 9:15 and went to breakfast with Lori and Negaib then went back to the room to pack.  We decided to send our bags back with Reda (our driver) instead of carrying them around with us for the rest of the day.

We drove the 2+ hours back to Sharm el Sheikh and Reda dropped us off at Naama Bay.  Reda had to drive back to Cairo before dark.  Due to security reasons we had to fly instead of drive back to Cairo. 

At  Naama Bay, we ate lunch at Hard Rock Cafe... picked up a couple of souvenirs. 

Then we walked around while Negaib sat.  We did not need to be back to the airport until 6:15 so we enjoyed tea until catching a cab back to the airport.  Once we got there the people at Egypt Air told us we would have to wait an hour before checking in.  We were just about to sit down to wait when one of the Egypt Air guys came rushing over to see if we wanted to catch an earlier flight.  Absolutely!!!

It left at 6:50pm... two hours ahead of our plans... putting us back in Cairo at 8pm... instead of 10pm.  Joe came to pick us up.  Drove back to the apartment where we ordered McDonald's.  Yes... McDonald's delivers!!!  We had a lovely dinner and then headed to bed!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mt. Sinai

As I am writing this my entire body aches over the events of the day and poor Lori ended her day with arm in a hard cast and two shots in the rear.

The day started with sleeping in and an elegant buffet breakfast followed by laying out at the pool and going for a dip in the water.  After a relaxing morning we got cleaned up and checked out of the hotel.  We loaded up the van and headed to St. Catherines and Mt. Sinai.

The landscape was breathtaking... a mixture between garden of the gods (Colorado) and desert.  To think that Moses and the Israelite people crossed the Red Sea and then wandered in the wilderness much like this for 40 years was astounding.

After driving about halfway, we stopped on the side of the road for a fish break.  Using leftovers from the night befores dinner, I took half a pita, filled it with rice and fish and it made a very satisfying lunch.

 Finished the 2 and a half hour drive, very quickly checked in our hotel and then headed to St. Catherine's to begin our journey up the mountain.  For 110 Egyptian pounds we hired our bedouin guide, Ahmed. 

After climbing for 2 and a half hours then 750 very narrow rock steps, we made it to the top... just as the sun was setting.  The views and colors were stunning.  The temperature at the top, even with all the hiking required a long sleeve shirt and hoodie.  The hike makes the Kalaupapa trail seem like a stroll in the park... the height... the ledges... the incline...

The way up was slow and steady... the way down was treacherous.  We hiked down by cell phone light!  On more than one occasion sliding on lose rocks with the padding of my dearrie air to break my fall.  After the first slip... I held on to Reda the rest of the way down. 

Which brings me to why Lori's arm is in a cast?  On her way down, gravity took its course and pulled her to it... while falling a rock jumped out and she hit her hand on it.  This caused what is more than likely a hairline fracture.  Immediately it started swelling and by the time we got down the mountain, we were in need of a doctor.

The doctor from St. Catherine's came and put a cast on it and gave Lori some pain meds.  While he was doing this, I took a shower and laid down.  My body aches and my head is feeling warm... I am TIRED!

Next time, I am joining this guy up the mountain!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'll fly away

Woke up early to catch a flight to Sharm el Sheik.  Negaib, our translator and security, came over for/with breakfast and then we flew down to Sinai (about an hour flight).  Such an amazing view from the air... desert... mountians... the Red Sea...

Checked in at the Savoy resort-  felt like royalty!....

laid out by the pool...

went swimming...

had fish and salad for dinner/late lunch....

walked on the beach taking pictures of the purple jellyfish...

and black starfish...

then went right outside of our hotel to see the fountain show and did some window shopping. 

Sat with Lori, Negaib and Reda for tea while Reda smoked shisha (a water pipe).

What a day!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Conference

Today is the day we have been planning for... the TEAM conference.  In partnership with Petrescue Bible Institute and Maadi Community Church, this is the first ever teaching conference.  The goal was to encourage and strengthen the teachers at the Christian schools in the area.

So how did the day go... registration started at 9:30am.  We had roughly 142 registrants from Egypt and Sudan.  The morning started off with a time of worship and then I got up to speak on "Doing ministry as a TEAM", "God's TEAM plan" and "Ideas: Give one/Get One" ... the sessions went well.  Everyone enjoyed the morning greeting in Hawaiian. 

Martin translated everything into Arabic for me and all went very smoothly.  The first general session covered three of the topics.  Then in the break out sessions I did TEAM strength building.  The first one had 38 people in it and one man who wanted to argue about community involvement in your team.  He later came back and apologized for the miscommunication.  The other odd discussion came about healthy food and that cheese with worms is not healthy???  It was interesting!  Oh the joys of having to translate when you speak.

Finished out the conference with a time of worship, prayer, and an object lesson using puzzle pieces entitled  "It's a PUZZLE".

I also found it very interesting that several people have asked if I am Egyptian and one asked if I was Brazilian.  I guess I am the chameleon that changes with her environment.

After the conference we packed up all of the stuff and headed home to crash on the couch!  A long but good day!