back in Cairoback in Cairo Everyone has been asking me if things feel or look any different here in Cairo after the revolution.  When I left, there were tanks in my neighborhood, a curfew, lots of gunfire, there was no internet, and Mubarak was still president.  Now, Mubarak is gone, the police are back on the streets, the tanks have rolled out,...

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from ancient to medieval in Cairofrom ancient to medieval in Cairo On Tuesday we started our day with a cab ride to Tahrir to see the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. We spent a few hours enjoying the Tutahnkamun exhibit, Akhenaten collection, and other ancient art and artifacts of Egypt. We then took a taxi to the Citadel. The views of the city were stunning. We...

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weddles in luxorweddles in luxor This past week has been a whirlwind!  After seeing some sights around Cairo with Ryan, my parents arrived and we left for Luxor.  We arrived in Luxor around midday and decided to check out Luxor Temple in the afternoon sunlight.  It was incredible.  The city of Luxor creeps right up to the edges of these ancient sites,...

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Mount SinaiMount Sinai Last weekend we went on a faculty trip to Mount Sinai.  After a 9 hour bus ride through barren, empty, desert, along the eastern coast of Egypt and across the Sinai Peninsula, we made it to Dahab where the best thing about our hotel was the coral reef meters from our room.  Another 2 hour bus ride through a forbidding...

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Unfinished ObeliskUnfinished Obelisk Once we got to Aswan and after a crazy taxi experience that entailed some serious driver rivalry, keys stolen from the ignition, a chase involving a tire iron, and a group of tourists, ahem, us, quietly unloading our luggage and finding another cab... (yeah, I know, OH EGYPT!) Anyhow once we got to Aswan, we decided...

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back in Cairo


Category : Art, Current Favorites, My Life in Cairo, Revolution, Sightseeing in Cairo, Tahrir

Everyone has been asking me if things feel or look any different here in Cairo after the revolution.  When I left, there were tanks in my neighborhood, a curfew, lots of gunfire, there was no internet, and Mubarak was still president.  Now, Mubarak is gone, the police are back on the streets, the tanks have rolled out, and everywhere you look you will find evidence of national pride.  Egyptian flags hang from windows of villas and taxicab rearview mirrors. Tree trunks and lightposts along many streets are painted with the red, black, and white stripes of the Egyptian flag, and the graffiti has changed too.  A wall once scrawled with band names, soccer rivalries, and so-and-so + so-and-so, has been painted over with Egyptian flags, hearts, and statements like “We are Egyptian.”

But more importantly, everyone has a story to tell.  I have really enjoyed hearing the varied experiences from different people I have met.  Whether they were in Tahrir daily during the revolution, or at home in Maadi protecting their neighborhoods, or whether they returned to Cairo in time to celebrate Mubarak’s resignation in Tahrir, the stories I have heard have been amazing.

Earlier this week we went to dinner at Tabouleh, a really great restaurant located near the US embassy in Garden City.  After dinner we decided to walk around, and passed through Tahrir.  I’ve been to Tahrir many times in the past, but it seemed much busier than I recalled.  It seemed like there were a lot more families and groups of people sitting in the center of the midan, enjoying the beautiful Cairo evening while traffic noisily passed around the circle.  I also noticed several Egyptians stopping and taking photos posing in front of the square.  It was amazing to think that this was the iconic location of the revolution.  To think of the events that actually took place where we stood, the struggle for freedom, the violence, the sacrifice and loss of life, and the organization and hope that lead to the resignation of Mubarak — I couldn’t help but stop to appreciate for a moment what a significant place this has become.

To pass under the busy streets, we took the underground Metro tunnels.  When we first entered, the walls were lined with photos of Tahrir during the revolution. On other walls there were posters recognizing the revolution’s martyrs and artwork that captured the energy and hope of the crowds that filled the square.

As we walked around downtown, I also noticed a lot of graffiti.  I don’t recall there being very much graffiti in Cairo prior to the revolution, and certainly hadn’t seen anything so bold.  This reminded me how grateful I am for free speech.  It’s hard to imagine living somewhere where you cannot openly speak your mind, and it is pretty incredible to imagine the freedom whoever wrote this must have felt as they scrawled their hopes on the wall of Al Horreya, a local bar in downtown Cairo whose name, Al Horreya, means Freedom in Arabic.

There were also lots of stenciled machine guns on walls and kiosks on the streets surrounding Tahrir.  Most of them had Xs spraypainted over them.  This one however was a little odd…

It was all pretty fascinating.  I was glad to have a chance to see it, to take a minute and think about what actually took place here, and to hope for horreya for all.

Rain in Cairo

Category : My Life in Cairo, Oh, Egypt, Scott & Diane's Visit, Welcome in Egypt

In addition to bringing all kinds of great stuff from the States, Brandon’s parents were kind enough to bring along some lovely Oregon weather!  We had lots of cloudy days, fog, and yes, even rain!

It was almost like being back in Oregon!  I love Egypt, but it was a nice weather vacation.  I’ll take gray skies and rain wherever I can get ’em.

Photo by Scott Canfield

Look at the weird look of confusion on my face.

Photo by Scott Canfield

Yep,  it was the real deal.  And it didn’t just stop after a few minutes.  It rained all afternoon and then off and on for a few more days!  It was wonderful!

Photo by Scott Canfield

Oh the weather outside is frightful!

Category : My Life in Cairo

I still have lots of pictures to post from our Jordan trip, but with the semester wrapping up in about a week, I’ve been pretty busy finishing papers and projects.  I just wanted to share a quick photo of the sandstorm that is blowing through Cairo right now and leaving a nice blanket on dust on everything in our apartment.  The wind has been howling through the windows, and the temperature has dropped to the 50s, and I have to say, I’m kind of loving it.  It’s probably the closest thing to a blizzard we’re going to get.

Who knew!


Category : My Life in Cairo

The past few weeks have been busy.  I am taking a research methods class that has been occupying a lot of my time, but it is interesting and fun, so I can’t really complain.  Unfortunately that means posting on the blog has taken the back burner.

Anyhow, last week, we decided to make some Mexican food.  The chiles have been really good lately, and really hot.  I made salsa, and Brandon made enchiladas because he is awesome and truly the best husband in the world.  And we made a big pot of pinto beans.  Since we were working with dried beans, we planned ahead and sprouted them for a day or two.  Before we began cooking, I pulled out a few and decided to try to get them to grow.

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Looking up


Category : My Life in Cairo, Uncategorized

I was in a hurry to get to the store even though I had no idea what to make for dinner and for all I knew it would be as empty as it was yesterday.  I was kind of in a bad mood, but then, I looked up and realized…

Wow.  It’s a really beautiful day today.  The weather is nice, there are clouds in the sky, there’s a warm breeze blowing through the trees.  It was just all around nice.  Even the wild dogs looked like they’d just gotten back from the groomer’s!  I wish.  But still, it was beautiful.

By the time I reached the somewhat understocked shelves of the grocery store, I’d decided what to make for dinner, and what do you know, they even had everything I needed.

Vegetarian Meatballs


Category : Food, My Life in Cairo, Vegetarian in Cairo

While there are some pretty tasty meatless “meat” options available at a few stores in Maadi, they are hard to find and seem to be only sporadically available — although I’m amazed and delighted that we’ve got a few vegetarian options period!  Not to mention the incredible tofu.

And since I’ve been missing some of the delicious meatless options we used to enjoy back in the States, and since we had several jars of freshly made tomato sauce in our refrigerator, and since I hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast, I decided to try making my own meatless-meatballs last night. I’ve read several different recipes and have tried a few, but haven’t had too much success — probably because I keep having to substitute different things for unavailable (or at least difficult to find) ingredients like ricotta or wheat gluten.  So this time around, I decided to try using easy to find ingredients and see what happened.

Fortunately, they turned out to be pretty good (2 out of 2 vegetarians agree!), so I thought I’d share the recipe.

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Apple Zucchini Muffins


Category : Food, My Life in Cairo

Zucchini is apparently abundant in Cairo.  They are one of those things you can pretty much always count on being available at the store… like flatbread or Chipsy, or eggs stacked up on the floor.  Zucchini’s always there, en masse, taking up quite a lot of real estate in the produce section, and reminding me I should try to work with what’s there and not keep wishing for a Whole Foods with blueberries and blackberries and lettuce that won’t stress me out.  Anyhow, the zucchini are there, pale green, and abundant.

And since when life gives you lemons you’re supposed to make lemonade, I realized that when Cairo gives you zucchini, you’ve got to do something good with it.

And I’d say, mission accomplished.

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Maadi Dogs

Category : My Life in Cairo, Uncategorized

As I was walking home from the grocery store today, I ran into these guys.  They were wagging their tales and relaxing in the last bit of sunlight before the sun went down.

reporting from cairo


Category : My Life in Cairo

Hi everyone!  I know it has been quite a while since I last posted.  So much has happened.  Brandon and I went on a road trip, drove through Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and Kansas to get to Oklahoma where we spent a few days with my grandmother, got to visit with my cousins, and had an all around wonderful time!  We then continued on the road, back through Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho until we made it back to Oregon where we spent a few more days with Brandon’s parents, made a quick visit to see my sister and brother-in-law, and somehow managed to get ourselves packed up and ready for another year in Cairo.

And while this was definitely a summer to remember… great times with family and friends, a memorable road trip, my first camping experience, discovering my profound fear of bears, and about 1,500 photos of mostly the road… the semester begins in a few days and I am already looking forward to the year ahead.

Over the next few days however, I’ll be posting some of the photos from the last month.  And, as you have probably already noticed, the blog got a full makeover.  I hope it worked!

P.S. You’ll have to bear with me… most of the photos from the past didn’t seem to take the transition too well and are pretty stretched and skewed.  I’ll fix them sometime soon.

and last but not least…


Category : Family, Mom and Dad's Visit, My Life in Cairo

the Pyramids!

On Wednesday we finally made it to the pyramids of Giza.  We decided to try to get there as early as possible since it has been so hot.  When we arrived around 8am, the park was virtually empty except for three Weddles, a few camels, and a lot of guys getting ready to sell souvenirs.

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from ancient to medieval in Cairo


Category : Current Favorites, Family, Mom and Dad's Visit, My Life in Cairo

On Tuesday we started our day with a cab ride to Tahrir to see the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities.

We spent a few hours enjoying the Tutahnkamun exhibit, Akhenaten collection, and other ancient art and artifacts of Egypt.

We then took a taxi to the Citadel.

The views of the city were stunning.

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Ryan in Cairo!


Category : Family, My Life in Cairo, Ryan's Visit, Sightseeing in Cairo

Ryan arrived in Cairo on Saturday, and by Sunday morning we were at the pyramids!  It has been about 48 hours since he landed and we have already been to Giza, Saqqara, and the Red Pyramid.

We decided to ride horses out in the desert in Giza to enjoy the view of the three main pyramids from afar.  I forgot we would have to ride through garbage alley to get to the desert, but we managed.  And hey, it appeared that we must have just missed the carnival.

My horse, which happened to be named “George Michael,” was a wiley one.  For some reason I always seem to get put on wiley horses!  He spent most of the time ignoring my attempt at direction and instead opted to careen into Ryan’s horse whenever possible.  Apologies to Ryan and his horse on behalf of George Michael.

Anyhow… here’s Ryan on his horse with Cairo in the background.

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call for the captain ashore…


Category : My Life in Cairo, Oh, Egypt

Today we went to Carrefour.  It’s a huge store and it’s usually crowded and loud and crazy.  (Remember Brandon’s video of me looking lost and confused in the maze of shopping carts and families at Carrefour last year?  Click here to see it on his blog.)

Today’s best Carrefour find had to be this game:

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A hundred miles is a long drive inside a car.

Category : Art, My Life in Cairo

One day last fall, after riding in a particularly eccentric taxi in Cairo, I decided to start snapping cell phone pictures of every taxi I take, whether it’s decor is interesting (i.e. plastic-wrapped seats, plush furry seat covers, minnie-mouse head-rests) or not (just the standard Christmas tree shaped air-freshener and box of Flora brand tissues on the dash).  Anyhow, I have finally reached my 50th picture, and thus, surprisingly, my 50th taxi ride since the unknown beginning of this project.

One day I’ll make a complete montage, and who knows, maybe I’ll compile all the stats to see if there is a significant positive correlation between the amount of flotsam dangling from the rear-view mirror and jauntiness of the photo (generally a pretty safe indicator of a crazy ride).  Who knows.  But for now, here’s a quick sample…

when i finally get it figured out…


Category : My Life in Cairo

over the course of just a minute or two, the sky changed from pink to peach to orange to purple.  hello, summer!  so nice to see you!

the good things


Category : Family, Food, My Life in Cairo

This weekend we celebrated Brandon’s birthday with a long awaited apple pie.  I wish I could say I made it, but really I only helped (although I fully intend to try making my own one of these days!).

I have been hearing about Brandon’s Grandma’s amazing apple pies since I first met Brandon in Arizona.  So when Brandon’s grandma offered to make apple pie while she was here in Cairo visiting in April, I was lucky enough to get the recipe and see how it’s done. We made an extra pie and stuck it in the freezer to save for Brandon’s birthday.

And thank goodness for that!  After a busy week studying for final exams we most likely would have had to stick a birthday candle in a McFlurry if it wasn’t for that pie. And oh my goodness, it was delicious!

Also, I have to confess, I think we have eaten half of the pie in under 12 hours.  And yes, that includes what we ate for breakfast.

the sunny side…


Category : My Life in Cairo

Because the last post shows some of the stranger things, I thought I’d better share a few photos of the beautiful side of Cairo.

oh, egypt…


Category : Food, My Life in Cairo, Oh, Egypt

In my ongoing effort to not do laundry, I decided to peruse the photos I have snapped on my phone over the past few months.  Here are a few of my favorite gems.


A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a Coke and was pleasantly surprised to see Santa in the 100 degree weather.  Nothing like a little Christmas in May, right?  I was just glad it says “Holiday 2009” and not “Holiday 1999.”  My favorite “food past its prime” moments are when the grocery stores tape together two boxes of expensive food (i.e. cinnamon toast crunch) with packing tape and sell them at a discount.  Judging by the date on these deals, I am guess the cinnamon toast crunch is a little lacking in the crunch department.  Still, it’s charming, right?

This next one is from when we went snorkeling recently and were on a boat.

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