Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blog you soon!

I'm probably only going to have dial-up access while I'm in Egypt, so I doubt I will be blogging while there. I hope to get all my pictures posted over the holidays.

Wish me luck! I can't believe I'm doing this. . . .

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wardrobe Misdirection

What to wear on the trip is on my mind. Weather wise, Egypt is only a little warmer (70s) than Utah’s been lately—I’m not being sarcastic, Utah’s been unseasonably warm—but this isn’t my main concern. I need to pack clothes considering this: (quoting my program manual) “Because Egypt is a Muslim country, dress should be conservative and women should not wear revealing clothes, particularly when in religious buildings and in towns.”(So, that tube top and those low riders that show my thong are out (just kidding, you should know I don’t dress like that))

“Western women should expect a fairly high level of verbal harassment in the street, and this will only be increased by bare arms, uncovered calves or eye contact.” (So, I’m shooting for looking at what? Collar bones? Feet?)

“Comfortable, casual clothing in natural, “breathable” fabrics is a good idea.” (Um, yeah—I’ll be crawling around tombs in the desert, while I’m doing the tourist thing.)

“While there is a lot of leeway for foreigners, dress is generally more formal than in the West. Suits should be worn for business meetings and smart casual is the rule for social occasions.” (And yes, I’ll be in meetings. Oh, and I’m a lunch lady; in my business, I wear jeans, an apron, and a hairnet—time to go shopping. Whoo-hoo!—Oh, I mean, of all the luck, dang it.)
“You should travel with a maximum of 44 lbs total checked baggage . . .”—so bringing my entire wardrobe is out, if I want room for souvenirs.

If I’m covered in dust and wearing my cute new pinstripe slacks in my upcoming pictures, you’ll know why.


—other than for the obvious, pure joy, of it. I’m my mom’s travel companion. She’s a high school math teacher (AP Calculus and Statistics) and was invited to join a delegation of math teachers to go visit classrooms and meet teachers in Egypt. It’s all through a program called People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs. If you want to learn more about them, go to The organization was started by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

My mom doesn’t think it’s a good idea to travel alone overseas, so, when she asked if anyone was interested in going with her, I, uh, made it a point to volunteer. Egypt is number one on my list of places I wanted to go, if I could visit anywhere. It’s strange and wonderful that I’m getting the opportunity to go in my lifetime. Who knew?

I love my Mom.

Girl with Math Issues Going on Math Trip to Egypt

Okay, so I failed my first word problem.

If a flight leaves from New York at 6:30 PM and arrives in Cairo at 12:15 PM the next day, and the clocks in Cairo are seven hours ahead of New York’s, how long is the flight?

Here’s a hint; the answer is not 8 hrs 45 min as previously reported. I was thinking the time in Cairo was nine hours ahead, which it is if you’re in SLC. But if your flight is leaving from NYC, it just got two hours longer. Whoops.

I’m not sure how I’m going to survive the plane trip. I normally absolutely love traveling, despite the fact that I get jet lag and motion sick. But this year I’ve been—I don’t know how to describe it—mysteriously ill. I’ve lost 30 lbs without trying (which is strangely frustrating—it took me a year of jogging 5 miles a day, 5 days a week to drop 20 lbs). So, these days I feel thoroughly wretched after four hours of sitting in a car. Wish me luck.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hollywood, Egypt

Before going to Egypt, I may need to have an Egypt movie night. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stargate—why are you laughing?—The Mummy . . . any other ideas? What’s that old, Agatha Christy movie? I haven’t seen it.

By the way, a third ‘Mummy’ movie is coming out, according to

When I noticed the part of Evie is being played by a different actress than the original (never a good sign for a sequel), I decided I wasn’t looking forward to it. BUT—Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh are going to be in it, so, um yeah, I’ll be seeing that one.

Oh, and I’d throw in some joke here about maybe running into Brendan Fraser while I’m in Egypt, but it appears the third movie will take place in China. Life’s sad, huh (sarcasm).

Maybe I should joke about bumping into Harrison Ford at work on the next Indiana Jones movie, but that’s listed on IMDB as being in post production (finished filming).

I’m completely guessing here, but I imagine the next Indiana Jones movie was filmed in South America anyways. Where else is Indiana Jones going to find Nazis after WWII?—with the son he didn’t know he had(with Marion of course)—a son who has a knack for getting into more trouble than even he does—at least that’s how I would have written the script.
—Actually, I’d have written a troublemaker daughter into it and a son who’s more like Sean Connery’s Henry Jones character from Indi III; but Lucas would have struck that anyway. He’s already done the twin thing.

Friday, November 9, 2007


I went shopping and couldn’t help picking up some supplies for the Egypt trip. I bought mini bottles for hygiene items, a toothbrush cover, individually-packed flushable wipes, a small toilet paper roll, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and insect repellant. What else should I get? I’ve never travelled abroad.

I’ll definitely never forget insect repellant again. My all-time worst life experience happened last summer, when my son became seriously ill because I hadn’t bothered with insect repellant. We just came back from our first-ever vacation in New York, and my son developed a high fever that I attributed to his sunburn. One morning, a few weeks later, a rash appeared on his legs. The rash was strange-looking; it had red blots that expanded outward and faded as red rings. He began complaining he was stiff and sore; we were on a car trip at the time, so I thought this was the reason for that, even though his rash came and went, all over his body. His fever came back but was treatable by Tylenol. At the end of the trip, I hauled my son into the doctor. I explained everything, but the doctor couldn’t believe it was Lyme disease (which my mom and my husband had suggested) and told me it was a different illness, which would go away in 14 days. My son got worse.

Over the rest of that summer and into the next school year, he grew arthritic; he would cry at night. He couldn’t sit up in bed without assistance in the morning. At eight years of age, he needed help getting in and out of the shower and getting dressed. My son couldn’t function at all without Tylenol. He stopped playing video games—his favorite thing in the world—he started losing weight. He had headaches a lot, and, on one occasion, half of his face drooped. (Why is hindsight so painfully 20/20!) I kept bringing him to the doctor, who ordered lots of tests for him, but none of them explained his illness. After about four (? is it redundant to say ‘horrible’) months, a (blessedly) different doctor threw the test for Lyme disease into a new batch of tests, including many for childhood cancers.

The first call we received revealed my son had mono. In the second call, the doctor told us my son had Lyme disease. He was put on a (very) heavy dosage of Amoxicillin for a month. He has been in perfect health to this day, his 10th birthday. Happy Birthday My Guy!!! (He even has his chubby cheeks back. What a cutie!)
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria in ticks. (You can check the CDC website for details). Um, most likely my family would have been saved a lot of grief and tears, if we took a little precaution with bug spray (and maybe pulled up our socks in a classy fashion) when we spur-of-the-moment decided to go hike Prospect Mountain in Upper State New York. I even thought about using bug spray at the time but didn’t bother—I’m afraid the image of my son wasting away in bed will be stuck in my head for many years to come.

Why don’t we heed warnings?—even when it’s easy to do so? Thank goodness for tender mercies, if you know what I mean.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Varied Thoughts

Thought of the day: Why I love chicken salad: I never ate it when I was growing up. It’s fast and healthy. I can make it like I want it. Every bite tastes different. And lastly, because of its questionable appearance, it’s guaranteed to be in the refrigerator when I go looking for it.

The above thought probably looks strange on my beautiful Egypt page. Thoughts of the day on Egypt: The time is nine hours ahead. Our flight will be from New York City to Cairo, eight hours and 45 min. I literally can’t believe I’m going. I’m not sure when reality will hit me . . . when I step off the plane? . . . when I see the pyramids . . . when I trip and eat foreign sand?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hotel Preview

This is the hotel we'll stay at during our first week.
I was a little worried about how hot the weather will be when we get to Cairo. It was 95 degrees F, when I checked a few days ago. But the forecast for this next week is in the upper 70s, so it could be perfect by the time Mom and I get there.

Egypt, here we come

Hello. I’m going to Egypt with my mom in 20 days. I wanted to start this blog, so I can share pictures from my trip with my friends and family. This is an experiment; blogging is a new experience for me. I think I’d like to use this blog as an online journal or maybe a forum for discussions about everything. But I really have no idea where this is going yet.

Does anyone have ideas or advice? Thanks.