December 8, 2007

First day @ 2007 PTPI Peace Camp :)

Today started at 7:30 a.m. with a delicious breakfast buffet at the Night and Day restaurant at the hotel. There were omelets, fruit juice, pastries, cheese, and much more. We then went to a morning meeting at which Mary Eisenhower welcomed us to Peace Camp and spoke about the purpose of this amazing program. We then split up from the adult delegation and played a “get-to-know-each-other” game. We were given a list of questions and we had 30 seconds to answer them to the other person. It was a very fun- and fast- way to get to know many more people!

At 9:30 we boarded the bus and headed to the Khan El Khalili Bazaar. We were divided into 5 groups of 10 people to play in a treasure hunt to practice our bargaining skills. Each group had at least one Egyptian who could help us with the bargaining. For example, while looking for a Galabaya (a traditional Egyptian outfit), the salesmen would offer it for 60 Egyptian pounds and we could end up getting it for 20. The bazaar was amazing; there were tons of little shops and cats walking around everywhere! I think that we all really improved our abilities to bargain!

We then got back on the bus and went to a beautiful park for lunch that looked over all of Cairo. Before lunch, we each released one white balloon and said “Peace” to symbolize the spirit of peace. We had traditional Egyptian food for lunch and then had some free time to walk around and enjoy a lovely day in the park. We left the park and transferred to the Egyptian Museum where we were guided by our two amazing Egyptologists, Aki and Mohammed, who are the best in the world. We saw many ancient artifacts (there are over 120,000 in the museum), including ones from the tomb of King Tutankhamen. It was simply incredible being able to see and hear about ancient Egypt and especially about King Tut! That was our last activity before we returned to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

Written by:
Tra My Do - Vietnam
Alicia Beekman - USA

Dinner tonight was at the Four Seasons Hotel, a short bus ride from our hotel. Here, we were joined by the adult delegates from the Global Peace Initiative. Everyone was dressed up in their fancy or traditional clothing. We were in for such a treat—a four course meal with performers and entertainers. Quincy Jones gave a short speech, and then all of the youth had our photo taken with him. After the first course of goat cheese, the tahkt performers came out with their instruments to play for us. There were singers and dancers also. A whirling dervish awed us with his constant spinning and dancing. We couldn’t even imagine who would come out next. A horse! Two Egyptians were dressed in a horse outfit and went around to each table to kiss the guests. All of this was going on as more dishes—fish, beef, chocolate cake—were arriving at our tables. After the horse made his appearance, there were more dancers and singers. The night was never ending, but it was an amazing, unique experience. Now we are back at the hotel to rest up for our exciting, adventurous journey to the pyramids tomorrow.

Leslie, NC, USA


Brandon Wiley said...

Thank you for your descriptive entries so sounds like you will all have an amazing time! May you form life-long friendships and memories to last a lifetime. Just curious, how many people has Barb hugged so far? ;-)

Looking forward to reading about your adventure!

Debi said...

These entries are so informative. I feel a part of the trip! Loved seeing what you wrote, Les. Everyone have the time of their lives!

Mickey said...

Brandon - Everyone here is having a great time because of Barb's hugs :) LOL!

All is awesome! And we will have more entries and pictures for all to see!

Serenity said...

Keep up the good work.