December 13, 2007

From Kom Ombo!

Kom Ombo Temple

Today is an amazing day in Peace Camp, as always. The sun is bright; the river is blue; the sky is high. I thought it was amazing! Our peace camper started the day at 8 o’clock with a delicious breakfast. Hope everyone enjoyed it. J I thought it was amazing! The biggest event during the morning was the culture-sharing session. We mixed all together instead of splitting into different groups. People were very active in talking about their each own culture and we focused more on the festival that each of our own country has. Besides talking about Christmas, Halloween, New Year festival and so on, we also had friends from China, Australia, Bulgaria sharing the celebration of Chinese spring festival, drinking-a-lot festival and strange but interesting festival of beating others for them to be beautiful and young. We even got some gifts from several countries. There were ear rings, movies, necklaces, foods and flags passing around in the room. I was really amazed at the difference between countries. It was an experience of a lifetime to have heard about them all. And there was also a rather shocking event that I can not skip but write it in. We got the chance to write to each of our home country’s leaders with a message of peace! Though the president may not read it, I saw everyone writing with the biggest passion they have. When we send out our letter we are sending out our love to our country, we are sending out the hope for peace, we are sending out the future of the world. I, sure, will cherish this memory in the bottom of my heart as long as I live for I will never forget that I did my own contribution to the coming of the better world.

Mary - China

“You have beautiful eyes..Come, come, I give you good price! 500 Egyptian pounds! No? Ok, ok, 300!”

Following today’s lunch on board the Nile Adventurer, we stepped ashore to visit the majestic Kom Ombo Temple, where one of the most fascinating aspects included a set of mummified alligators. The animals were so well preserved that we could still see the claws on their hind limbs!

Afterwards, we got time for some much needed shopping! And yes, the merchants are incredibly friendly and will say anything to lure you to their stand. Most of us have learned to bargain by now and the very experienced get many trinkets for free. As a side note, if you’re ever traveling with Barb, watch her bargain – no one could do better.
The final adventures of the night included a fifth peace camp session in which we discussed the different school systems within our countries. Many of us noticed surprising similarities and striking differences. The session was followed by an Egyptian cooking lesson best summarized by “Ooooh, Aaahh, and Mmmm.”

Last but not least, tonight was deemed “Egyptian night,” resembling a festive and loud costume party. We all had a chance to don our newly-bargained-for galabeyyas (gown) and ghottras (headdress) and cake on eyeliner for a crisp, pharaonic-eyes look. We danced and sang the hours away and even “raided” the neighboring boats to show off a massive line dance. The best part was that our great leaders and even Mary Eisenhower joined in on the fun. And as if the night could get any better, we managed to fit ourselves in the smallest of cabins to watch our Peace Walk from a few days earlier on Nile TV.

It was a wonderful afternoon, but as Barb reminds us daily, we shouldn’t compare our days. We should simply lay our heads down at night and reflect on what we’ve experienced and what personal barriers we’ve struck down. That’s something I believe we will all be doing as we lay down to rest tonight.
Ralitza Peneva – Bulgaria


Jill from Sassafras said...

What a wonderful experiences all the peace campers are having. It is so emotional to feel the connection that is developing between young people with such varied backgrounds and to feel the love and passion for peace that each of them holds so dear. it gives us adults hope for the future!

Ginine said...

I am loving following your journey! The pictures are fabulous. What excellent blog entries it really makes you feel like we know how the days are going :-)

Peace to you all!