I am back from Egypt! I can tell that I am actually assimilated into the Jerusalem Center life because I feel at home after spending a week in Egypt. Egypt reminded me of the Congo in so many ways, only nicer because it actually has a tourist industry, whereas the Congo does not. There is so much to say about my week in Egypt. Everyday felt like the best day, except for the day I got sick of course. I’ll just list of the things I got to do, then elaborate on some of the highlights.
On the way to Egypt we stopped at Beersheba and the Wilderness of Zin—both places in the Old Testament. We spent the night at a Kibbutz, which was relatively pleasant. We arrived at Cairo in the evening, so I got to see the Pyramids at night. We went to a sound and light show of the pyramids which was a good experience to see the Pyramids and Sphynx lit up as they told stories of how the pyramids came to be. The next day we went back to the Pyramids, and I loved them so much!! They are so cool! We got to go inside the second pyramid, which was a neat experience, although I did get very claustrophobic at one point and it was so hot and smelly. We also visited other pyramids, the great statue of Ramses II, other tombs, etc. Then we flew to Luxor for a couple of days. In Luxor I went to the Valley of the Kings where King Tut’s tomb was discovered (his mummy is there on display as well). We saw all these incredible temple complexes filled with hieroglyphics and pictures, I absolutely loved it. Some of the places were still filled with color as well, it was incredible. I am impressed with how much LDS Theology are found in the hieroglyphic stories. Also in Luxor I got to ride in a Faluka (little sail boat) on the nile, as well as take an hour long Camel Ride that went through the little villages, and a carriage ride as well. On the way back to Cairo from Luxor we took an overnight train. Wow was that an experience—one of the grosser places I have slept, but a good experience.
When we got back to Cairo we went to the Egypt Museum. I got to see many of the treasures from King Tut’s tomb, including his famous mask. My favorite part of the Museum however was the mummy room, which you had to pay extra for, but it was well worth it. I got to see the actual mummies of many of the famous pharaohs of the ancient world. Among them were the two Pharaohs: Seti I and Ramses II who are believed to be the two Pharaohs associated with Moses. Ramses II was so well preserved; he still had his hair and everything. He was balding in case anyone was wondering. They also had mummies of animals too—that was very interesting.
My favorite thing we did (although everything was my favorite), which Mom was the most excited for me to do as well, was to hike Mount Sinai at 2 AM and watch the Sunrise. Dad—you said you wouldn’t hike Timp at night, which I understand, but this is something unbelievable. The hike isn’t bad at all first off, it only took me an hour and half to get up. Plus you can take a camel up about 2/3 of the way if you pay extra. Anyway, being up there for the sunrise was indescribable. Mom, you are right, I had an incredible experience up there. The best way to describe the feelings I had was what I felt at the Sacred Grove when I went there. So, I like to say that it was my “Sacred Grove experience” of the Old Testament—although I felt the assurance of the Book of Mormon again. Everything is so connected in the gospel.
There is so much more I could say, but I worry it will get too long, which it already is. I love you all and miss you so much!