Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
|The first stop was at Abou Makar (Saint Macarius) and if you go to their website you'll learn more than what I could ever tell you...just be sure to click on the English translation or you'll be reading scribbles. Better yet go here to see pictures and learn about the Church of the Forty Nine Martyrs, etc. Rumor had it that they sold the best dates and olives around, but the store only had dates and I simply wasn't in the date mood. The land surrounding the Monastery is fertile and many crops are grown and sold thus providing the major source of income to keep it going.|
|And now we are at Anba Bishoy (Saint Bishoy) the last stop of the day. Click here to learn more. It is said that Saint Bishoy (a hermit) was lead out to the desert by an angel to where the monastery was built. This was about the time I was feeling a little weird from the Foul (fool-fava bean dish) we had at Abou Makar.|
|The monk stated while showing us the wheat mill that it is now easier to drive down to the market and buy a 2 kilo bag of flour. After watching the effort put into working the mill I would have to agree with him.|
|At each Monastery we were assigned to a friendly English speaking monk.|
|Detail on the door. One thing we did learn is that it is against the law to preach Christianity outside the church in Egypt. It is punishable by prison and/or death; if you are foreigner you'll kindly get deported.|
|Each tile is about the size of a finger nail.|
|Saint Bishoy carrying Jesus. The saint met Jesus on several occasions|
|Painting of Saint Bishoy washing the feet of Jesus.|
|Abou Makar was definitely the most green of the three, but the amount of cement canceled it out.|
|Each monastery has several individual churches.|
|The sign says it all. The siege occurred in the 5th century and you can blame the raiding Bedouins and the last monk who forgot to see if the draw bridge was raised. Doh!|
|The 4' door leads to a room about the size of a bathtub.|
|Our favorite of the three stops was Baramous. The scene outside the walls was desert and the green inside was a nice contrast. After being on sidewalks all afternoon, we welcomed the dirt paths.|
|Inside one of the churches. There are books on the sides written in Coptic script with Arabic translations. The script/alphabet looks like a cross between Greek with a jigger of hieroglyphics.|
|Coptic water tower|
|It just looks and feels clean.|
|Relics are covered up with written prayers folded and tucked under. It is believed that the objects are sacred and have power. Ana mentioned that the Catholics like to show off their stuff and the Copts cover it up. Raiding Bedouins and Berbers will condition you to feel that way.|
Monday, October 11, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
This posting will be devoted to our Art rooms.
We seldom hear the phrase "Egypt Rocks" but 7th grader Jomana made sure the message was heard.
When we left for the summer the upper school art room was white, now it has grown some nicely painted bricks.
Surveillance cameras were installed last year, but I didn't feel protected enough. I made large photocopy faces of some of my students to keep an eye on my room...many people think they are real.
Mr. Al one of the former art teachers painted this on the wall near the entrance. I met him at the NESA Conference in Bangkok last April and he asked me if it was still there. Yes Al, why would anyone want to paint over this masterpiece?
Inside the upper school art room.
Cabinets where I stash the goods. Made of real wood.
A view from the sinks. The tables, chairs, cabinets were all handmade by the carpenters at school. Need something made? They'll do it for you. My room reminds me of a 4-lane bowing from the 50's.
The ceramics room is located on the second level and only used in the cooler months.
There are two kilns, one works one doesn't. The crux of the mystery is how did they get both of them up the stairs and in the kiln room? The answer might reveal one the broken unit functions as a glorified shelf.
Broken kiln, pretty ain't it!
Ms. Ana's art room where the lower school students meet.
Mummy cats anyone? Meow meow.
Nothing goes to waste in an art room.
A guide to hand washing.
The wall of fame.
We got new computers this year!
We're watching you!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Don't fear I have a quality posting coming up soon in the vain of an on-line learning activity, perhaps a "how to" those itching to learn some local culture. I am very excited about this project. Stay tuned. In the mean time there are a couple of items on the table worth noting.
Item #1. Movies. Last night Ana and I went to go see the cutesy Despicable Me; a computer-animated 3-D film. Film times: 4:00, 7:00, 10:00, and 1:00 am. We opted for the 7 o'clock time as most people avoid early showings. A nice little feature at the box office is choosing your seats after paying. Movie prices are never posted so they tend to "fluctuate" and if you want the 3-D glasses that goes with the film be prepared to pay extra. When we saw Avatar we had to rent glasses by dropping a deposit and only getting a portion of it back at the end of the movie. The best part of the evening is the sudden interruption of film, which is a ten minute intermission of blaring gangster rap. I would consider Despicable Me a family film and Busta Rhymes rapping about "bitches" and oral sex tends to be a strong contrast. The irony is that anything beyond kissing is censored. Fo' shizzle!
Item #2. Sports Day. Remember back in Elementary school when we had Field Day? Sports Day is our version of it minus the ribbons. Do they still have Field Day back in the states or have academics replaced that as well? Teacher friends out there I need some confirmation-please post in the comment section to let my readers know. I remember back in the day it was a little more sports oriented, meaning the majority of the activities were centered around a skills such a running and endurance with ribbons going to first, second, and third place winners. Rumor has it that ribbons hurt people’s feelings so we don’t give those out anymore. Sports Day at Schutz consisted of soccer skills, basketball, musical hoops, bowling, etc. Each team’s make-up ranged from Pre-K 4 age students to high school seniors. Below are snap shots of the event.