Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Final Post Fom Egypt

June 26, 2013 ...  Good bye Egypt
I received a call from Ashraf, our driver, today expressing concern about the gas situation. He will still be here to pick us up tomorrow morning at 5:45 but the second car to hold all our luggage has been unable to get gas and he was still on the hunt to find someone else. On Sunday June 30th a planned protest will occur and because of this the powers that be have been limiting gas for cars and cutting electricity and water. I'm ready to get out. I'm feeling excited to return back to Canada and I hope to stay in touch with the friends I've met this year - it's been difficult to say good bye to them. Our experience here has been beyond anything I imagined it could be and I'm so grateful for it. Ma'salama Egypt       Sarah

Hard to believe that our ten months are now finished and it's back to Canada tomorrow. This has been a fantastic experience and I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity. We have seen, heard, touched, smelled and tasted an entirely new culture and our lives are enriched because of it. Yes, there have been frustrations but we didn't come here to find paradise. We came to experience life outside Canada and see how life operates in another part of the world. After all, "he not busy being born is busy dying."   Mike

Thank-you Egypt for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime! 
The year is over! 311 days of living in Egypt and tomorrow!!! Tomorrow I get to go home!! Some days I thought I'd never be able to say that!! But I've had a great year! Definitely one that I will NEVER forget!! I've met so many different people and many good friends (Maya Tadros, Donya Hashish, Mina Dbooni, Noelle Riad) I hope that we will keep in touch and someday I will get to see you guys again!! :)  Thank you to everyone for making my year as great as it was!! I feel very blessed to be able to say that I have had the chance live in a different country with a very different culture!! Even though Egypt and I have had our ups and downs, in the end I'm very glad that I agreed to coming on this adventure! Many memories and amazing trips that I'll never forget! Even if I try!!  Now it's time to go back to Canada and have one of the best summers ever!!!!!!! (Allie Kerr, Brianna Gorsline and many other people!!) :)               Becca
One last visit from our
building buddies

Gonna miss this face!

So cute!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Pro-Am Golf Tournament - May 17-19

We were offered a free weekend at the Stella resort in Ain Sokhna in exchange for Sarah being the 
official photographer of the pro-am golf tournament there. We accepted, mainly because it provided 
a great opportunity for Sarah to add to her photographic repertoire. As well, the resort is absolutely 
beautiful and you get treated like celebrities.
Paul Broadhurst on the first tee.
The two big name golfers there were England’s Paul Broadhurst and Ireland’s Ronan Rafferty. Although 
they are not household names in North America, they both have multiple victories on the European golf tour and both played for the European side in the Ryder Cup. True, it was twenty years ago but they can still play.
There were also numerous up- and- comers in attendance. The tournament was won by a young 
Englishman named Matt Ford who shot a course record 63 in the final round. The longest drive, 325 yards, was recorded by 65 year old pro Nick Job. The fairway sloped downhill somewhat which helped boost the yardage but still awfully impressive. 325 yards is out there in Peter Cole range.
Ronan Rafferty
Nick Job
Each foursome was comprised of one pro and three amateurs. There were three ways to distinguish the pro: first, he was usually the only one wearing long pants; secondly, he was the only one playing from the back tees; thirdly, he was the only member of the group not drinking alcohol. Beer was flowing freely among the amateurs.
We spent many hours on the course taking pictures on the tee, in the fairway and on the green. Sarah’s amazing skills and fantastic camera resulted in many outstanding photos over the two days that we 
were there. On the final night there was a gala dinner which took place on the practice putting green. 
It was a high class affair with a 7 course meal which is why I wasn't invited. Sarah spent most of the night, wandering through the crowd and taking candid photos. Once again, all the players, wives, husbands etc. were having a great time.
Matt Ford on the 18th  - This is the link to the golf club pro-am webpage. It hasn't been updated with the 2013 photos yet but I expect that it will be shortly.
The photos have already been posted on their facebook page - you can find them here:
by scrolling down the wall or clicking on photos.

Final putt in front
 of the crowd.
A new course record
Congratulations Matt Ford!

Check out this players hair ...

..... or shall I say HAT - Sarah's mouth hung open
in surprise when he took his hat off. Apparently these
are available everywhere in the US.
Paul Broadhurst and his wife at the gala dinner.

Sarah with the team from South Africa.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Grade 10, CISE

This is Becca's official grade 10 school photo.
The class photo was taken on the day that she was away at a volleyball tournament. Guess how annoyed I am about that??

Since her trip to France, she has really branched out and spent a lot more time with her friends. I hoped this would happen - it's just too bad that it took this long. The weekend that Mike and I went to take golf photos, she stayed with a friend the entire weekend. When she came home, she brought a homemade lasagna with her! It fed us for two suppers, one lunch and I finished it off last night. It was delicious! Last night she went to a birthday party and won't be home until later tonight because they are taking a trip to City Stars Mall and she already has another birthday party on her calendar. I think it's fantastic that she's going to leave here with lots of fond memories of school, friends and parties.

34 more sleeps (for those keeping track)

An observation completely unrelated to Becca: I was thinking this morning that I haven't seen one hybrid car in Cairo. Not one. I thought my dad might find that interesting.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

May 11 – The Harlem Globetrotters came to Egypt!

How could we miss this! We didn't even know about Cairo International Stadium in Nasr City. It’s huge with several buildings. The hockey stadium where the globetrotters were playing was really nice. We figure there were about 2000 people there to watch and it looked like it could have held at least 18,000 more. I wonder if a hockey game has ever been played here? The kids in the audience were cute - all waving little Egyptian flags. The show was exactly what you can expect from the globetrotters. Becca hadn't even heard of them before! She really enjoyed it and I'm sure the theme song is burned into her brain now too. The next time she hears it in a TV add, she'll think of our afternoon in Nasr City. 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

May 2-5 Golf Holiday

May 2-5  Our Golf Holiday in Ain Soukna at the Stella di Mare Golf Hotel on the Red Sea

We’ve been here before. We know the hotel well and like it a lot. This time we were going specifically to play as much golf as we wanted and to relax and enjoy our last big break before the end of the school year.  We played 4 rounds of golf! Some rounds felt good – some not so good …. Becca was our chauffeur with the golf cart.  We enjoyed the pools at our hotel and the Grand Hotel on the sea. The weather was hot and sunny – just the way it is 95% of the time. It was a really nice holiday. We came home feeling relaxed and ready to take on the rest of the school year.
One afternoon while out on the course, the golf pro noticed Becca taking photos of us and came up to ask her if she was a photographer. Mike quickly told him that I was the photographer and he asked me if I would be interested in photographing their Pro-Am Tournament on May 16-18. After some thought and more discussion, we decided it would be a worthwhile experience for me and agreed to do it. More to come on that weekend soon!