We have touched down in Ethiopia! Instantly it was a nice change from the reality shaking Egypt. Before I get ahead of myself I want to let you know that we did end up going to Corinth! Since our flight was not until later in the day we managed to figure out how to get money out of the ATM’s and then took a train to Corinth. This was exciting for everyone and provided a very surreal experience while standing where Paul was put on trial and reading 1st Corinthians. After a walk through the remains of the city and getting lunch we headed back to Athens to fly out to Egypt.
I want to preface this part of the post with Egypt being one of the places I was most looking forward to but with that I didn’t really have any expectations. For all I knew it could have still been in the condition depicted in the animated film The Prince of Egypt. Ok, I’m not that naïve but really my expectations were nonexistent. Upon arrival the first taste of the chaotic, unorganized, and overly reactive culture was being seated in a car that should not have been on roads. Just to summarize the ride from the airport (seriously, this is where parents and family members skip): one door didn’t open, rust and dust everywhere, when exceeding 50km/hr a loud screech would emanate from the rear, often we would abruptly start hurdling backwards on the highway at 50km/hr while missing 100km/hr oncoming traffic by mere centimeters and when we thought it couldn’t get worse we directly ran into a metal barricade sending it flying! Just for comic relief I am sure, a guard who was standing there just waved us on as though this was a regular occurrence (this is where parents and family members can resume). To push me even more out of my comfort zone the city of Cairo was extraordinarily unclean and I have been to a few countries you would think could have it beat. Enough with what made me uncomfortable though and what I thoroughly did enjoy was seeing the Great Pyramids of Giza! It was phenomenal being able to stand in front of these magnificent structures that look so simple but in the context of that time are unfathomably complex. The climate the day we went was exactly what you would expect while visiting the Egyptian pyramids but it really took a toll on how little I wanted to be taking photos and video. While taking video my camera would heat up to uncomfortable temperatures, spontaneous sand gusts were a constant risk, and holding a few kg of weight in 40 degree Celsius heat is less than desirable. However being out of my element and uncomfortable in all these scenarios made me appreciate the National Geographic photographers and the stories they capture even more! I personally still have a long way to improve before I am at their caliber but during this trip I become more aware of the hard work it will take. An extra note I want to make are the street photos that were taken while driving from the cave church that capture a true candid nature that I thought were fascinating.
Our time in Ethiopia has just begun but we have already heard a lot of encouraging stories and great advice from SIM as well as SIL. I look forward to this upcoming week but prayer is definitely needed for safety of the team and that we remain healthy since a lot of us have been getting sick or already have been sick. Thanks again for reading and share this with anyone you know interested in travel, culture, or photography!