Saturday, December 10, 2011

Going Home!

I think a Kathryn Calder song nicely sums up how I’ll be feeling as I fly home today:

I wanna be home.
His eyes are bright, his head is clear, and he’s been waiting patiently
For me.
His head is clear, his eyes are bright, we’ll talk each other through the night.
It’s not so long.

If you only knew,
If you only knew.
Egypt is nice in the winter, it’s true.
But I’ll be coming home to you.”

It was nice sharing my travels with you all (even though this one is focused at a more specific person). I’ll post again once I get re-settled and get some more pictures uploaded somewhere. Thanks for following!

- Humble Blogger, Janelle Wade

PS. Ok, she actually says that San Francisco is nice in the summer, but I think I’ve changed it appropriately.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Back in Luxor

I got the internet for a second, so I just wanted to let all of you know that we arrived safely in Luxor about an hour ago. We then wolfed down some McDonald's (oh blessed cheeseburger that isn't made of water buffalo meat) and now we're showering (with showers that have LOTS of hot water and a real shower head)!!

I have to say, I'm quite sore from hauling all of those boxes yesterday, but the fact that when I put my pants on this morning (which fit when I came to Egypt) and there was almost 3 inches of space, I'm okay with the pain. :)

For sure won't have internet tomorrow, but we'll just be doing some shopping and thumb-twittling waiting for our 10pm flight anyway, so I wouldn't have much to say. Flight plans are something like:
9:55pm 12/9- Luxor to Cairo
3:00am 12/10- Cairo to Frankfurt
10:30am 12/10- Frankfurt to America (land around 1pm Central Time)- so a looong day

- No Longer Inhabitant of Edfu

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And We're Done

Well, today was our last day on site. We packed up the last of the pottery and shoved all 90 new boxes into the pylon. It actually went really quickly: Nadine and 2 of the guys raced each other for who could load the wheelbarrows faster; then they brought them to me at the base of the pylon, where I lined them up for Ahmed (who constantly commented on how strong I was and would run down the bat-poo-covered steps to take the boxes from me); then they went into the pylon where Lindsey and 2 more guys fought the bats to put all the boxes in numerical order for next season. A few trips to our storehouse to pack up the tables, chairs, and sunshades and we were finished! This is looking down on all the boxes that we packed today:

I’ve been wanting this next picture for a while. This is what 90 guys can do in 4 weeks. My head was where the ground-level was when we arrived, and I’m standing on the new “floor”. The whole area is probably half a football field or so. Impressive.

Finally, here’s the site that greeted me this morning: my last dawn at the temple. It’s kind of sad knowing we’re leaving, but you have no idea how much I want to see my husband and a giant pizza. 

Now we’re packing up the house and getting things ready for leaving tomorrow. Tonight we’ll have a huge party with our remaining workmen and the inspectors. It should be a lot of fun and chef is making way too much meat, but we’re all tired and hoping it will be a fast party.

Since we’ll be going to Luxor tomorrow, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to blog Thursday and Friday, but I have a special post for Saturday. So the next time some of you hear from me, it will probably be in person! I’ve got to say, though, knowing how cold it is here at 60 degrees, I’m not looking forward to the 15 degrees and 5 inches of snow that apparently awaits me in Minnesota...

- Pylon Packer

PS. If all goes according to plan, next year's season could be really interesting for me. Stay tuned! I might have some completely different things to talk about next year :) Insha'allah!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

So. Many. Sherds.

Today was our last day of drawing! Tomorrow we'll finish closing up the boxes, then shove all 209+ of them into the pylon. Are you ready for the grand total? How about a whopping 444?! And of those 385 were draw by yours truly :) That's pretty darn impressive, if I do say so myself! That only averages out to about 11 sherds a day, but when you factor in that on some of those days I do things other than draw, 11 is a pretty good number.

Only a few more days until I'm home! After packing up the pylon tomorrow, we'll start packing up the house and we'll be in Luxor by early afternoon (at the latest) on Thursday! Then it's some well-deserved rest, hot showers, and good food for us worker bees before a loooong flight home.

- Fastest rasama in Egypt

PS. Unfortunately, this means there are 444 new scans to ink when we get back to the states- ick.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Real Final Countdown

I can add anything thing to my count- Number of Arabic words I know: 126 (and growing). Also, since we are speed demons, Tasha added a few more sherds for us to draw, which means we have 10 left.

Today we boxed like crazy people. Our awesome worker Ahmed was on hand to help us tie up the boxes. We're at almost 200 boxes of pottery (we've only boxed about half that number this year). So yeah, there's some pottery in that there tell.

Sorry this is such a lame post, but I'm running out of things to talk about! I can't wait to come home and upload all of my pictures for you all, but that day is not today. Instead, how about a really gross picture. I'm warning you, it's not pretty. Look away now if you're squeamish. Everyone good? Okay. This is our fan right above the fridge. I wish I could say that it was only this fan that looked like this, and I wish I could say this was a particularly heavy day. In fact, it's all the fans and this is a particularly LIGHT day.
Yeah, those are flies. And nothing kills them.
 How about we wash that down with an adorable kitten in a libation basin?
Much better.

- Fly Hater, Kitten Lover

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's the Final Countdown

Today, I'm really exhausted after a lovely visit from Chicago House. Our cook went over-board with the amount of food he prepared and I'm stuffed! We had everything from chicken to gamoosa (aka water buffalo). It was tasty, but after all day in the sun packing up boxes, a big meal is sending me straight to nap time. So instead of a long post, how about some stats?

Showers left in Edfu: 3
Days left to play with the puppies on the roof (I should get some pictures!): 4
Days until I see my hubby: 6
Number of people left (Hratch left today): 6
Number of sherds left to draw: 15
Pepto tablets left (of the 48 I brought, not all consumed by me): 6
Ear plugs I've gone through: 8
Number of shirts not returning to Chicago: probably 7
The temp this morning on site: 52F
Temp in Chicago this morning: 54F

That's all I can think of for now. Come back tomorrow when my brain is functioning a little better and I'll hopefully have something more to say.

- Number Cruncher

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pyramids and Christmas Music

Today we got to go see the Edfu pyramid that Greg and Hratch are working on. Like I told you yesterday, I can’t really give you any details on it, but I think I’m ok showing you this photo! Those are the girls, standing atop the pyramid (I promise we are). From left to right we have Kat, Tasha, me, and Lindsey.

After the pyramid visit it was back to drawing. We’re frantically trying to finish because, oh, hey, we’re in the final week! Today was our last “Monday”, which I don’t think anyone is complaining about, but everything has to be packed up to be put away by Wednesday morning at 11, so we’re busy little bees. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve done over 500 sherds at this point.

Tomorrow, our friends from Chicago House are coming to site to visit us. After they see everything, our cook is planning on a big feast to make their chef jealous (it’s apparently a big rivalry and we reap the benefits!).

- Pyramid Lover

PS. The girls laughed at me today because I had Christmas music on my ipod. Um, hello, it’s December! Also, I’m of the crazy opinion that CHRISTmas music should be somewhat religious, so I usually hate listening to Christmas music on the radio. By Christmas I’m so sick of hearing “Jingle Bells” and “Frosty” and crap like that on commercials, that I usually just end up dreading the season. Having my own music is much more pleasant!

PPS. Here’s a picture from our trip yesterday. That’s our inspector, Osama, on the left, and Hratch (my old Egyptian professor) with the beard on the right).

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Secrets of the Pyramids

Today was our day off, but our inspector graciously took us on a tour of some other sites in the area! I can’t go into detail about some of them on here (which is a pity, but alas, I don’t want my career to stop before it ever starts!). But there are 2 things I can discuss!

The first is the pyramid at Kulla (sp?). It’s not much to look at, honestly, just kind of a big pile of poorly-put-together stones:

The pyramid dates to the Old Kingdom and is part of a series of what are known as “provincial pyramids” which are found throughout Upper Egypt (including Edfu). They include no burial chambers and no grave goods, but might have been constructed for the king’s spirit. Greg and Hratch are working on the one at Edfu (we get to see it tomorrow) and hope to find out more about these odd structures. What’s neat about the Kulla one is that there was a robber’s hole dug into one of its faces, so you can go “inside” the pyramid and actually see how it was built. The stones where actually laid at a slant, against the ones more to the inside. This was also how the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara was built.
I know it's hard to see the different layers, but you can see the slant, at least, and how they lean on each other.

After our afternoon romping, we invited Osama back to the house (in return for him letting us have tea in his office) and he spent some time telling jokes and mocking certain ex-SCA members. It was a lot of fun- he’s really, really funny.

It was a great day and I wish I could share more with you, but alas. As I said, tomorrow we’ll visit the Edfu pyramid. I won’t be able to post photos of that, either, but I can tell you about it!

- Secret Keeper

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Camel Ride

Ever wonder how camels get around when they aren't frolicking in the fields (ok, camels don't really frolic, but whatever)? Like this:

The driver thought that a van full of foreign girls taking pictures of his truck was really amusing.

Lots and lots of packing up happened today, with a little drawing thrown in at the end. It was a short day since it's Thursday, which was welcome after spending several hours in the sun packing up pottery.

- Camel Catcher

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One Week Left

Since we officially end excavation next Thursday, the end of today marks one week left (and slightly less for us, since we have to pack up the pottery next Wednesday). The mood in the house has shifted a bit with us dropping to just one week left: everyone seems a little anxious. Some are anxious about the amount of stuff that has to get done, while others of us are anxious to go home to civilization.

Aurelie, our excavator from Switzerland left yesterday and Valerie, the Old Kingdom ceramicist from France (though she’s currently living in Cairo) leaves tomorrow. One by one, our numbers are dwindling. It does mean more room at the dining table and more hot water in the shower, but it’s kind of sad to think that the season is almost over and I’ll soon have to return to real life responsibilities (like re-learning the language phase I’m supposed to be teaching next quarter). But going home does mean Christmas, Dan, kitties, and pizza (which shall be my first "home" meal).

Since we’re getting so close, today Lindsey and I started packing the pottery into boxes. There is a TON of pottery, so it’s going to take us a while. We’re doing little bits every morning when it’s too cold to draw. Packing up really isn’t a hard task, though the fact that the feral dogs on the tell like to pee on our bags makes the going sometimes not so fun. Otherwise, things progress normally.

- Countdowner

PS. Friday we're going to Hierakonpolis with our inspector, so I hope to have a late post with some pictures!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm A Survivor

Have you ever stood outside a cell-phone shop on a busy Edfu street, waiting for a friend to try to get a SIM card, while 2 young 3-5 yrs old) boys chase each other down the sidewalk with wooden nunchucks? Because I have. And I survived.

- Nunchuck dodger extraordinaire

PS. How many grad students does it take to spell "nunchucks"? The answer: 5, and apparently we still don't have it right, but this is what we all agreed on.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cold and Hot

This is what I put on every morning (minus socks and under-garments). In case you can't tell, that's long pants, a head bandana, thick scarf, tank top, work shirt, long-sleeved t-shirt, fleece, sunglasses and 90+ and 85+ SPF sunscreen. It's kind of funny how I can put on so many layers, still be cold, AND need such high sun protection.

- Wacky Wardrobe Wearer

Way Up High

Today we went somewhere I never thought would be possible. Shall I give you a hint?

No, no, we didn't go to Edfu temple (well, we did, but we go there every day). We went up. Up onto the top of the pylon (what you see in the picture above). That's right: we climbed 237 guano-covered steps (oh yes, I counted) with very little light and stood on top of the pylon. The view was incredible.

This is looking into the first courtyard. If I looked the other way, you'd see where I was standing to take the above photo. The city is in the background.

Above is the tell where we work. The mats laid out there just to the right of center hold all of Tasha's pottery sherds. If you look down in the very bottom right, you can see things that look like brown solar panels- those are the little covered benches we draw under.

I wish I could post all of my photos- the view of Edfu and the temple and all of the tell that we're working on were so cool. On all of my adventures, I keep wishing Dan were with me. He would have loved being up there and a part of it was a little bittersweet. That being said, I'll still get up there again if I ever have another chance. :)

- Pylon Climber

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Back In Edfu :(

We're back in Edfu after a wonderful stay in Luxor for Thanksgiving. Somehow, the hotel got our reservation wrong and gave us a suite: Nile view, sitting room, king-sized bed, and jacuzzi tub. Originally it would have been $400/night, but we got it for $100 split between 3 people. Needless to say, we had a hard time coming back to Edfu.

Thursday night Thanksgiving at Chicago House was very nice and I am so happy they invited us. Dinner was good, though it was missing my favorite parts: my mom's potatoes and my mother-in-law's stuffing. Dan and I might have to have our own Thanksgiving-in-January so I can have them :)

It was back to work at 6am this morning, though Saturday is considered a holiday for the inspectors, so we couldn't stay late. Only 2 more weeks- eek!

- Luxor misser

PS. We got another member to the team, only I know this one! He was the teacher of almost all of my Egyptian language classes. He now works in Copenhagen, but has come to join us for 2 weeks to work on the Edfu pyramid with Greg. Welcome, Hratch!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Aswan Is So Nice

As you leave the Aswan district (where Edfu is) and enter the Luxor one, a cheery sign greets you:

As you come back to Aswan, you are welcomed.

They make me smile every time.

- Happy Traveler

PS. Hope all of you Black Friday shoppers got what you wanted and are safely back home!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving in America today, a day where we give thanks for what we have in life. So today, even though I'm in Luxor, Egypt, I wanted to share with you what I’m thankful for.

Let’s start with things I’m thankful I brought to Egypt:
* mattress pad (I think I’ve already discussed how this is saving my back)
* ipod (for the long trips to Luxor and when I’m alone drawing pottery)
* kindle (1000 books at my fingertips without having to pack 1000 books)
* long-sleeved shirts (remember the cold thing?)
* a super awesome work team (these people rock my socks and I’m glad I’m working with/for them)

Egypt isn’t all bad. How about things I’m thankful are here:
* the guys we brought from Luxor (they are a great group that would do anything for us)
* ketchup and soda with real sugar!
*Egyptian honey (oh dear, it’s amazing)
* crazy tourists (the number that walk around in completely ridiculous outfits is amazing)
* super awesome history
* balconies in every room (we don’t even have one in Chicago)

Now for things I’m thankful exist in abundance in the US:
* hot water with more pressure than a leaky faucet
* shower heads mounted to the wall
* 2-ply toilet paper
* cheeseburgers/ice cream/oreos/pizza/general American junk-food
* reliable internet (with no download/upload limits!)
* cable TV (seriously, how can I watch my daily quota of crappy TV here w/out cable?)
* veterinarians and people who actually take care of their animals
* common sense

And most importantly:
* a husband who is super awesome and lets me leave him for 2 months to dig in the dirt on the other side of the world

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Sorry that I can’t be near family this year, but I love you all and can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!

- Thankful American

PS. Yes, I realize that my list of things I’m glad America has are totally superficial and 1st world. You try living with them for 25 years, only to have to stop them cold-turkey, and tell me you aren’t craving a real bath and ice cream after 2 months. Yes, I’m also thankful we have freedoms and a roof and no religious persecution, etc, etc, but right now I just want to be vain and be able to shave my armpits more often than once per week.

PPS. We'll be checking out of the hotel and driving back to Edfu tomorrow, but I still have something quick for you that should auto-post!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

El-Kab Fun

While today wasn't very productive as a rasama, it was productive as a tourist! At the start of the day, we travelled to El Kab, a town about 40 minutes from Edfu where part of our team works since that's where our magazine is where we store all of the important finds. Near the magazine are a bunch of tombs from different periods. We saw the tombs of Pahery, Setau, Ahmose (son of Ibana, of Middle Egyptian class fame), and Reneni. The guards then let us climb around a little bit to see the outsides of some other tombs.
Me with Ahmose, son of Ibana. Disregard my 3 layers of clothing to keep warm.

We then headed to the "temple" of Amenhotep III. It's pretty much just a chapel now, but it was still pretty and no tourists ever go there, so the guards had a great time showing us everything. One even then took us to see all of the super awesome Old Kingdom graffiti on the nearby gebel. We weren't allowed to take pictures, but I would love to know why they were there- the texts were really nicely done and clearly weren't made by Jo Egyptian.
Outside of the Amenhotep III chapel. I'll try to post more pictures of the inside post-trip.
It was really fun to see a ton of stuff that tourists never go to and to actually see a text in person that we read in class. We got back to site around 10:30, then put in our work until 4. Now we're going to pack up our stuff so that as soon as we're done on site tomorrow, we can rush to Luxor for Chicago House Thanksgiving! I won't have internet for the next few days, but never fear, oh readers! I have 2 posts headed your way. Hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving!

- Ahmose Lover

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's All Fun and Games

I’ve said a few times that I’m having fun here. Perhaps I should clarify: I have fun in the house; on site, it is all work and no play. For instance, today, I by no means turned my calipers into a Calipersaurus Rex. My Capilersaurus surely did not have another Calipersaurus available to play with. I did not giggle every time I went to measure a sherd today. And I certainly did not have permission to do these things from Tasha, whose calipers are definitely not the previously mentioned Calipersaurus Rex friend. That would be completely silly and way too much fun for site. We are serious ceramicists here, thank you!
Mine is the one eating the sherd.

In other news, we’ll be taking a quick trip to El Kab tomorrow to see the tombs there. There’s a very famous one (Ahmose, son of Ibana) that I’m really excited to see. On Thursday we’ll be finishing early so that we can head to Luxor for Chicago House’s annual Thanksgiving dinner, which they’ve very graciously invited us to. Should be a fun next few days!

- Calipersaurus Rex Maker

Monday, November 21, 2011

So Tired

I'm exhausted today after working for over 10 hours at this point (I'm currently scanning the drawings we did over the last 9.5 hrs). So today, you get reassurances that Edfu is calm with no Cairo-like rioting.

You may also have a picture of me from when we went to Karnak.

- Overworked

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I'm Gonna Be Famous!

Tasha and Nadine are working on a really big article (and it will kind of change the history of the late Middle Kingdom and early Second Intermediate Period as we know it). So yeah, it's a big deal. There's a ton of pottery that need's to be drawn so that Tasha can pick what she wants to put into the entire plate she's getting for the article. She's letting me draw most of it, so (at least) one of my drawings will be published! Sure, she's going over everything with a fine-toothes comb and changing anything that she doesn't like even a little bit, but she hasn't kicked me off the sherds yet, so I must be doing at least something right.

Also, I know I have to be getting better, because when I started drawing this summer, even I knew my fingerprint drawings looked abysmal. And today, she didn't even change my prints at all (on one pot). Want to see?

A little fuzzy and light, but those upside-tree-things on the left are fingerprints.
I'll try to let you all know when the article comes out. They are preparing things for publication, so hopefully soon?

- Rasama-mama (as Tasha calls me)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wind, Wind, Go Away

The biggest enemy to a rasama is not the blinding sun; it’s not the cold temperatures that freeze your fingers; it’s not the adorable kitten distractions. No, because you see, there’s always shade somewhere, you can throw on another layer of clothes, and what can be bad about kitten distractions?

No, the greatest enemy is, in fact, the wind. The damn wind gets under your papers, no matter how many things you have holding it down; it flings pottery sherds off of your table; it blows sand and dirt into your eyes. And there’s nothing that can be done about it but to go home! Going behind the little wall we have only creates dust devils. Twice last week, we’ve wanted to stay late, but couldn’t because the wind got too bad. While it normally doesn’t pick up until about noon, today it started almost immediately on getting on site. And dealing with that for 8 hours is a nightmare, let me tell you.

- Wind hater

Friday, November 18, 2011

I've Got Cats in High Places

I’ve told you about the kitties here before: every morning we feed Patches and the two cats that were her kittens last year, Afrit and Kiri. Patches is clearly taken care of by the guards, as she doesn’t mind getting picked up or petted and has a bit of a belly. She doesn’t stick around long after we feed her in the morning, preferring to see what she can force out of tourists in the temple. Afrit is pretty skittish and will only let me touch him if he’s eating (and even that spooks him a bit). He seems to understand we aren’t there to hurt him, but he still doesn’t trust us enough to do anything more than feed him.

Then there’s Kiri, the excavation favorite. She’s very tiny and comes early in the morning for breakfast. After breakfast, she usually hangs out with us for a while, playing in the pottery boxes or demanding to be petted. She leaves us for a bit, but has learned that we take a break to eat around 10 and has started joining us for that, too (since there’s always spare pita that we give her).

Kiri really seems to enjoy her post-breakfast playtime. Sometimes, she stalks Afrit; sometimes she plays with the gigantic ants that are all over site; sometimes she bats at our bags. And then there are the times she plays on the roofs of the little benches we work next to. The roofs are probably 8 feet off of the ground, yet she’s able to jump and climb up to them with ease. See?

Somehow, even though I’m on the other side of the world, my cats at home must have heard about Kiri and her love of high places. My cat Avery has decided that clearly, the only way to get Mommy back is to show her that Kiri is no better than they are. She, too, can get up to high places.

She doesn’t have claws to hoist herself up, so even though she’s jumping off of the back of the couch, she’s still jumping something like 3 feet in one bound. And she apparently does it with no running head start. At least my husband was able to take all of the knick-knacks off of the bookshelf before she broke anything!

- Cat Wrangler

PS. I kind of really love this picture:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Extreme Puzzling

Yesterday I gave you a peek of what Uhu glue can do (yes, Ellie, the same stuff you have lying around your house). Today, I got to use it ALL DAY! Lindsey and I got to sit all day with a bunch of sherds and see if anything could go together. Want to see some of what we ended up with?

This is Lindsey with her pot. There's actually one side that I was working on separately, then I looked at her pot and realized I was actually working on the other half. The colors looked completely different.

While I wasn't able to get the whole profile of a pot like she did, I made up for it by going bananas on not 1, not 2, but 3 pots! The one I'm holding in my right hand is the one I'm most proud of.

These were the prettiest things we were able to make, but we found several more joins between 2 or 3 pieces. All of the pots are 18th Dynasty beer jars, which were really crappily made: the rims aren't very circular, there are the potter's fingerprints all over the place, they have a ton of chaff in them, and don't even think about surface decoration. Unfortunately, while the Uhu is a good strong glue, it's not really made for the super porous surfaces that are these beer jars and we usually had to put on 2 or 3 layers of glue before the sherds would stick together. And now that they are beautiful, I'm sure I'm going to have to draw them.

In other news, today was the last day of excavation. Oh, don't worry, I'm not coming home any time soon, we still have 3 weeks of work left! But today was the last day that we are hiring local men to dig in the Old Kingdom area. Starting Saturday, our guys from Luxor, Greg, Aurelie, and Nadine will move to the Old Kingdom Edfu pyramid to clean it and get it protected so they can really excavate next season. Even though we'll have Lindsey joining us to draw, it's still going to be really quite with just Tasha, Lindsey, Valerie and myself on site every day drawing. We've got a lot to get through and not a whole lot of time, so we'll be staying late most days.

Since everyone is starting to feel the effects of little sleep and the temperature changing, we're all getting a little sick. Hopefully, my sore throat and runny nose are the worst of it, but we'll see. Tomorrow is our day off, so I'll get lots of rest and hopefully be recuperated by Saturday. Insha'allah.

- Puzzle solver and pot putter back togetherer

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sticky Situations

Sometimes they let me play with fun things, like glue. Which means I can make this:

look like this:

We use this fancy stuff:

It's made by the Germans, so you'd think they'd have a better designed bottle than one that doesn't allow any to come out when you need it, then starts to overflow all over the place without stopping. Either way, I do like gluing things together.

- Gluer

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

So chilly

Remember how I said it's getting cold here in the nights/early mornings? I was in 3 long-sleeved shirts today (and one of them was a fleece!) and I was still cold! Want to know the temperature? Very high 60s. Yeah, this does not bode well from winter in Chicago this year.

- Popsicle

PS. I've been drinking a ton of tea to stay warm. Mmmm hibiscus tea.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Let’s learn some more Arabic today. My dear friend Lindsey thought it would be fun to send me 23 mucktofs (baskets) of fukhar (pottery). Since it’s coming from a bad layer and we can’t possibly keep everything, we have to go through and figure out what we want to keep and what we want to through away. The throw-aways are known as zabella (trash). There were 22 mucktofs of zabella fukhar. I’m not thrilled by this. My fanana (overseer, aka Tasha) was glad I went through them all instead of her. I'm a trooper.

- Zabella-chucker

PS. Having some internet issues again (our brand new stick died!)- if I don’t post for a day, don’t worry!

PPS. I found out yesterday that Rosetta Stone only has Modern Standard Arabic! I need a system that will teach me Egyptian colloquial (it's completely different). Arrrgh. Anyone know of a good language-learning system? I need something that will speak it to me, and not just have me read from a grammar.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hello, Everyone!

I just took a look at my stats, and I'm amazed! So amazed that I'm giving you a double post today! Here are the page views I've had by country:

United States
United Kingdom

Hello, people from Russia, Luxembourg, Germany, and Canada (well hello to you others, too, but I know who many of you are). I had no idea I had people from so many countries checking in on me (seriously, people from Russia- who are you? how did you find me? welcome!). Hope you're liking it!

For those of you with a technical bent (read: Peter Jerde and my husband), 35% of you use Safari (Firefox if a close 31%, followed by IE at 16% and Chrome at 14%). 47% of you use Windows, and I must express my condolences. 36% of you have seen the light and use Macs, while 11% of my views have been from iPads (hi, Mom!).

So glad you are all staying with me and are enjoying the blog! I can't believe the blog I set up so that I wouldn't have to send "I'm ok" emails to my parents, in-laws and husband has meant over 1000 page views! Thanks everyone!

- Grateful blogger and statistician

I'm Smitten

I don't have much to say today, so how about some smiting? This was taken at Medinet Habu, a temple where Ramses III basically says how awesome he is by depicting himself in tons of battles and smiting everyone. We thought it needed to be recreated.

- Smitee

PS. Do you notice the red and white thing sticking out of Susan's pants? That's a Waldo hat. We've had a lot of fun placing "Waldo" in several fun poses around Egypt. The tourists at Bahri thought we were a little nuts, but honestly, we weren't the ones who were lobster red, wearing tube tops and booty shots in a Muslim country, knowing we'd be spending all day in the sun. So at the end of the day, I think we were the sane ones.

PPS. We looked all over this temple and Karnak for the perfect smiting scene in the perfect lighting with a perfect place for us to pose. We take our smiting seriously.