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