Saturday, 28 September 2013

Autumn Comes Swiftly in Egypt


 With sweat trickling down the side of my red face, the thermometer reading 108, I declared it to be "Autumn in Egypt!"  In our former life, I had always loved living in Missouri where all four seasons are fully celebrated. But here seasons are different.  There is the hot season, the windy season, the really hot season and the somewhat cooler season.  I think we are somewhere between the hot and windy season which (I've been told) leads to the cool season. (Let it be so.)

This place is also different than the seasons in S*dan where one man told me, "In S*dan, there are two seasons:  Summer and Hell."  I have to say I laughed really hard at that statement.

So upon my declaration, I made myself a pumpkin spice steamer from syrup that we had carefully transported from the US to Kenya to Sudan to Kenya and finally to Egypt.  We are still gathering necessary items for our kitchen here, so I scrounged up a mug left behind by a former tenant.  Too perfect.
Pretty perfect, huh?


I sipped my hot drink while sorting through pictures I had taken in the US last Autumn.  Nice.  I had also been experimenting with sour dough bread recipes and had two loaves rising.  This might turn out to be a good morning.

About halfway through my drink, I heard loud thuds and chopping noises.  Sometimes the men who operate the fishing boats load their equipment nearby so I didn't think too much about it.  A few minutes later I caught something falling in my peripheral vision.  That was not normal.  I went to the window to see a man in our tree standing on a branch jumping up and down on it. I was stunned and not quite sure what to do. John was out of town and I have a man attacking our tree with a very dull axe and brute force.

Soon I received a knock at the door.  It was our neighbors who were panicked over the tree decimation taking place.  It seems that they had asked the landlord to trim a tree so they could have a view of the water.  The landlord said he had hired an expert arborist to come.

They explained that the tree that they had requested be trimmed was not the tree that was being chopped.  They spoke to the man in the tree and asked him to stop working.  He had already done most of the "shaping" so he agreed to sit for a bit and drink some water while we all waited on the landlord to weigh in on this.

Sour dough rising
The "arborist" asked me for some water.  He said, "But make it cold.  I am not like others.  I like to drink cold water when I work."  He is referring to a long held belief here that if you drink cold water you will actually become sick and get a cold.  I appreciated his progressive attitude so I went inside and filled up his empty soda bottle with the requested cold water.

Phone calls were made and discussions were held over the tree.  It seems that the landlord's mama told the man to chop it all down.  We were kind of hoping it could stay.  We are still very much in awe to be in a place with trees at all so removing them seems almost criminal.  After about 2 hours and several bottles of cold water, it was decided:  half of it would stay.  The man picked up his axe and his water bottle and left.

John returned from his travels and as he walked down the sidewalk he saw the tree.  John said, "Do I even dare ask about this?" 

I smiled and said, "You can, but you'll only end up shaking your head."  

"Ah, then never mind."

So on this morning, I make myself another steamer, cut a slice of sour dough bread (success!) and stare at the sad little tree whose Autumn came swiftly and suddenly.

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Today's BOGO Blog:  Street Vendors

The remainder of the tree

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