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Indigo's Note from Egypt

Indigo Rønlov

December 18, 2013

Greetings Friends!

I am writing to you from Egypt, where I have been since last Wednesday, the 12th of December 2013. I came on this trip with my sixteen year old son, Logan, for many reasons, but most importantly to work on the service work our tour will be offering when we are here this coming March. Below are a few excerpts from my daily journal. I hope you enjoy reading them, and see how wonderful it is here. The country has never felt safer, and the Egyptian people look forward to the day when others realize this safety is real and begin to return to visit this amazing land.

Given the current realities in Egypt over the last many years, tourism (one third of the country's income) is basically non-existent right now. This puts many, many people in a challenging situation as they depend on the income from those visiting Egypt. Here is what I say to this… Come to Egypt! If you have ever dreamed of standing near the pyramids or visiting the temple at Philae, of riding a camel in the desert or of witnessing the ancient creation of beauty and engineering displayed throughout the land, come soon. Come often. It is an amazing place, and a really potent time to be here. There is a lot of opportunity for this country to become more than it has ever been. I am honored to be here right now and to come to know those living in the midst of political transformation. Everyone I have been in contact with has been very kind and respectful, even those peddlers who for years have been rude and pushy. The news that reaches the USA is slanted and not always correct. I urge you to think beyond the media.

There has not been a better time to come to Egypt. If your interest has been piqued and my presence here inspires you, we welcome your participation in March. We are looking for a few more individuals to join us as we travel through this magical land, offering our service to a country in need. Your choice to join us will be rewarded by, what I believe, will be the most unique and fantastic journey of your life. You will not regret it…

If you have any interest in joining the Egyptian Mysteries Service Journey Nicki and I are leading in March, please visit the tour page.

Much love and many blessings,

Excerpts from Indigo's Egypt Journal 2013

Cairo - Friday December 13, 2013: This morning we woke to a rainy Friday here in Giza, Egypt. After a cup of fresh brewed Café Mam at our apartment, we headed out for a trip up to the pyramids just up the street from our apartment. It was quite something to see standing puddles and wet stone as we entered. The vivid color in the stones was really amazing with the wash the rain brought.

Cairo - Saturday December 14, 2013: After little sleep last night due to jet lag and the late afternoon Turkish coffee the day before, our friend and guide, Doaa, picked us up to head south to Sakkara, the location of one of the oldest and largest human made structures. On the way, we stopped at a carpet school to see how the carpets are made. I was quite astonished at the quality and workmanship of these pieces of art. Although the school was not fully operational as Saturday is a day off, there were a few fellows working. Watching one man work on a silk rug strung on a loom twice as tall as I was simply amazing. The skill and precision with which he worked astounded me. There is a very large intricate silk rug upstairs in their showroom that took four years to create and sells for approx. $25,000 US. My husband will be glad to know I passed this one up for one much smaller and quite a lot less expensive.

Indigo Rønlov teaches a class of 50 kids to make "plarn" a yarn made from recycled plastic bags.Cairo - Sunday December 15, 2013: Today, my service learning project gained wings. Thank you winged ones - Ma'at, Thoth, Nekhbet, Isis, Khephera, and others… I met with three separate individuals involved with NGO's who all are interested in helping with this service project. From those connections I have set up today, I have arranged three workshops to teach others how to make "plarn" and to crochet. These workshops will be held before the group arrives for the Egyptian Mysteries Tour in March. Those who attend the workshops will also be invited to join together with the tour group at a location still to be determined. Together our group and those from Egypt will learn about this national monument and clean up the wind blown plastic in and around the area. It is an exciting opportunity to really meet and work together with the Egyptian people, children and adults, poor and not. Those who learned how to make plarn can then take all the useful plastic to create itens of value. It became evident after talking to everyone today that this is in fact a good idea. I have received lots of enthusiasm and interest from those who have the ability to partner with us and engage in the process. Additionally, through these connections, I have now confirmed that plarn is something that is not really happening here, and there is huge potential. All it takes is for me to continue along this path . . .

Indigo sharing how to make plarn at one of the workshops in Egypt.Cairo - Monday, December 16, 2013: Today, I was given my first opportunity to do a three-hour workshop with a group of children ages 9-12 at the school of my friend, Doaa's, child. I was expecting maybe 10-15 children. They brought me 40! Wow… Plus there were probably 5 teachers in with us as well. So, I showed them how to cut the plastic bags and then to begin to crochet. I learned that 40 is too many for me to be able to effectively teach at once with out help, as most of the kids needed a lot of individual attention. When I am back in March, I plan to go back to work with the teachers there first, showing them how to do this. Then together we will work again with the children, and I will have a team of assistants to help me. Other learning I gained from todays experience is that I need to supply sharp scissor rather than rely on the ones they brought from home. Dull scissors made for much difficulty getting through the plastic. Next time I plan to ask specifically for 12-15 year old children, because it very quickly became evident that it was very difficult for some of the children and easy for others. Thought not across the board, the older ones definitely got it more easily. Some got it right away and others struggled the whole time. Regardless of the struggle, I feel that all benefited by this experience. One girl, whose mom knows how to crochet, was very excited to teach her mom how to cut the bags and then have her mom help her get better with the crochet! It was a very successful experience, and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity!

Luxor - Tuesday, December 17, 2013: Our last stop for our day was at Luxor Temple, where lights illuminated the stones for night visitors like us. Walking next to the columns and statues of such immense proportions really is mind boggling. We shared the temple with what appeared to be a women's football (soccer) team. As we were leaving, we are asked if we would have our photo taken with a lady who was with the team. It turns out she is Dr Sahar El Hawary, the first female member of the Egyptian Football Federation, the first women's referee in Africa, and a member of FIFA. The football team was in fact the Egyptian National Women's Team who has a game tomorrow here in Luxor, and was out visiting the sites. She wanted to have a photo with us "tourists" and invited us to the game. Although we have other plans for tomorrow, we were grateful. Very fun!

Luxor - Wednesday, December 18, 2013: Today, we a lovely breakfast at our hotel, the St. George. After, Candy, the taxi boat driver, met us to take us across the Nile to the West Bank. There, we met with a driver who took us to Dendera, an hour away. This temple dedicated to the goddess Hathor. Here, the amazing colors made with ground stone mixed with egg white still show through the many thousands of years since their creation. In areas where smoke damage from coking fires and candle light obscured the paint. New technology has allowed the removal of the baked on soot without damaging the vividness of the color. It was such a pleasure to be here as we took our time exploring in and around this beautiful place.