a day in the life while living in a village in Luxor, Egypt....

canal that runs alongside my house

The slow, leisurely pace of life afforded by being in a village, gives you the opportunity to cease from the frantic rushing of day to day life, and learn to simply 'be'. 

 

Each day, I trod along the same dirt road over the little canal, up to the main drag where a beaten mini-bus carried passengers down to the Nile dock. There, local feluccas (Egyptian sailboats) brought throngs of passengers to the town of Luxor on the other side.

 

As I strolled down the road, friendly children would run up to greet me, full of smiles, eager to escort me to the road.

lush vegetation that grows by the Nile

On my way down the road to get the bus into town, I passed tiny shops where colorful  baskets filled with fresh fruits, clothing and toys, lined the roadway. The women who tended these businesses sat in small circles chatting, as little ones played nearby. Upon arriving at the main road, I came upon old men reclining on old wooden benches who invariably invited me to join them for tea. 

local shepherd boy

    

This blog depicts my life in a village on the West Bank of Luxor, where I stayed for many months. I was warmly welcomed by the local farming community, and had the unique opportunity of experiencing their lives 'up close and personal', by living among them. 

 

 

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This is a photo I took as I paused to watch a man at work. His garage-sized operation consisted of primitive machinery were he was milling corn into flour to be used to make Egyptian bread.

From the rooftop of my building, I was able to gaze out upon the swirling waters of the Nile. With my home's close proximity to the river, I witnessed some pretty spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Early in the day, I would watch local farmers begin their tedious labor in nearby sugar cane fields. Mules and horses, who assisted them in their tasks, pulled heavy loads with antiquated tools. Mule-driven carts laden with green grass, were driven by little boys, who were eager to give me a ride down the road.

                 the local village cafe
Waterpots for passersby across the street from my house. These are very common in the villageside here. Folks journeying along the road can stop and get a drink from the clay pots filled with cool water.

Technology hasn't quite made it big-time into the villages in Egypt yet. So people still congregate at the local cafes. There, they drink tea and smoke shisha. It is a place of respite from the harsh rays of the daytime sun, and a cool place to chat when nightfall comes. In spite of the simple setting, people talk, laugh and have a great time well into the wee hours of the morning.

Luxor and Aswan were hardest hit in the years that followed the revolution. A great percentage of their income had previously been derived from tourism and when that took a dive, the local population suffered greatly. I arrived in Egypt just prior to the revolution, and witnessed the drastic difference of the pre and post revolution days. I saw firsthand, how the lack of tourism adversely affected the poor in the villages

bike hire shop on way to ferry to Luxor
village road that leads to bus to the ferry

One of the first noticeable differences on the streets of Luxor after the revolution, was that the frames of the once sturdy horses that pulled the Caleches, were now languishing malnourished in the hot sun. Many of the Caleche drivers were driven out of business, and many of the small hotels had shuttered their doors.

 

 

When I went into town, I made a point of bringing the horses and Caleche drivers with me to the feed shop, where the exhausted animals could get fed and watered down. I made many new friends that way, and was invited back to meet the families of the Caleche drivers. One such man was Mustafa, pictured with me here, who became a good friend

Mohamed, village boy, who greets me along the road every day...
local boys take a dip in the Nile
                          with Caleche driver in Luxor