Day 4 – 20:10, 20/10, 2010

A visit to a French language school in the morning where some of the girls from training put on a show for us. We were also treated to some yummy cake.
Next was a trip to the High Dam via the Aswan dam, which was constructed in between 1898 and 1902 by the British engineer William Wilcocks. When it was completed the dam was the largest in the world. Since the opening of the High Dam it now generates hydroelectricity for a nearby factory.
The High Dam contains 18 times the amount of material used in the great pyramid of Khufu and created Lake Nasser, which is the world’s largest artificial lake.
Then on to Philae. On the island is the Temple of Isis. After the old Aswan dam was built the temple was flooded for 6 months every year by the high waters. After the High dam was completed the temple would have been completely submerged but Unesco intervened and the temple was moved stone by stone to Agilkia island, which was then landscaped to resemble the sacred temple of Isis.
For the Guides among you reading this you will be well aware that today marks the end of Guiding’s centenary year. At 20:10, 20/10, 2010 Guides, Brownies and Rainbows will renew their promise to mark the occasion. As we are the only GOLD project in country we decided to mark the date by renewing our promise at 10 past the hour throughout the day. First at the High dam, then at the aptly named Friendship Monument at the dam. Next on the boat to the temple, then at the temple, when on our own as a team for the first and probably only time today we exchanged promise badges. The next 2 hours were marked on the way in and out of the restaurant where the Association hosted our lunch.
16:10 we were in our rooms at the hotel getting ready for training.
17:10 was waiting for people to arrive at training.
18:10 infront of Tv cameras – The local station filmed parts of our session today, reminding us of our celebrity status here!
19:10 just before the end of training.
20:10, 20/10, 2010 Egypt time: we attended the Abu simbel sun festival; the festival commemorates the 22 October when the first rays of the rising sun reach across the Nile, penetrate the temple at Abu Simbel and move along the hypostyle hall, through the vestibule and into the sanctuary, where they illuminate the figures of Ra-Horakhty, Ramses II and Amun.
The festival is marked in Aswan by a parade of dancers travelling from the corniche, through the souq to the train station. We missed the start and were therefore hustled and bustled through the crowds by the guides that came with us from training. We were barely allowed to stop to take photos in their rush to get us and our entourage to the front! So we renewed our promise as we ran through the carnival. Reaching the front gave us the privilege of being dragged in to dance with some Nubian dancers who were leading the procession. The photo is of us just after we were allowed a moment to rest and watch the parade pass by. The occasion passed in a flurry of people and the smell of the spice markets, fast paced and to be remembered for a lifetime.
21:10 (20:10, 20/10, 2010 England time) was marked by setting off a sky lantern on the corniche, which sailed off across the Nile into the desert, then saying our promise in a garden beside the river.

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2 Responses to Day 4 – 20:10, 20/10, 2010

  1. Margaret Brown says:

    That has to be your “mountain top moment”

  2. I miss this team very much