Seeing Africa - Egypt Edition II

I know what you are thinking, we had to wait almost a month to get part two of this edition?!! I told y'all I was inconsistent, but I am trying! Life be happening!

Anywho, after leaving Aswan the next stop was Cairo. I couldn't wait to explore Cairo, the food, the people and the places. Mohammed and I stayed with one of our friends in the city, so it was fairly easy to get around. But the traffic!! What is it about African cities and traffic?! 

Of course our first stop was the pyramids! I had always dreamed about the pyramids, and seeing them up close was quite an experience. We decided to get there super early to see if we could catch the sun rising over the pyramids, but the joke was on us the sun rose in the opposite direction from where we were positioned. Still, the light was amazing and the experience was as magical as I had expected it to be. 

 When I look at the pyramids, I feel that they exist in the past, present and future simultaneously.

When I look at the pyramids, I feel that they exist in the past, present and future simultaneously.

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We met up with some local photographers in Cairo, who showed us around and told us where it was okay to shoot. Finding a local photographer to shoot with is super important for traveling photographers, because it is easy to get carried away and you don't want to get in trouble for shooting somewhere you are not supposed to in a foreign country. 

 Mostafa Bassim was kind enough to show us around. He is a great photographer and super cool guy!

Mostafa Bassim was kind enough to show us around. He is a great photographer and super cool guy!

 This is the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, the oldest mosque in the city.

This is the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, the oldest mosque in the city.

 The view from the Ibn Tulun.

The view from the Ibn Tulun.

 I loved this guy's cotton candy tower!

I loved this guy's cotton candy tower!

 She looked like a female mafia boss!

She looked like a female mafia boss!

 Night time at Khan El Khalili market.

Night time at Khan El Khalili market.

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As is the case around these parts, a sunset picture seems like a great way to end a post. There is so much more of Egypt I would like to see still, so I am pretty sure I will go back. 

 Shot from Al Azhar Park.

Shot from Al Azhar Park.

Remember, wander as often as you can. Your spirit will thank you!

Seeing Africa - Egypt Edition I

I'm back, but this time to share my adventures in the land of Tut! In 2016, I attended the Nile Seed Forum in Aswan, Egypt that was constituted to discuss the potential collaboration among civil society organisations in the Nile Basin countries. Egypt was always on my bucket list and I was super excited to be going, especially since my friend Mohamed was also attending the Forum. Aswan is in the south of Egypt, and about 850 km from Cairo. 

I flew directly into Aswan and had to take a boat across the Nile to get to the Island where the Forum was taking place. I wasn't ready for the level of dopeness of the modern hutlike structures carved out of the rocks, that ended up being our home for the four days we were there! 

 The boats that carried us from island to island.

The boats that carried us from island to island.

 Those colourful hut looking thingis were the rooms.

Those colourful hut looking thingis were the rooms.

 This was the room situation where we had all our meetings and meals.

This was the room situation where we had all our meetings and meals.

 Our tour guide on the island.

Our tour guide on the island.

 The controversial Aswan Dam.

The controversial Aswan Dam.

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 Sunrise expedition with Mohammed.

Sunrise expedition with Mohammed.

One of the highlights of being in Aswan was getting to visit the Temple of Isis in Philae. The temple was primarily dedicated to Isis the goddess of fertility, but the mens in her life Osiris and her son Horus were also worshipped there. 

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 The Temple of Isis

The Temple of Isis

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 Portrait of a fruit seller

Portrait of a fruit seller

Another highlight of being Aswan was taking a walk in the market and visiting the Nubian quarters there. There was so much colour everywhere and the people were so welcoming and hospitable. The Nubians have been resettled in large numbers away from southern Egypt and Aswan since the 60s, when the Aswan Dam was built on the Nile, causing the flooding of their ancestral lands. This is a big part of the controversy that surrounds the dam. 

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 No there is no image of me holding the baby croc, however I present you with a picture of Mohamed holding one.

No there is no image of me holding the baby croc, however I present you with a picture of Mohamed holding one.

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 This guy was the definition of cool!

This guy was the definition of cool!

 Nubian woman outside her home.

Nubian woman outside her home.

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 Mohammed poses outside one of the Nubian houses. The wall art was so fresh and colourful.

Mohammed poses outside one of the Nubian houses. The wall art was so fresh and colourful.

Aswan was amazingly beautiful, so full of history and culture! In part two of this blog post, I will share the Cairo experience with you! 

Until then, wander as often as you can. Your spirit will thank you!

Seeing Africa - Capetown Edition

Sooooo... this is my first blog post! No not ever, I had an African art blog eons ago, but life took over. Actually my fear about starting a blog has always been that I won't be consistent enough to maintain it. But hey, life is short and I have MANY photos that need to be put somewhere, lest they die a slow death on my computer. 

I digress, let me get on with this thing, before I get distracted with something else! So I was invited to Capetown last year for a VR Workshop, super cool stuff it was I tell you! The workshop took place on a vineyard in Stellenbosch, and the landscape and wine were just surreal!

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Any time I get invited to somewhere I have never been, I always ask to stay a couple of days after to explore. I decided to take some time do a little sight seeing in the city. The first stop was Lion's Head mountain. My friend Zunaid took me on a hike on the mountain with his wife and daughter. His daughter is like six and hiked up that mountain without even stopping to catch her breath! Meanwhile I was barely alive by the end of it all in my jeans and converse, but the views were all worth it. Who the hell goes on a hike in jeans and converse?! To be fair I didn't think we were going to hike hike.

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I took a moment to take in the view. But can I just say that vertigo is real! After a few moments of sitting there on the ledge, I started to feel like I was going to jump/fall... point is, this moment didn't last too long. 

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This was the view from my air bnb, in the heart of the city. The view was amazeballs, but the accommodation itself was the worst I have ever experienced! It was dirty AF, and the room was built on the roof of the building, so when that Cape Town wind started blowing, it literally sounded like there was an earthquake outside. ALL NIGHT!

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I also got to check out my spirit place, Bo-kaap! If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE colour. I literally felt like I was in colour heaven. I wanted to live there, in a yellow house, with my pink car parked outside....a girl can dream right?! 

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My air bnb host offered to drive me around, probably because he knew that accommodation was sub standard. Anyway, I took him up on the offer and came across some more colourful spaces that I loved!

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All good things must come to an end I suppose. Capetown is SO beautiful! I kind of understand why the colonisers took hold and didn't want to let go! 

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