2011
01.23

MAP EGYPT

 

If I had two months, I would make sure to reach some of the oasis in the middle of the desert.  But with one month at hand, the use of public ground transportation, and an obligation to bring back classroom material, I will first follow the established tourist route traveling in the Nile Valley.  I will then cross over to the Sinai peninsula to visit the monastery of St. Catherine and to climb mount Sinai where Moses, according to biblical record, received the tablets of law from God.  A few years ago, I turned back half way up, too exhausted to continue.  I am determined to reach the top this time!  I hope to explore a few off-the-beaten-path Coptic monasteries after Sinai.  If I can pull that off, I expect this to be the highlight of Egypt.  ET… VIEW PHOTOS AND READ THE WHOLE STORY

2011
01.23

SYNOPSIS:

This is a reflection on my travel pantheon.  Skip this if you are an atheist or if you think that your religion is the one and only.

Life is a miracle in so many ways.  And for millennia people have created gods and religions to help them bridge the gap between what can be grasped and what remains unexplainable.   And quite regularly gods and religions have been tossed, condemned, buried, forgotten and replaced. 

I am not religious.  But I appreciate the miracle and the mysteries of life.  And I can relate to the desire to be comforted by god(s) or religion.  I appreciate the various attempts of religion as an expression of particular times and places more than anything.  I find many of them fascinating, a few of them appalling, and the occasional one despicable – particularly the ones that are used to rally people into acts of violence. 

But despite my distance to religion, I have always asked a few gods to join me on my trips.  I talk to them, pray to them, and acknowledge them as the higher power I cannot define any better.  They are my pantheon; preferably a nice multi-religious mix.  Some have come with me for a good long time and after all, you don’t have to believe in them to enjoy their company, right?… VIEW PHOTOS AND READ THE WHOLE STORY