My Cousins’ Big Adventure

I could write another blog about the exploits of my two children — quite a few people tell me they like them — but I’m going to take a break from that this time.

I could quickly fire off a few paragraphs on something sports-related, but I surmise those jottings have a little more limited audience.

Instead, this edition of “Tales from the Chief” will be, in essence, “Tales from the Chief’s Cousins.” After all, what Dave and Ray have been experiencing over the last several days is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Rather than try to paraphrase their story, I’ll simply give it to you from their blog, “Brothers Unite.”

We were planning on going on vacation for a long time. It’s a big year for our family — Dad is turning 70, Mom is turning 35 (this is humor), I am graduating from college and Ray is still living at home.

When I heard vacation I started imagining far away and exotic places — Italy, Argentina, Denmark. Maybe even Costa Rica. While off at school I didn’t really pay much attention to the process of figuring out where to go. When Mom said we had decided I was excited to hear — which beach? What mountains?

Dave, we’ve figured out where we’re going for vacation. It’s all decided. Great Mom, where to? The Caribbean? Argentina? No, even better. We’re going to Egypt!

Last I checked an angry Egyptian mob was storming the Presidential Palace. Egypt? Isn’t Egypt like … on fire?

I’ll skip ahead a bit, if only because there’s plenty of text — not to mention many wonderful photos — in this blog. But needless to say, the portrait of Egypt painted in this essay is not representative of a nation consumed by upheaval.

It didn’t take long for us to realize how wrong the portrayal of Cairo in the American media was. This is not a place at war. This is not a place where social systems are collapsing, where foreigners are constantly in danger. We stopped saying we were from Toronto by the second day. Cairo is a city — a huge city, a poor city, but a city nonetheless. People here are focused on their lives. Work, futbol, tea and now politics. People are excited to see us, happy that tourists are coming back. We quickly rediscovered the thrill of a communication that transcends words —body language, tone, motions. … God is good.

OK, maybe Cairo isn’t such a scary, dangerous place after all. Consider this, though:
Cairo is a time capsule. It is a tapestry of histories and cultures. Once a town of hundreds on the east bank of the Nile, the city’s population now exceeds 20 million. There are only a handful of traffic lights in the whole city. No one pays attention to them.

Sounds like it might be a tad dangerous in a different sense. Still, there are those pyramids.

With heights exceeding 130 meters, the great pyramids are evidence of timeless human ingenuity. We climbed inside them and walked around. The entire time I was awestruck. They are truly magnificent. ..

Egypt’s place in our collective cultural history remains immortal. Seeing these constructions and visualizing the people who made them over 4,000 years ago an experience of the community of human greatness.

There’s more — plenty more — to be read and seen, should you be interested. Check it all out at

Next time, a return to your regular “Tales.”

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