Today was to start with a visit to a Nubian village.We were up well before the wakeup and met Dia, our Nubian guide, at for a short walk to a motor launch.Dia is an ornithologist as well as an Egyptologist so first order of business was to cross directly to the very rural west bank for a closer look at the birds.It was probably a 45 minute ride to the Nubian village where debarkation was over a very narrow plank from the boat to a rock on shore. Though there was some nervousness among the older of our group, all went without mishap and more quickly than I would have thought.A short walk brought us to and through the very interesting village to a private home.Along the way we were stared at and in some cases approached by these beautiful people.The kids were all smiles and, of course, we were as well.
Our visit to the private home was a special treat and, I suspect, provides a nice supplement to the family’s income.We were welcomed warmly and enjoyed some delicious peppermint tea. Some handmade trinkets were available for sale and most of us, I think, bought at least something.Kids were constantly around us, sometimes holding out their hands as if asking for something.Dia explained that they were not seeking money but rather small gifts such as pencils, crayons, etc. We regretted deeply that no one had told us of this in advance; we’d have absolutely have loved to have had something to give.Linda from Alaska was more fortunate.She’d come on the trip armed with many small pins commemorating Alaska and had, in fact, given one to each of us.She still had some with her and handed them out to the smiling kids.During much of the time in the village we were followed silently by a teen-aged girl who was selling small, colorfully-painted figures made of clay.Though not overbearing, she was determined to make a sale and eventually I bought one piece for 5 LE (~$1).
Undeterred, she continued to follow us, asking me quietly to buy something else.She even waded into the water as we boarded the boat. I sure wish we had sales people with that persistence!In retrospect, though, I wish I’d bought a lot more from her.Damn.
By the time we returned, our friends from the other itinerary had returned to Cairo and been replaced by only 4 people who had spent the first part of the week on LakeNasser.It must be said that these were not the friendliest people on earth. They were very much impressed with themselves and spent most of the time in their suites.As it happened, that self-imposed seclusion was fine with us.The contrast with the original group was remarkable and disappointing.
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