Today, the 6th and 7th grade classes had their first field trip. Aside from riding a bus with 16 screaming 6th graders – who, to their credit, sing well enough to form an Egyptian Partridge Family -, the trip was pretty fun. The highlight of it, of course, was sandboarding, which is exactly what it sounds like: you strap a board to your feet and sail down sand dunes.
This might have been a surreal experience had it been in the middle of the desert, but alas, it was one dune rising lonesomely beside a major highway. One side of the dune sloped gracefully down into desert, and the other ended abruptly in a rubbish pile. Guess which slope they wanted the kids to board down?
I went down three times, and the other two teachers gave it a shot, also. In fact, they were better than I was. Some of the kids were really good at it, and all of them seemed to have fun. It was especially enjoyable to note the different types of sandboard; the bindings ranged from a sturdy piece of rope to comfy cushion type things produced by Dakine.
The best part of the desert sandboarding, to many children, was digging up over thirty bullets in the desert sand. The science teacher guessed that they were left over from “target practice” of some kind, but I’m not sure I agree.
After sandboarding, the kids ate lunch and engaged in a “water paint fight,” which basically consisted of them throwing vegetable bags of dyed water at each other. Still, they had a blast, and were, for the most part, well-behaved, although some of them ignored the science teacher’s warning to avoid the pool, as it was full of protists.
(1) I had a funny anecdote here about a kid who may or may not have injured himself. But I took it out. I really hate the fact that I have to screen this thing.
(2) I spoke at length with the science teacher about her opinion on the recent elections. The Muslim Brotherhood has come out in the lead for this election, which is to fill the lower Parliament. January’s elections will fill the upper Parliament, and then the presidential elections will take place in June, inshallah. She told me that she doesn’t think we’ll see Egypt becoming a Muslim country just yet; although these are the aims of the Muslim Brotherhood, she said, she didn’t foresee them implementing these changes so quickly. She said they’ve been waiting for a long time – 60 or 70 years – to gain power, and if they started to change Egypt to a Muslim country so quickly, they wouldn’t be reelected in five years. The people aren’t ready for Islamist rule, she thinks, and they could elect a different party in five years if they saw the country heading in that direction. She thinks that they’re going to focus instead on improving Egypt’s economy – which is good for foreigners as visitors, as they’ll want to promote tourism – and do away with corruption, fix traffic issues (good luck!), and regulate proper law enforcement. The reason the Brotherhood is so popular and has such a strong backing is partly because they were the only party that was blacklisted and banned under Mubarak, and since the people wanted anybody but Mubarak, they supported the Brotherhood. Still, I’ve spoken to quite a few Egyptians who feel that this party has some very impressive candidates, so we’ll see what happens. If her predictions are right, I feel a lot better being here. E
Either way, it’s nice to know we’re not becoming Saudi Arabia any time soon, where, apparently, allowing women to drive will encourage them to engage in premarital sex.