Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sudanese Refugee School in Pictures

(If you want to read stories from this day, on top of looking at the pictures, click HERE.)
Love was the universal language of our time with the Sudanese refugees.
Playing games with the kids... you can see "New Sudan" written on the wall of the school.
Teaching us some of their traditional Sudanese songs... precious!
One of the teachers at the school.
Having fun with a bouncy ball.
We delivered a donated drum set to the school which was an immediate HIT!
Two of the teenage girls that didn't really want to come out of the classroom to join the festivities.
The leader of the Mercy Team leads the kids in a highly energetic sermon-ette.
Young teen girls.
Me with my two little kids (on the right) who were my favorites... the teenage girl on the left is the older sister of the little boy.
The older girls liked to braid our hair the way they braid each others'.
Teenage boys.
Teenage girls.
This picture is great because you can see the backdrop of the big building going up next to the school, but in the reflection of her sunglasses you can also see the other tall buildings going up all around their refugee camp. When the government gave this land for the refugee camp it was empty desert.
This map, or one like it, was hanging in every classroom at the school, teaching the kids where Sudan (their home country) and where Egypt was (where they are living today).
This building is under construction next to the school and is being built very un-safely. A volunteer engineer came to evaluate the property for the staff and noted that it is twice as tall as the permit allowed and was in danger of collapsing because the structure is unsound. On top of which, the principal told us that the construction workers sometimes threw materials down from the high stories onto the children in the courtyard of the school.
The boys playing in three-legged races.
This little boy asked me to paint a cross on his forehead.
Two boys balloon-ed out.
This little boy just would not smile on camera, no matter how hard we tried to brighten him up.
The great corral of girls.
Not sure why the little kids would throw signs, but they liked to do this for pictures.
Just a display of the goatie face paint that the young boys kept asking me to paint on their faces.
The courtyard at the school during the chaos of our carnival stations.
Checking out the new drum set.
The kids broke from our play day to have breakfast (1 loaf of bread, a bottle of milk, and a hard-boiled egg)... some of whom this would be their only meal for the day.

One of the classrooms full of kids waiting to come out and play at our carnival of fun.
This picture and Scripture was painted on the wall of the courtyard.
The boys hanging out the window to get a chance to blow bubbles.
Cute little boys!
Waving for the camera.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Villages of Egypt in Pictures

The view of a crumbling wall of a home in the village, next to a newly built stone wall from Habitat.
A village boy.
Ladies on their way to launder clothes in the canal.
We were invited by one village family to take pictures with their water buffalo.
A village baby girl.
Using your head to carry most everything is quite usual for them.
Me, holding a baby goat at a micro-loan recipients' home.
Working for Habitat was messy but FUN (i Love this picture!).
Two young boys from one family wanted to help us haul stone blocks from the street into their home that was being renovated by Habitat.
These neighborhood young boys kept watching us with a "these American ladies are crazy" look in their eyes.
Cara peeling onions with one village family.
A village girl.
The village we spent most our time in was a big onion farming community, and every street was lined with ladies and their kids circled around piles and piles of onions peeling them. Subsequently the onions were shipped out to factories where they were turned into grated onion and onion powders you might find in the spice section of your grocer.
This woman received a micro-loan to start a goat breeding business on the roof of her house (same place where I was holding the goat above).
The kids of the village after a rousing game of soccer during our lunch break.
This little boy was moving chairs outside his classroom at the village school.
At an impromptu "Sunday School" meeting we joined in the village. The kids gathered round to hear Bible stories while our local security detail looked on with his lovely gun draped over his shoulder. It was nothing to write home about from the kids' point of view.

Central Egypt in Pictures

Sunset over the fields of alfalfa.
Our dinner spread at the hotel... lots of little dishes of Middle Eastern favorites like tabouleh, cucumber spread, fresh cut vegetables, tahini, and baba ghanoush.
At the pharmacy, they aren't real creative with their medicine names. Guess what this is supposed to do?
A young boy drives the family cart for his mom and sister through the streets on Minya.
We spotted this young woman atop a harvest of alfalfa greens piled on top of her donkey... what a ride!
You can see the canal walls and the trash the people just dump into their only water source.
A green field of alfalfa.
A local GAS STATION... check it out!
A bustling group of gal pals walking the street.
I just think this man looks so cool.
Walking the kids to school.
A "took took" scooter things and a man on his bike in a jalabia on his bike.
Everyone shares the same streets.
Street-scene from our bus ride.
Again, everyone shares the same streets.
Sunset in the desert.
These are what their group taxi rides look like.
One of the villages we passed on the road.