Thursday, 10 November 2011

The other Egypt!

While it is fresh in my mind I decided to continue with my only sojourn to the African continent.

Travel Tales

Egypt is such a diverse country that in a couple of short trips away from Cairo, lasting only a day each, was revealed some amazing contrasts. I had the most startling visual experience when travelling out of that great city along a canal and then out into the Sahara desert. Passing through a green shallow valley away from Cairo on the right bank of the overgrown canal we passed by small mud huts with TV aerials protruding from what looked like turfed roofs. There were shrubs and trees on both sides of the water until we made a sharp right turn and headed off to another destination. Around fifty yards from the water the vegetation stopped abruptly, no gradual petering out, just sand as far as the eye could see and the greenbelt having a hard defined edge as if it had been vigorously pruned.
The second and slightly disturbing places that we encountered were 'carpet schools'.  There were quite a few pointed out to us by our guide and eventually we pulled up outside one and we were asked to make a decision. Did we want to go in and have a look round? Some of the ladies in our party decided to remain in the minibus but the rest of us entered the quite modern small building. Why the reticence? Well it is the issue of child labour!
The school we visited was beautifully run and on the face of it everything was open and above board. The children who were working there were happy, appeared healthy and well cared for and were like all children, curious and happy to chat and ask and answer questions. They were also producing exquisite carpets and rugs!
One would hope that all such schools are as well run and safe places, free of exploitation. In making such visits you have to make up your own mind as to the nature of the places and the morality of them. Exploitation of children can never be justified!

The situations described in this tale provide fodder for the writing imagination to tease out, adapt and use in an author's scribblings. The purpose of these Tales is to demonstrate how I try to enrich my writing with description and they also may provide a spark to the imagination in a variety of ways. It is the experiences that we have in our lives that help us to give our customers what they want when they read our work.

God Bless
League Table - yesterdays visits

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