busy week in the Fell's household, our daily schedule seems to
be the following:
Go to bed
you can probably guess I've started another batch of work from
my computer company in London, I have to do this work in parallel
with everything else that I'm doing and at times it is difficult
to squeeze in the hours I want to work.
week we bought a television to help with our Arabic study, up
till now we have coped just fine without one. Occationally there
are films in English and one week in 3 we have access to a video
recorder. We've just finished with the Video recorder this week
and it was great to watch some videos from England once again,
we brought them with us on the off-chance that we will get access
to a video machine. It was unfortunate that I was so busy or I
would have tried to watch more videos but now we have 2 weeks
without so this will force me to carry on with my work unhindered.
I did my usual bit at the Arabic speaking children's club. I've
mentioned before about the 3 spoilt kids from a non-church background
who tend to cause disruption for the other teachers, well they
were there again . . .
come from rich families which always carries a lot of influence
here- the children ALWAYS get what they want (there's no comparison
with spoilt children in Britain, REALLY) and they show little
respect for any type of authority.
time I spoke about the story of the feeding of the 5000, and to
illustrate a point I took two 50 Piastre notes (100 Piastres =
1 Egyptian Pound) and folded them together. I told them that when
we give Him what we have He can make it increase in value. When
I unfolded the notes they "became" one 50 Pound note. All the
children really liked this trick and afterwards the 3 spoilt ones
came up to me and said that they wanted to know how I did the
trick. I told them that it was my little secret, and anyway they
would have to start to be less disruptive in class if they wanted
anything from me!
couldn't believe that I refused to tell them so they started to
insist. I refused. They insisted again, I refused again. They
threatened me- I laughed, they said that they would not come again-
I said that it was a deal, they tried to bribe me- I said "no
way". For about 20 minutes they barred my way from leaving the
premises until I told them, but still I refused. What really surprised
me was the fact that they just couldn't accept "No" for an answer-
they always get things their way and in the end they started to
get quite aggresive.
I finally managed to walk away I did so with a sense of satisfaction,
to be honest I really enjoyed not telling them and seeing them
squirm; for me it was the highlight of the week.
on this week I went to a conference that was arranged for me as
a main speaker, it was a follow-up conference from the beginning
of October of people doing the same thing on Sundays as Richard.
The original conference was attended by about 200 from the churches
in and around Cairo and it was thought that this follow-up conference
would be attended by about 70.
journey there took about an hour. I had a lot to carry- I had
a big bag and sketchboard which I first took in a taxi, then on
the underground metro to the place where I was speaking. Whenever
I perform I always like to dress for the occasion in my black
trousers, white shirt, Disney waistcoat and tie (with Mickey Mouse,
Donald Duck . . . etc.) ; the Egyptians always stare at foreigners,
but especially if they are dresses like this.
had difficulty in the main Metro station since it was so busy-
it wasn't easy to carry the sketchboard when it is so crowded,
I even had to stay out of a metro because there just wasn't enough
room for me and the sketchboard and a big bag- I wondered if I
was going to make it in time since the crowds of people where
getting bigger the longer I waited. I heard a voice behind me
saying "Mister Yasoon?" (my Arabic name) and I turned round to
see a total stranger! He explained in Arabic that he was a delegate
at the last conference and he remembered me from then. He was
on his way to hear me speak again and instantly recognised me
by what I was wearing! He offered to help me with my sketchboard
and bag onto the metro but just before the metro arrived a policeman
appeared and told us that we couldn't take the sketchboard onto
the Metro because it was too big. My newly-found friend convinced
the policeman that there wasn't a problem because we were only
going 2 stops down (I would have had difficulty in convincing
him with my limited Arabic). He let us go on and I had a sketchboard
digging into my ribs for the two stops we travelled.
finally made it to the conference venue but my translator was
late . . . as were most of the other delegates (nothing starts
on time here). I spent time preparing materials that I was going
to hand out at the conference- I had previously prepared sets
of rope in order to show them how to do several rope tricks with
the appropriate messages. In accordance with the numbers that
I was told I prepared 70 sets of rope.
the time I started about 150 delegates had turned up- I was disapointed
that so many would have to share these ropes but I couldn't do
anything about it!
started the session with a couple of sketchboard talks and then
I asked them to take similar ideas and to make up there own sketchboard
talks in small groups. I was really impressed by the ideas that
they came up with, it was amazing because the Egyptian mind is
not usually creative but the ideas that they came up with were
great. Most of the time they do things by rote and memorisation-
there is little room for creativity! Many of the delegates said
that they were going to try out these ideas in there own places
which I was really pleased about.
all that there's time for at the moment,
write again next week,
Alison and Hannah
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