Tuesday, April 06, 2010


It's the day after Shem el Nessimand we are all sitting around feeling entirely too well fed. This year the Coptic and Western Easters fell on the same day with Shem el Nessim the day after..three Easters in two days is definitely a record. Shem el Nessim is the official start to summer here and the mannequins at the malls are showing signs of summer readiness. All of this catches me a bit by surprise since we really didn't have a winter this year.

It's been a winter full of riding, mostly in tshirts with just the odd light jacket. No winter winds whistling down the dunes from the North Coast this year, although we did get a spectacular sound and light show one night when a thunderstorm brought the first hail in about 20 years to Cairo. We had a lot of internet issues after the storm, I suspect brought on by lightning strikes to the monster palm trees that are used to disguise relay towers here.

We've had our share of interesting visitors this spring. Steve Edwards who trains mules in Arizona came to visit my friend Bill the mule man here. Bill attended clinics at Steve's place and brought a saddle for our mule Amira. This saddle is so much more complicated than a horse saddle that we were all delighted to have Steve come out to show us how to use and adjust it properly. He also gave us mule-training tips and taught the staff how to make three and four strand rope out of old baling twine.

Steve and his wife Susan were filming the action here to be shown on RFD-TV in the US and to use on a cd about mule training. I rode out to the pyramids of Abu Sir on Figgy while Steve rode Amira, so now Figgy gets to join his big brother in being a film star. Next week I have some endurance friends from Michigan joining us, Maggie and Nelson Mieske, who are currently in Qatar where Maggie is teaching English at the university in Doha while Nelson works with horses there. Maggie is planning to do some riding with me as I have a mother and daughter visiting Egypt on a riding holiday here, while Nelson will be set up with some of the local farriers to help them hone their skills. Life is fun.
copyright 2010 Maryanne Stroud Gabbani


Heart2Heart said...

This is amazing because its something we don't see every day here. I would have never thought of learning to make rope. You just never know when that skill will come in handy.

Please stop by my blog today to meet a blogger in need of help!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

CrisisMaven said...

I wasn't aware Mules were still being used anywhere else but the andes!

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

Anywhere you have horses, donkeys and work, you will find mules because they are hardy, strong, and smart. There are a lot of recreational and competitive mule riders in the US and they are used a lot for draft and packing worldwide.

Sabbey said...

I am a new blogger. Yours is the first blog I have ever looked at. Very impressive. I am going to Cairo on a tour in May. Any tips for weather and clothing?

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

Be prepared for hot weather during the day, but at least short sleeves are advised for cultural sensitivity. Fabrics like light cottons and linens are good. Long pants and long sleeves if they are of the right (natural and lightweight) materials actually help protect from the heat and sun. I also advise drinking PLENTY of water and taking electrolytes.

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