Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Learning to Live Without Someone

It's been a bit over a week since we lost Magdy. The riding community of Abu Sir has slowly been recovering its balance and realising just how important he was to our understanding of who and what we are as a community. Community, in every sense of the word, is very important here. Maybe it's because we have no telephone book. That may sound like a joke, but it isn't really meant as one. Keeping track of people takes more effort here and our connections of family and friends are thus more valued, I believe. I have a weird and wonderful backup system of PalmPilot, mobile phones and computers to help me keep track of the hundreds of phone numbers, addressses and emails of people who are important to me.

A new riding routine has developed here. Now all of us make a trip over to the tombs near Abu Sir village to stop our horses for a moment to read the Fat'ha, the opening verse of the Quran for Magdy at some point during the ride. It is a brief stop, but one that the fussiest of our horses doesn't seem to mind although there is no grass to distract them for the stop. I have changed my life routine over the past week. Now I'm getting up early each morning to go out to the horses with my pack of dogs (who love the chance to chase crows out there...almost as much as the crows seem to enjoy leading them all over the paddocks). Each day I take a different horse out to work in the countryside and/or desert, but each day I stop to chat with Magdy and say the Fat'ha. It's made the transition easier.