Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Floating Restaurant and the Doctor Visit

It's been a busy few days with classes and Rotary events.  On Monday night, Cameron, Jeff and I all visited our Host Rotary Club here in our community of Maadi.  It was a group of 15 or so very nice and very impressive people.  They went around the room introducing themselves and we learned that one was an advisor to Parliament, another worked with the the Minister of some governmental department, others were professors, lawyers, and other respected professions.

Much of the meeting was in Arabic so we politely listened and Cameron drew pictures of tall trees with ladders going up to them to help kids climb them.  (That's his drawing trademark these days.)

I was asked to tell about myself so I did.  But I later found out when talking one on one with many of the Rotarians that I should slow down when I speak because most of what I said wasn't understood by many.  Talking with many of these people one on one afterwards was a real pleasure and I hope we will end up getting to spend some more individual time with many of them.

We've already called the pharmacist from the Rotary group for medical help.  (Don't worry-- everyone is fine.)  Pharmacists here are more like doctors than they are in the U.S.  They can give injections and they are consulted like doctors by many.  We had to call our pharmacist friend tonight because Cameron had a tumble at school today and cut open his lip.  We wondered if he would need stitches so brought him to see the doctor recommended by the pharmacist.  The doctor just happened to be having office hours between 8pm-10pm (which was convenient because we decided to have Cameron looked at at 7pm.)  Those kinds of business hours are typical here.  Cairo comes alive at night and is pretty sleepy in the morning.  Many businesses are not open until mid-morning.  We learned that the doctor had office hours every night from 8-10pm, except Sunday.  (I think he must be Christian.  I've heard about 15% of the Cairo population is Christian.)  Fortunately, Cameron's lip is going to be fine.  He prescribed some antibiotics and mouthwash.  We picked those up at the pharmacy across the street, then took a taxi home  (... just five pounds for the taxi, or about 85 cents)

On Tuesday afternoon, Jeff and I went to visit the oldest Rotary Club in Cairo, founded in 1929.  This club meets on at the floating restaurant, one of several such restaurants on the Nile.  Below are some photos of the restaurant, and another floating restaurant further down the Nile,  followed by a photo of the view of the Nile from the restaurant window.

We got a very warm welcome from the Cairo Rotary Club as well.  We sat next to a gentleman who told us he was an architect.  He asked where we lived and we told him 14th Street in Maadi.  He asked what number.  When we told him the number, he said he owned and was the architect for the building across the street from ours!  (When this gentleman was up speaking to the club at one point, another man at the table told us not to be fooled by the architect's laid back manner... that in fact he was one of the top architects in the whole country.... I'm not surprised any more by these Rotary folks!)

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