October 2011

10.15.11

Well I've been in Egypt for exactly one week now. So far so good, except for the fact that I caught a cold AND got food poisoning. I'm especially grateful for the pharmacy I packed right now.

A couple of days ago I ate a burger and I'm guessing that it was either the lettuce or the tomato that was contaminated. Anyway, I'm glad that this food poisoning happened over the weekend (which starts on Thursday here... and for me, and the rest of the dig team, ends on Friday...) rather than during the work week, b/c the toilet on site is literally a hole in the ground (though it's nicer than many toilets on other excavation sites b/c of the fact that it is surrounded by four walls and a door).

I'm feeling much better, especially now that there doesn't seem to be as many mosquitos flying around thanks to the dropping temperatures.

We have a one hour commute from our dig house to the site and we get to drive by many rural Egyptian towns. Many people do things the old fashioned way- you see women wash their clothes and dishes in the (often very polluted) river/irrigation canals and people hitching carts to donkeys. Once in a while you even see some people ride their camels into town. As an urban American, it's a very exotic sight to behold. I'll share more observations in the coming days and weeks, I'm sure (b/c to describe them all now would be too much for one blog entry!)

Snuggles to Edouard and Chloe.

Jen

10.10.11

In light of the recent events in Egypt, I thought it especially important to let you all know that I'm ok. We're about 2 hours away from Cairo in our little dig house, which is pretty nice for a dig house. There's hot water, indoor plumbing, and a pretty decent and so far reliable internet connection (thanks to the fact that we get a steady signal- at least from the front of the house- from a cell phone tower). There are, of course, too many mosquitos and tiny lizards.

Before the violence broke out in Cairo yesterday, the city actually seemed to be quite calm. People were going about their daily business and when we drove by Tahrir Square, you wouldn't even know that there was a revolution there just earlier this year. Most people seemed to be optimstic.

That all said, our driver expressed some doubts about Egypt's future. He explained that many people here are desperate for work and money (there has been an increase in petty crimes).

I really hope that Egypt pulls through, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't even a little nervous about my situation right now. This is a lot harder when I'm so far away from Edouard and Chloe. Thankfully, I am able to remain in steady contact with them (or at least Edouard, since you know... Chloe is a rabbit) via Skype and my phone with its brand spanking new Egyptian sim card. Talking to Edouard always calms my nerves. He's going to get extra treats at the duty free shop on the way home!

Jen

10.07.11

Ok, I'm off to Egypt now. I have a huge suitcase and a decent pharmacy:

-Pepto-Bismol

-Immodium

-Ibuprofen

-Advil PM

-Cipro

-Neosporin

-Benadryl

-Claritin

Plus a lot of stuff in case when I get devoured by bugs. I'm wearing socks every night to sleep. I've got my eye on you, bugs.

United States of America... please don't fall to pieces while I'm gone.

Chloe... stay fuzzy, brown, and chunky.

Edouard... I love you. I can't wait to get back so we can resume our adventures and TV watching.

Jen

10.05.11

Well my talk at ICAF went well. I think I presented my topic coherently (Steve Bissette was there and was very interested in what I was talking about!) and I had a lot of great discussions with other cartooonists and comic scholars that evening over good food and spirits. The train ride to and from White River Junction was also beautiful- lots of rivers, rapids, and foliage.

As you may have noticed, this past month has been incredibly busy for me... I moved back to NYC from Boston, settled into my new apartment in NYC, went back to LA to visit family and friends, presented at a conference in Vermont... and no I'm not quite done yet b/c this Friday I'm going to flying to Egypt. For 2 months.

The whole Egypt thing was really up in the air for a long time due to on going protests at the Supreme Council of Antiquities. In fact, my employer didn't have plane tickets for us until just a couple of days ago. Things seemed to have settled down though, and the excavators that went ahead to scope out the scene said that Egyptians are just living their normal day to day lives as usual.

Anyway, I have no idea how good or reliable the internet is going to be at my dig house but I told David to upload comics for me in the meantime. I'll try to post here when I can .

I can hardly believe I'm leaving in just a couple of days. I'm going to miss Edouard and Chloe a lot.

Jen