Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fiddling While Cairo Burns

A week ago, I returned from my vacation to the Caribbean. My dad continued on to New York, and then a trip to Egypt for a week-long cruise up the Nile.

At the worst possible time, apparently.

Yes, my dad landed in Cairo, about 1 day before the protests started.

He managed to make his way to the docks where he boarded his cruise ship. And blithely sailed on, ignoring the growing protests.

The ship set sail up the Nile river, despite everything that was happening in Egypt.

He spent 3 days sailing. Meanwhile, both my sister and I continuously tried to get a hold of him. Of course, cellphones were cut off, so all we got was voice-mail.

And then he contacted us using ship's phones. And stated his intention to continue sailing. This AFTER we learned that both America and the European countries have advised their citizens to leave Egypt for their own safety.

Meanwhile, the rioting got worse.

Finally today, we learned that the ship had been stopped in Luxor, Egypt. All passengers were debarked, and flights were chartered out of the Luxor airport. At approximately 3 PM EDST today, my dad boarded a flight for Milan, Italy. The distance from Luxor to Milan is approximately the same as the distance from my home city of Toledo, Ohio to Florida. So about a 3 hour flight, give or take a few minutes. So presumably he is, as I write this, about an hour or so from landing safely in Italy. Thank God.

I'm sure he is disappointed about not being able to complete his trip. And he'll probably schedule another trip to Egypt as soon as possible. Possibly followed by a trip to Tunisia, and then maybe Somalia.

Every time my dad goes off on a trip somewhere, I fear for his safety a bit. And then I thank God that he sends my Mom to look after him every time. And that she does a great job. Thanks to you both. And mom, if you manage to read this somehow, please keep up the good work. I know you miss him, but we'd like to keep him around here for a few more years.

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