the latest news from my brother...
"this is just a quick note to say hi - it's 11:30 pm here right now and we need to be at the airport by 4:30 am to fly to Egypt. And now the most adventuresome portion of the trip begins!
this evening was quite adventurous as well - Paul and Michele arranged for the 4 of us to be picked up and taken out of the city for a desert safari in a nature reserve (though mostly it was just natural sand)... was very fun - we were first treated to some serious offroad driving in the 4 wheel drive SUV, riding fast over dunes and down into steep valleys - i was sure the driver was going to roll the thing a few times, just kidding (not really. & I'm glad my stomach was feeling better). We also spotted some gazelles, and i think i got them on video. Then we proceeded to a small oasis farm and hung out with some camels, goats, and a few random chickens. Then we drove a bit further to a more pronounced dunescape and watched the sunset over the red/gold desert, which was quite beautiful. After that we went a short distance to an encampment where we had dinner with the other safari-folk (about 30 cars-full total I'd say), had drinks, watched a bellydancer shake it and swing swords and incense around and such, and then gazed at the stars when they briefly shut the lights off. We were then driven back to the apartment, we got back about an hour or so ago. very much fun.
Dubai is a place of extremes. The temp. has been consistently around 105 degrees F (40 C) & 80% humidity, so during the day we've been staying in air conditioned environs...or in snowy ones! Skiing indoors was a trip - and I did better on the slopes than I thought I would, having not been in 10 years or more. Ski Dubai, as the place is called, is no joke - there was a serious slope with an expert portion, and a slightly less steep freestyle area that I stuck too - and only fell a few times at the beginning. I wish there had been time to get Beth a lesson - she struggled, but gave it a go. It definitely made me want to head somewhere mountainous and wintery sometime in the not-so-distant future.
well, I've got to try to get a nap in before the taxi arrives. I'm not sure what the internet situation will be in Cairo - so it might not be until the 17th or the 18th before we can write again. I love you all and miss you."