Many of you know, but perhaps some of you don't, that I was in Egypt when the country erupted. I was there to do an author visit with Bruce Coville, the wonderful children's book author, and his wife Kathy, an illustrator. We went to the Schutz School in Alexandria Egypt. In some ways it was a children's book festival, because we were there to visit Carrie Danziger, who teaches at the school. Carrie is the niece of Paula Danziger, and the original model for Amber Brown. After Paula's death, Bruce and I both adopted her as our own., School Library Journal is publishing an article on our thoughts that we are home and I will post it when it comes out.
I want to thank so many in children's book community who let us know how concerned they were for us.
We arrived in Alexandria on January 21st, and although the Tunisian revolution had broken out, there was very little tension. We explored the city, including one of the world's most beautiful libraries. In ancient times Alexandria was famous the world over for it's library and it's scientists. On January 24, the first graders and I wrote a wonderful story, "Lions and Tigers" go to Mars. The third graders turned their classroom into a cruise ship and we went to Zambia and one the African Cup (Soccer Championship, or as they call...Football).
But then on Tuesday, January 25, the first of the protests began, and school was closed for two days. We did reopen and on Thursday, wrote wonderful stories (two classes ended up in the Bermuda Triangle) but even with the tension there was wonderful humor from the kids and their teachers. We did get to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx. From then on the fast moving events over took us as we had to try to figure out how to get out of Cairo We had great respect for the courage of the people....and the protesters themselves were mostly peaceful. We actually were worried about the military who soon moved tanks in front of our hotel.
I will add more thoughts later....but I just wanted to post a few pictures.....and to tell you how many people in Egypt, in the middle of everything, worked so hard to keep us safe.
And we were!!! We flew home on February 2.
Yes it was scary! But so many people helped us out. Here is a picture of a Tank outside of our hotel, and then a picture with our wonderful guide, Ahmed Ramadan, who took us to his home in order to keep us safe and helped us get to the airport and out safely.
More to come....