Catawba Faculty Members Can Dance Like An Egyptian Too!
October 9, 2010
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With this homecoming week’s “Dance like an Egyptian Dance Contest” hosted by Helen-Foil Beard Society, Catawba students are not the only ones who can dance like those Egyptian Pharaohs back in the day. I am sure if we asked Jean Wurster, one of our library faculty members on campus, she would more than likely show us students the way to do it. This summer Mrs. Wurster took a month long trip to Cairo with her daughter Elizabeth, who goes to Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv, Israel. Wurster laughs and claims that “her daughter is a real go getter, and I did not know what to think about going to Egypt but I went.”
First, they took a plane from Tel-Aviv to Cairo. From there they went on what she called “a very rickety bus” to their hostel. She continues further by telling me in a humorous tone that “locals in Cairo do not seem to stop at red lights and that it is scary to cross the roads in Cairo. You cannot walk but you must run and dodge for your life.”
Next, Wurster and her daughter stayed at a hostel that claimed to have a ‘wonderful view of the Nile River.’ Wurster chuckled and says “You could only see a small strip of it; however, you could see the National Museum at that was cool to see and visit.”
Shortly after, Wurster and her daughter visited the site where King Tut was excavated by Carter in the early 1920’s. Wurster says, “I cried when I saw King Tut’s burial mask. It was just so beautiful with all its delicate detail.” They also looked at the jars that were used to contain organs while the Egyptians were preparing an individual for mummification. Lastly, they also went to see the catacombs of some other members of the royal Egyptian family. Wurster remarks, “This was a really great experience and memorable part of the trip.”
They also visited Alexandria where they saw the temple Luxur. Wurster told me that, “currently Egypt is getting archeologists all over the world to preserve and renovate this temple.” Lastly, Wurster took the time to tell me a humorous story about her experience with trains in Egypt. “When we went on this train to Alexandria, it was so cold in the train that we had to keep taking blankets and sweaters out of our own suitcases to cover ourselves so we wouldn’t get frost bite. There was also a Muslim who kept starring at us oddly and there was a Chinese man who was very nice and talkative but irritating.” She chuckles at this as I unfortunately had to admit that I did as well.
She also told me that when her and her daughter went to visit the beaches in Egypt women were wearing their burkas and were still covered from head to toe, even when they went in the water! She admits “I even felt odd being there, and that I should be dressed like them and not dressed in a plain t-shirt and shorts. We did not go in the water as a way to show respect and as to not be noticed.”
Lastly, I got a few moments to ask what Mrs. Wurster took away from Egypt. She claims that while “Cairo is very dirty and busy, Egypt has a culture that is very timeless and that culture will always be rooted back to their ancient history or founding civilizations for years to come. Egyptians are also much more connected to nature, the power of nature, their creation, and their surroundings then us Westerners in America. Furthermore, I believe it is a wonderful culture and believe that everyone at some point should go to visit and explore if they get the chance.”
So Catawba, let’s get our Egyptian groove on this homecoming week!