Beyond Pyramids: The Wild Women of Egypt
by Jennifer Haddow | January 17, 2015
“My heart is so full, my heart is so full…” Helen whispered as we walked in the Goddess temple. It was only the second day of our 2 week Wild Women tour of Egypt and I knew that it was going to get even better.
It was my fourth visit to Egypt, and my heart overflows every time I am there, by the incredible, miraculous wonders of the ancient world and even more by the kind generosity of the Egyptian people. I have never felt so profoundly cared for and supported on an adventure as I do in Egypt.
“Breathtaking!” “Astonishing!” the women in our group gasped as we stood awestruck in front of the magnificent temple of Hatshepsut, the one and only female Pharaoh of Egypt who led civilization almost 4000 years ago. Her temple is carved into a mountain in the most spectacular desert valley – clearly she was a wild woman.
Later, as we sailed down the Nile River on our luxurious private Dahabiya yacht, Stephanie gazes towards the sand dunes and palm trees that line the river banks, and muses “You know how there are experiences in life that you know will change your life forever? This trip is one of those experiences.”
I know the feeling. Egypt is a land that is deeply affecting. When I watch the sun rise over the Pyramids of Giza I marvel about the mystery of how they were built, with the most basic tools, and I feel that we can do anything, if we can do this.
But Egypt is so much more than Pyramids.
On our tour we visited villages and met with women in their homes, visited farms and marketplaces to explore the life of the country. One morning we sat with Egyptian women on a mango farm, drinking hibiscus tea and talking about our lives, telling stories about our children, and giggling about why a group of women dared travel on their own, without men.
It was fascinating how much we could understand of each other from the look in our eyes, a smile and a gesture. I remembered that our connection as women goes much deeper than culture or religion, our sisterhood is a current more powerful than the Nile.
At the end of our trip, the wild women sat in a circle and shared how they felt about their adventure. They talked about the wonderful friendships they had made with each other and Egyptians. Some talked about planning to come back to Egypt again. Others shared about how they felt so warmly welcomed at every place we visited.
Adventure is about letting a place change you, to let the experience be just what it needs to be. Adventure is about being fully engaged in Life and trusting yourself. In our adventure in Egypt, I have been forever changed.
I walked in the desert Valley of the Queens and looked out over the vast stretch of sand dunes and felt the silence and peace in myself, as timeless as the Goddesses who were worshipped there. My heart is so full with love for Egypt and great joy in sharing its wonders with wild women.
Assalum Aleikum (May Peace Be With You)