The Elephant Cloud wakes from a long slumber.
When our story left off, we were separated in the remotes of Ethiopia. Me on the side of the road with an empty tank of gas, Darlene in a hospital with no running water. Being separated from your partner in remote parts of the world is one of the least desirable predicaments to be in.
I made it back to Bahir Dar, an idyllic, verdant lake town, while Darlene finished her tenure. Via cell, she asked me to book a respite trip to Egypt, to relax and process our experiences and our year abroad. I spent a few days negotiating the rescheduling of flights to Dahab, where we previously shared beers with friends after diving in the Red Sea, toes in the sand, watching sunset illuminate Saudi Arabia across the gulf.
Meanwhile, the protests in Tahir Square had grown considerably and tourist travel was strongly discouraged. The Arab Spring was in full swing. I was reminded of six months earlier, when we’d hitchhiked into Syria. Obama had just renewed Bush’s sanctions against the country and there was something in the air. Young, idle men, especially were on edge. Egypt would have to wait. To this day I carry an egyptian one pound coin with me.
This morning we strolled the streets and lanes of Cochin, the old synagogues, churches, hindu temples, and mosques of Kerala. On the streets of the old Jewish Quarter, we bought a small hand carved Ganesh, an omen of good will and mischief to guide us thru India.