Life along the Nile: Catching People Unaware: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge


© irene waters 2018

Cee has unwittingly chosen my favourite type of photography and my favourite past time – observing people unawares. I particularly love capturing facial expressions that let me make a story as to what the person’s thoughts are at the time. Obviously it is my take on what their expression means to me and may be totally unrelated to the actual. Floating down the Nile gave me opportunities galore to capture a glimpse into the lives of Egyptians I would have loved to have met and chatted to but the reality was that it would never happen.


© irene waters 2018

The man above was intent on repairs. It looked like something we would see in plumbing fixtures in our own homes but I doubt you’d ever see our plumbers down by the water bashing away with a rock to correct the shape or perhaps join two bits together.


© irene waters 2018

Naturally along a river there was a lot of boating activities whether it be fishing or simply getting from A to B.


© irene waters 2018

Time to take the cattle home for the night after a day’s grazing on the lush banks of the Nile. Tether Mum and and the calf will happily follow.


© irene waters 2018


© irene waters 2018

Feeding his workhorse.


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Everyone lends a hand with the crops although we didn’t see any women working anywhere on our trip. Always the men.


© irene waters 2018


© irene waters 2018



© irene waters 2018

Women stay at home looking after the house and children.


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One child gets to ride the other bring in the family cow.


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Walking with a purpose – perhaps another cow to bring home. I have so many of these photos of life along the Nile. It gives a tiny snapshot view of what life is like for the rural folk. I have to admit what I saw looked like appealing although I think it would be tough with money scarce and luxuries few. With a cow, a horse or donkey or even a camel you are probably considered a rich man.

In response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge prompt Catching people unaware.

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Luxor Lights the Nile: Wordless Wednesday


© irene waters 2018

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Textures inside Quaitbay Citadel: Tuesdays of Texture


© irene waters 2018

Inside Quaitbay Citadel wood and stone and mud bricks give rise to interesting textures.


© irene waters 2018


© irene waters 2018


© irene waters 2018


© irene waters 2018

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Celebrations on the Island of Tanna: Lens-Artists Challenge


© irene waters 2018

There are three main celebrations on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu. All will see women with brightly painted faces. Tinsel has replaced wreaths of leaves for most women.

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© irene waters 2018

Kastom (traditional) dancing is always performed both by the coast

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and in the highlands.


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The John Frum Cargo Cult holds its celebration in February each year with marching troops, entertainment and kastom dancing.

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When the boys return from the bush after being circumcised there is much rejoicing and celebrations.

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And western cakes are brought out by the children to celebrate a birthday.

Most of these celebrations were mentioned in the Australian Way in 1994.


© QANTAS 1994


© QANTAS 1994


© QANTAS 1994

where the second last paragraph on the above page says ” It is also evident now in colourful singing and Friday-night dancing celebrations. Today the followers serenade each other. A shyish group of Jon Frum musicians sing and dance for guests at the small, Melanesian-style White Grass Resort, co-owned by Roger and Irene Waters and Chief Namake, and, in the darkness outside, villagers congregate for their own impromptu celebrations. Everyone shares the music.


© QANTAS 1994

These celebrations and more are the subject of the memoir Nightmare in Paradise which was released in December – I am still celebrating this achievement.


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© irene waters 2018

Thank you to Amy for this week’s prompt

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Making Papyrus: Traditions: Sunday Stills


© irene waters 2018

Making papyrus for writing dates back to years Before Christ and as a result of the number of papyrus writings in existence the history and life of Egypt is better recorded than my own English history years after the birth of Christ. The papyrus above was seen in the Cairo  Egyptian Museum but the tradition is kept alive today.


© irene waters 2018

At the Merit Papyrus Institute (also in Cairo) papyrus is made in the traditional way and proudly demonstrated to us. Firstly take a papyrus stalk.


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Chop it in pieces and soak them in water.


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When soaked slice them thinly


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and roll them out to get most of the moisture out. Traditionally I imagine they used rocks or tree branches to do this step but who knows – perhaps they invented the rolling pin.


© irene waters 2018

These strips are then placed in a woven fashion until a full sheet is made. (Another tradition can be seen in the background – the welcome to my place hibiscus tea.)


© irene waters 2018

It is then put in the press for around a week.


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And on completion a piece of papyrus that is both thin


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and strong.

We were then invited to peruse the painted papyrus and buy with a certificate of authenticity that our purchase had been made from papyrus in the traditional manner. Often in the market place apparently the papyrus sold is in reality made from a banana leaf.

Thank you to Terri who hosts Sunday Stills.

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Luxor Temple: Silent Sunday


© irene waters 2018

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The Cultural World of Forgotten People: 99 Word Flash Fiction


© irene waters 2018

“Look Pops. Someone’s painted on the wall. Mum sure would be mad.”

“It’s graffiti Donald.”

“What’s that.”

“Writing or drawing on a wall. We all want to leave a mark. You know. The oldest graffiti, a hand,  is in Indonesia. Thousands of years old.”

“Do’ya reckon this’ll be here in thousands of years.”

“Not a hope and if it was done by Banksey he’s probably organised for it to self-destruct. You know though Donald, stuff going back even a few years gives  a snapshot of ordinary people’s lives and what they care about.”

“So Pops, graffiti is pop culture.”


© irene waters 2018

When Charli gave us her prompt this week where she asked:

December 6, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about graffiti. It can be an artist, art or the medium itself. Get out your can of spray paint and go where the prompt leads you.

Respond by December 11, 2018. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

many things came to mind. We had just come back from Egypt and there was graffiti there that had been done by tourists over 2000 years ago. Was that the oldest. It made me look and I found that a hand with forearm was the oldest possibly 10,000years old drawn on a cave wall. Some of the graffiti in Egypt was simply an I was here statement. Others said what they liked and had responses to their comment. An antiquated trip advisor. As a child growing up the only graffiti I saw was on the back of the toilet door. An older version of facebook. Graffiti as art is a modern phenomenon but most won’t survive in time. It really is pop culture with the art reflecting the position of those that otherwise would not have a voice.  Banksey probably made the best statement about graffiti recently when his art sold for i.4 million pounds and on the drop of the hammer it self destructed. Literally going, going, gone.

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