MOn. Oct. 23, 2023 – Dinner on shore

We stopped for dinner last night on shore. The long table was set for thirteen, as usual. Our lucky number.

It was a fine affair and the food was wonderful as usual. We haven’t had a bad meal on this entire trip.

This morning we were taken to the island of Besaw by a farmer on his motor boat for a tour.

The island is full of farmers who are all related to each other.

Scarecrows in their long robes that most men wear called Galabia stand watch over the vegetables and alfalfa. They look very much like humans tending the fields.

We stopped at a large clay oven to watch some of the women bake bread. The loaf is round and is round on top like a dome.

The bread rises under the sun and is then cooked for about thirty minutes or until golden brown. It is a sour dough bread.

We then walked through part of the village to the elementary and secondary school. The children were waiting for us, of course.

We toured the school and saw a few cows watching us suspiciously. The cows know that the veterinarian who comes to give them painful shots wears western style clothing. So we are not welcome, to say the least.

Our guide owns two water buffalo. He takes one on a swim to another small island most days so she can graze. She swims next to his boat and is led with a rope around her small horns as he paddles his boat next to her.

The buffalo will graze there and then swim back on her own in the afternoon.

We sat in a very large room in the farmers house and talked for sometime. We all asked questions of each other. He speaks very good English which he has learned from the many visitors that have come to see this island.

This large house is occupied by three generations on two levels. The brother and his family live upstairs.

The rooms are painted a calming shade of green.

The wife prepared a large lunch for all of us. We and the family ate together and talked. The children listened and watched the foreigners.

We left on his boat full and satisfied that we had a good meal and visit.

Later in the day we walked to an ancient sandstone quarry where many large blocks had been cut out of the hillside and dropped onto boats waiting below on the river thousands of years ago. It was an interesting adventure to be sure.

A lone gentleman guided us into a large opening that we had passed below earlier. We had to climb up a long, narrow, rocky path. It was a room carved by long dead stonemasons with statues and a large window to watch the river pass by. Perhaps they ate lunch here a few thousand years ago.

He sold us two hearts carved from sandstone as our entry fee.

It was another wonderful day. We hear the news of trouble near us but it seems far away now.