Celebrating Thanksgiving and Birthday in Egypt

“Who will plan my birthday next year…” Olivia sobbed with tears running down her cheeks. “Who will spend Thanksgiving with me next year…Who will be excited about my birthday…?”

Olivia sat cross-legged on a large stripped cushion that covered the entire deck of the felucca sailboat. She was crying and holding the drawings and gifts she had just received from all of us for her 19th birthday. Continue reading Celebrating Thanksgiving and Birthday in Egypt

Qatar — A “Free” Country

Originally, we weren’t planning to travel to Qatar. We couldn’t reach it by land because we would have to cross through Saudi Arabia, which does not allow for tourist visa.

By chance, we met a tourist from the US, Maria, who were part of our rafting group in Nepal. She shared her surprising experience finding out that Qatar Airline offers free 3 hour city tour(would have cost USD 90/person) plus free Qatar Visa (would have cost USD 30/person) if you have a layover in Qatar on their airline. Continue reading Qatar — A “Free” Country

Oman — Our Road Trip Adventure

“Kids, get down and hide! Turn off the flashlight!” I shouted softly to the children as soon as I saw a bright green laser beam pointing towards us from the mosque by the shore of the ocean.

All five of us quickly fell to our knees trying to hide below the horizon of the beach sand next to the roaring waves around us. It was 11PM on a new moon evening and our rental car was parked right on the beach. We were combing a beach in Oman in the dark for turtles. It was hard to see where we were walking but we didn’t want to use the flashlight. One reason was that we weren’t sure if we were allow to be at this beach at night. The main reason, however, was that we didn’t want to scare off the green turtles from landing on the beach to lay eggs.
Continue reading Oman — Our Road Trip Adventure