Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Travel Through Time

1978 was an interesting time for me while working for USAID.  I was a project manager on many different projects and was still able to take a vacation that summer.

Larry Jr. was 7 years old and he was a good traveler so we decided to take a journey through the New England states.  At the time we had a Ford Pickup and an Apache Buffalo tent trailer.  I had modified the trailer by adding some storage bins, a kitchen box and other changes.   The Ford truck had a camper shell on it and Larry Jr spent most of the time back there playing while we drove down the road.  Yes I know, he wasn't in a seat belt.

1978 Ford F-150  $5500 new

We wanted to show Larry Jr some historical sites in the US along with some fun places.  He loved Watkins Glen, Ft Ticonderoga, Cooperstown and the baseball Hall of Fame.  He already was a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball fan and was thrilled to see how many Pirates were enshrined there.

We saw many historical sites on our three week trip and had a great time.  Many sites dated back to the 1700s and the Revolutionary War.  250 years of history in three weeks.

In October I had the opportunity to work for about 3 months in Cairo, Egypt and eagerly agreed to the TDY.  I had a layover in Rome on the way there and took advantage of that to take a whirlwind tour of Rome.  The next day when I arrived at the airport to leave for Cairo the airport workers were on strike.  Back to the hotel and then catch the bus back to downtown Rome for more sightseeing.  

Coliseum on the right.

Spanish Steps
I took many photos while I was there but don't want to overload the blog with them.  Other than visiting Rome I did have an interesting experience.  There was a big conference going on at the hotel but I didn't pay attention to it since I was in a hurry to get downtown.  The next day while I was waiting for the bus a woman about my age came up and asked if I was going downtown to tour the city.  She said she went yesterday and the Roman men pinched her so often she couldn't sit down and wondered if she could go with me.  No problem, so off we went.

I was a walker back in those days and must have walked 10 miles checking out the buildings and monuments that dated back about 2000 years.  On the bus ride back I asked her what she was doing in Rome and she said she was there for a Sexology Conference that was going on in the hotel.   A WHAT??  She explained a little of what she did (very professional with a PHD) on the way back.  You never know who you will meet while traveling.

Then it was on to Cairo, Egypt for the actual TDY.  I am a history buff and loved Egypt.  The US & Egypt had good relations back then and Americans were more than welcome there.  I am sure there were some people who didn't like to see us, but for the most part I didn't see any negative attitude toward Americans.

There is too much to write about the TDY so I will just present some of the highlights.  Gerry joined me for three weeks while our daughters watched Larry Jr.  It was the first time in over 20 years that we were free of kids and on our own.

We toured Cairo in depth, visited the Pyramids, Alexandria, the bazaar, had custom made leather coats made ( Gerry still has hers), ate at different restaurants and had a great time.  It was her first time overseas and she adapted to it like a duck to water.  That was when we decided we wanted to work and live overseas and we accomplished that in 1982 when I joined the Foreign Service and was sent to Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

I took over 500 photos on the trip and scanned a number of them into digital format over the past couple years.  

Oxen working an old old water wheel for irrigation

Old Roman theater in Alexandria

Hard to imagine how good shape it was in for being 1500 yrs old

Gerry all tired out from walking all over Alexandria

It was an interesting time for me since I experienced seeing some of the US history (250 yrs), Roman history (2000 yrs) and Egyptian history that dated back to 4500BC.  It sure makes you wonder how long things we build now will last when we tear down football stadiums because they are too old at 25 yrs.  

That was what I did 38 years ago, what did you do?

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting clip down memory lane! I was 20 at the time taking care of Larry Jr with Cassie along with working! This was our 1st Thanksgiving separated & Cassie & I found out how to cook the turkey & all the trimmings!! Scary at 1st but ended up fun & good eating! I remember thinking Mom wouldn't eat anything over there as she was such a picky eater!! Haha-- look at her now!