Monday, February 7, 2011

Experiencing Egypt at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis

One of my blogging goals this year is to get better about planning posts in advance and following a calendar. Sounds like a good idea in theory, but then the world intervenes.

Let me explain: After leaving the Egypt exhibit at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis last month, I knew I wanted to devote an entire week of posts to Egypt. So I scheduled it for this week. And then? January 25.

I almost postponed my plans because I want to be sensitive to what's happening there right now. The protests we see on the news each night are dangerous and life changing for so many Egyptians, in sharp contrast with a fun-filled trip to a museum. But I also think it's important to talk about issues like this with kids and introduce them to new cultural experiences. Afterall, Egypt is a beautiful land with an amazing history. None of that has changed in recent weeks, even if now is not an appropriate time to visit while it wrestles with such serious matters.

The Egypt exhibit at the Children's Museum is really amazing. We almost passed it by, thinking it might not be interesting to the arrow. But selfishly I wanted to include it in our visit since I hadn't seen it during previous trips to the museum. I'm glad we did--they've done an amazing job making it interesting and educational for kids of all ages.

Take a quick walk with me through this Egyptian village, won't you?

First, you hop aboard Egyptian Air (the seats actually rumble!)


Once you touch down, you'll find yourself at the doorstep of a typical Egyptian home. You can walk through the various rooms of the house (kitchen, living room, etc.) and see what makes life both the same and different from daily life here in the U.S. The arrow particularly enjoyed baking bread in the kitchen and petting the donkey.


Then you can wander through an Egyptian market. The arrow was captivated by the toy vegetables (if only he would eat more of the real thing).



Then you can stop and get a coffee at the coffee shop (called a Qahwah). I think this is where you'd find me in a typical Egyptian village. Sucking down some caffeine and people watching? Sounds about right.


You can even catch a ride on a tuk-tuk (an Egyptian taxi).


I loved this exhibit for so many reasons--the way it delighted the arrow, introduced all of us to a life we otherwise knew little about, and left us wanting to know more.
This Monday, I'm dreaming of a trip to Egypt. I don't know what the outcome of the current state of chaos and turmoil there will be. I hope this ancient land and its many treasures will once again be a place where all of us can visit safely. More importantly, I hope its people can live in peace with all the freedoms we enjoy here in America.

Check back here throughout the week for more Egyptian-inspired posts. On Wednesday, I'll be cooking up some Egyptian food and on Friday I'll be sharing a few more of my favorite photos from our time in this Egyptian village.

If you're interested in learning more about Egypt and this exhibit, but can't visit the museum itself, check out this link. It's full of videos and educational resources about this country.

This post is a part of Mondays are for Dreaming at The Mother of All Trips.

Disclosure: My admission to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis was complimentary. I was under no obligation to write about our time there. The opinions expressed here are my own.