Me, feluccas, history and healing in Luxor, Egypt

This is the story of a "felucca girl" in Luxor, Egypt.

I have refound my youth in this amazing country, making it my permanent home, spending my time showing tourists the wonder of the eternal River Nile on a traditional sailing boat called a felucca.

Egypt is a very spiritual land. A land of amazing energies and healing. Temples and tombs abound. Join me in experiencing the spirituality of Egypt. Reiki, Crystals, Healing, Energy Work..... all are available here.

Welcome to my world!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Energies of Egypt and some personal thoughts


I firmly believe there is huge potential here for healers of all types to come 
together.  The Universe is powerful and we are all part of something amazing. 

Working with the energies of Egypt itself, combined with all types of spiritual healing, will bring healing to the world.  Egypt seems to be a catalyst of some sort and I am proud to be a part of something I believe is hugely important. 


Friendships have been forged with people who do Angelic Reiki, some do energy work with animals, others are Reiki attuned, some are crystal healers, while others work with the myriad of healing systems available.  I now know of many people working spiritually here, some foreign residents or visitors and some Egyptians.  All of them feel that there is a purpose to their being here, and that a group of people from around the world are being brought together here for a specific reason, although none of us know yet what that reason may be.

I am lucky to live in such a spiritual place. The temples and tombs of Ancient Egypt were built on sacred land.  All over the world, places of worship are built on sacred lands. We do not know why these places are chosen. Often they are at a crossroads of important ley lines (energy grids around the world) and we wonder how the ancients knew of the importance of these sites.  But these sacred places can become diminished by negative energies, especially once they are no longer being used for worship. Is it possible we are being brought back to this ancient land to help repair the damage?  Can we do that by utilising the temples and tombs to connect to that “highest source” and bring the spirituality back?  

I have no answers. I only know that I am here, I love this country, I am awed by its history, and I am delighted with its people.

The River Nile that flows through this land is eternal and life giving. It flowed during the time of the Ancient Egyptians and it flows today. It is the lifeblood of Egypt.  I only need to sit by the river to know the peace and serenity that comes from the past and flows to the future.  

In light of the recent events of January 25th 2011, maybe the time is right for more spiritual, energy work here. Egypt is a country struggling to find its purpose right now.  It is trying hard to reverse the decline of decades, and it needs help, it needs healing.

And just maybe, all the healers around the world, wherever they may be, whatever they may do, will play a huge part in this. 

If you are interested in coming to Luxor to share in these amazing energies, I offer a number of different workshops for you to participate in. All of them combine spirituality with the Ancient Egyptian temples and tombs.  Please contact me for more informaton

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Sham El Nessim and an incident on the Nile


Yesterday was the Egyptian celebration of Sham El Nessim.  Sham El Nessim is the Spring Festival and it has its origins in Ancient Egyptian times and it means “sniffing of the breeze”.

In today’s Egypt it coincides with the Coptic Christian celebration of Easter, although it is a day of celebration for all Egyptians, not just the Christians. It feels like all of Egypt is out and about. Families picnic by the River Nile, in the parks, or even in any small green area they can lay claim to.  Children are everywhere, playing, swimming, laughing.   In Luxor, the families congregate by the river.  They may be on the West Bank for swimming and generally having a good time, or they are on the Corniche on the East Bank, picnicking under the trees.

Traditionally, food plays an important part in Sham El Nessim.  Three foods in particular, eggs, fesikh (a very smelly old salted fish) and lettuce.  The eggs represent renewal, the fish represents fertility and the lettuce represents new life.  

I was lucky yesterday to spend much of the day sailing on the River Nile on Spirit.  We had a picnic lunch and found a quiet peaceful spot to enjoy the food. I have to admit NOT partaking of the fesikh, but replaced it with good old tuna! We actually moored up at the old Banana Island on the East Bank and one of the farmers there gave us fresh lettuce straight from the field, lemons picked from one of the trees, fresh mint for our tea and a huge stick of sugar cane. 

These are the views from our quiet mooring place.

Eventually we reluctantly left the peace and headed back upriver.  What we were not prepared for was the sudden change in direction of the wind.... the extremely strong current and fast running water, and suddenly we found ourselves under a tree which was partially submerged. Spirit was full of branches and twigs and we had to push ourselves out.  
The tree is quite clearly seen in the pictures.  Just the other side of the tree, there were 2 cruise boats moored up. As we left the tree, we were unable to get out of the current and found ourselves being drawn to the centre of the 2 boats. We hit the first one, and managed to wedge Spirit under the prow. Stuck! Well and truely. This brought out just about every sailor working on both cruise boats, and the yelling and shouting was phenomenal! Everyone wanted their say! We were hooked around the anchor and to try to just pull away would have broken the tent completely. 

But we did it with the help of a passing motor boat, extricated ourselves, limped our way back to our mooring place where damage was repaired quickly, and the half a tree we had taken on board was disposed of.  It was embarrassing, and I really should not be telling you all.  Sorry I didn't get time to take any pictures, it all happened very fast, and the grumpy face of my captain dared me to take any photos of the damage afterwards.

So, if you were on the River Nile in Luxor yesterday, and you saw a limping felucca with a tent that had all but collapsed........ it was yours truely, trying to hide!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

New Pages

I have now added some new pages to the blog........ I hope you have the time to look at them. Feedback would be appreciated.

Thank you

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Reiki in Egypt


I was introduced to Reiki by a good friend of mine, who’s mum was already working with Reiki energies.  My friend and I were attuned first to Reiki 1 and then to Reiki 2 by her aunt who is a Reiki Master living and working in Spain.  I loved working with Reiki, although for quite a while, I never worked on a professional level, mainly for family and friends.  

I visited Luxor on holiday one Christmas with some friends, one of whom took a Reiki Level 1 course while we were here. It was yet another friend of mine, living in Luxor who ran that course and I was involved in a small way, sharing knowledge and being a “guinea pig” for his practical work.  Until that point I had no desire to take my Reiki any further and was perfectly happy working at the level that I was working. I have no idea what changed, but overnight I knew I wanted to teach.
I studied for my Reiki Master course here in Luxor, and spent many hours working with the energies of Egypt itself. My Master attunement was performed in the magnificent Karnak Temple and I cannot begin to describe what an experience it was.  I returned home to England with a feeling that I was meant to be living and working in Egypt.

In September 2007, I moved here permanently. In that time I have made many new friends, and have been amazed at the number of spiritual people who are finding their way here on a permanent basis.
I own a felucca which is a traditional Egyptian sailing boat, and I offer various sailing packages, many of which include a chance pamper yourself with a choice of holistic therapies whilst enjoying the tranquillity of this wonderful river. And since then I have also branched into more spiritually based tours of the ancient sites.


One of the most magical experiences I have had in Luxor was the first time I was honoured to attune a student to Reiki 2 within the precincts of an ancient Egyptian temple,  Medinet Habu, a wonderful temple on the West Bank of Luxor dedicated to Ramses the Third.  It was magical for both myself and for my student. We found a quiet chapel within the temple and one of the old men who look after the temples kept any stray tourists at bay while I did the attunement. He also managed to include himself in the attunement by standing behind my student and praying. As my student is muslim, it made it extra special for her. She did not know at the time that he was there, but once we were finished she was not surprised in the least to know that a fellow muslim was praying with her.  We finished off the day with a light lunch in a local restaurant and then took my felucca out to see the sunset from the river. This was a chance for us to spend a little time in meditation, to allow the serenity of this peaceful river to wash over us, and it was the time for her to begin to feel the enhanced Reiki energies and begin to work with them. It was magical.


I am delighted to offer these courses to anyone who wishes to take a course in Reiki. I offer a week of workshops, sightseeing and attunements to the wonderful healing energies of Reiki. All you need to do is book your own flight, hotel and/or package and I will provide the rest. Please contact me for more details by email at enquiries@spiritofthenile.com

In light of the recent events of January 25th 2011, maybe the time is right for more spiritual, energy work here. Egypt is a country struggling to find its purpose right now.  It is trying hard to reverse the decline of decades, and it needs help, it needs healing.
And just maybe, all the healers around the world, wherever they may be, whatever they may do, will play a huge part in this.

Personally, I am honoured to be a part of this.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Nile sailing and holistic therapies


A small group of us decided to spend the afternoon out on the River Nile on my felucca, Spirit.
Two of us are holistic therapists, one was a friend of mine who was in Egypt searching for what lies behind the historical Egypt, and we were joined by a newcomer to Luxor who just tagged along for the ride.
The weather was perfect, warm and sunny, but not too hot. The wind was very light so we had to be towed upstream for the first part of our sailing. We asked to be dropped off at a small sandy area on an island in the middle of the river and were there in less than 20 minutes. By this time the wind had gone completely and the stillness was amazing. All we could hear was the lapping of the water on the “beach” and the singing of the birds as they swooped around us.

The temptations to get our feet wet were too great, and one by one we slid off the boat and into the water.  Trousers rolled up, skirts tucked into knickers, we waded along the edges of the Nile watching the small fish circling our ankles.  We did have a few silly moments, especially when one of us was not looking at the sand below her feet and suddenly disappeared into a hole that took her waist deep into the Nile!  Hilarity consumed us, as she came up gasping for breath and laughing heartily at the same time.  Now completely wet through, she decided she may as well finish the job off and took herself off for a real swim. I declined, it was winter, and the water was way too cold for me to do anymore than get my feet wet!
Eventually we all climbed back into the felucca and dried off in the warm sunshine. Tea and sandwiches followed as we all happily chatted away.
Then we got down to the business at hand.  Firstly the still wet lady was treated to an ear candling session. Cushions were laid out on the deck of the boat and the candling started.  I had taken with me some of my organic candles which are made for me here in Egypt and they are extremely good. However, they do burn with a larger flame than many of the machine made candles, and we were on a boat with the wind starting to pick up again.  But once we had all got over the size of the flame, we settled down and had a wonderful treatment session.  There is something magical about laying on the floor of the boat with the sound of the candle in one ear, and the sound of the water lapping on the bottom of the boat in the other.  Total relaxation comes very quickly. 
Then it was my turn for a reflexology treatment.  Bliss is the only word I can use to describe it.  What more can I say, except that my friend was excellent and picked up on a few health issues I knew about and some I didn’t know about.  
Reluctantly, we had to sail away from our island “therapy centre” as the wind started to come and it was perfect for good sailing, so we ended our session with an ear candling for my felucca captain before sailing away. He has seen me doing therapies on the boat many times, but has never had a treatment himself.  This time he finally agreed to have his ears done, and now wants it done on a regular basis.  He was very impressed.
Conversation then took over. We talked as we sailed and we covered so many spiritual subjects and shared so much knowledge.
With the wind in our hair, the sail billowing above us, the River Nile flowing eternally onwards bringing life to this ancient land and bringing us back again to our destinies, we sailed as the Pharoahs sailed with just the power of the wind and the skill of our captain.

Once again, destiny brought a small group of strangers together and friendships were formed.

Life, like the eternal River Nile, flows endlessly on.  Everchanging, evermoving, it spiritually replenishes us.
Maybe your destiny awaits you here.

Why not try us for a magical day on the River Nile?  You know you are worth it!!


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Zahi Hawass cleared??

Hawass has just posted on his blog that he is not going to jail, and he will remain as Minister of Antiquities. It appears that today, just one day after the decree, the legal team have won the appeal against his imprisonment.
I do have to question whether a common or garden citizen would have had an appeal heard within 24 hours of the original sentence.  It takes months, even years for an appeal to be heard in the UK, is Egypt's court system that organised that it can hear an appeal and rule on it so quickly?

http://www.drhawass.com/blog/decision-court-case-against-me

I have been unable to find any other sources except for Hawass's own blog

CNN are reporting, having spoken to the Ministry of Interior, but are also acknowledging that the only information regarding today's events are from Hawass's own blog.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/04/18/egypt.hawass.sentence/

Monday, 18 April 2011

Zahi Hawass clothing line

Well we do all want to buy Indiana Jones style hats, denim shirts and baggy jeans don't we? However, it seems there is much controversy over this latest venture which is linked as follows

http://www.artzulu.com/project/zahi-hawass


ZAHI HAWASS is an eponymous menswear line developed by Lora Flaugh, President and Founder of Art Zulu, and leading Egyptologist Zahi Hawass that seeks to capture the spirit of a man with a very rich personal history.


Exploration and adventure are the undercurrents of this collection, and each piece is designed with a utilitarian approach. The ZAHI HAWASS line is carefully crafted to convey a sense of time and place. The personal history of Mr. Hawass himself has played a central role in establishing the narrative of the collection. Hawass made a tremendous effort as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities to cultivate an international appreciation and knowledge of Egyptian antiquities, and this collection is another successful way for him to continue his mission to protect and share the culture of Egypt.


ZAHI HAWASS is a novel fashion line not just for the traveling man, but the man who values self-discovery, historicism and adventure. Rich khakis, deep blues and soft, weathered leathers give off a look that hearkens back to Egypt’s golden age of discovery in the early 20th century. Natural dyes, vegetable dyes and organic cottons were thoroughly researched to come up with the most premium and environmentally friendly fabrics for the versatile shirting, shorts and pants that comprise the collection. Ample time was spent developing the hardware and finery to make it feel extraordinary. 


The ZAHI HAWASS vision can only be fully realized in an environment that matches the grandeur and classicism of Egypt. Combined with an elegantly themed in-store shop at Harrods, ZAHI HAWASS clothing will promote a look that is both trendy and casual, conservative and cool. More than anything else, the proposed ZAHI HAWASS collection and shop will be a retail experience that evokes the beauty of Egypt through its d├ęcor, and invites consumers to pack their suitcases and journey to the exotic locale.  


And now, Hawass's response to the critics.  He does love his explanations!

http://www.drhawass.com/blog/zahi-hawass-clothing-line


I was so happy a few days ago to announce that my clothing line is going to be sold, as it will represent my adventures in archaeology. The profits from the sale will go to benefit the 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital here in Cairo.
This story begins in June 2010, when Lora Flaugh, the CEO of Art Zulu, a clothing company in New York City, approached me about starting a clothing line. I felt honored by this suggestion, because I don’t think any company would invest the time and money to do this unless they thought it would be a success. I wrote back to Lora in June 2010 to thank her and tell her how privileged I felt by her idea. I accepted her business proposal on the condition that the profits be donated to the Children’s Cancer Hospital in Cairo. I told her about how I sell my replica hats in order to benefit the Children’s Museum in Cairo. I am glad that the sales from these business ventures are going to benefit the children of Egypt.
I called Dr. Sharif Abul Naga, the Director of the Children’s Cancer Hospital, to tell him the good news. Two years ago, he asked me to help the hospital, and I am glad that I am now able to participate in fundraising for it. I told Dr. Naga to be in contact with Lora in order to find out when this line of clothing will make a profit and fund the hospital, and he informed me that a foundation has also been established in the States to raise funds for it as well. He asked me to become a member of the board, and I accepted with pleasure. I also asked Lora to put an advertisement next to where the clothing will be sold explaining how the profits will go to fund the hospital. I am very happy that my hat and clothing line will be able to help the children of Egypt and make them happy.
Unfortunately, stories and rumors have recently been going around about this project. In October of last year, the design company had a photo shoot in the King Tut exhibit in New York City to create advertisements. Now, months later, stories about this photo shoot are circulating, claiming that it happened in the Egyptian Museum, and that they had a model sit on actual antiquities. I can say firmly that of course none of this is true. It was, in fact, shot in New York City, at the King Tut exhibit there and nowhere near Cairo, and the photographer and crew showed the utmost respect for the antiquities there. I have never been in contact with this photographer or his crew; they were hired by the design company, but I know they at no time touched any of the artifacts or used flash photography.  They used replicas for some shots and also used Photoshop in some images.  The museum’s security was with them at all times to ensure the safety of the objects. It makes me sad that people are willing to believe such rumors, and I hope that the clothing line’s critics will understand that the intention of this project is for the good of the children.


I apologise for the seeming obsession with Zahi Hawass, but living in Luxor, being so close to the amazing historical sites, I do see first hand things that I am not entirely happy with. This clothing project is for me personally, an abomination. It is not for the good of Egypt and its antiquities, it is to promote the name of Zahi Hawass. Artefacts should not be used for personal gain or promotion. Yes, I know he says all profits will go to the Childrens Cancer Hospital in Cairo, but will there be any accountability? And what will be deducted as expenses, apart from the manufacturing costs.  Will Mr Hawass be receiving any payment for the use of his name. This is normal in sponsorship type businesses. Footballers for example, get paid millions for allowing their names to be used.
I have no issue with Hawass having his own clothing range and trading on his own name. However, I do have issues with photoshoots using artefacts that are priceless, are not his personal property and explanations after the event of where the profits will go!


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Zahi Hawass yet again

Following on from previous postings, the following may be interesting. You may need to google translate for some of the links

Youm7 online.
Apparently, Hawass is denying there is a land dispute and is insisting it is related to the bookshop contract, which was awarded to the Sound and Light Company.
http://translate.google.com.eg/translate?hl=en&sl=ar&u=http://www.youm7.com/&ei=xuhSTc2tMcqt8APfuJ34Aw&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dyoum7%26hl%3Den%26prmd%3Divns

and also on Youm7 online Hawass states that he is not yet in prison and he will appeal tomorrow, Monday. He states that the ruling today is not final.

http://translate.google.com.eg/translate?hl=en&sl=ar&u=http://www.youm7.com/&ei=xuhSTc2tMcqt8APfuJ34Aw&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%

I do hope I am not boring those of you who have no interest in the politics of Egypt. However, as Hawass is the Minister for Antiquities, and is at the forefront of Egyptology, it is newsworthy for those who are interested in Egyptology.



More Zahi Hawass

Someone has updated the Dr Hawass website with the following explanation of the court case

http://www.drhawass.com/blog/explanation-court-trial-against-me

The 2 newspaper articles state it was a land dispute that had been ruled on, and Hawass had not acted upon the court ruling.  Does anyone think a contract for renting the bookshop in the Egyptian Museum would be classed as a land dispute, particularly when it has been stated that the disputed land was claimed to be designated Antiquities land?

It will be interesting to see how this one pans out. Watch this space!

Zahi Hawass

It appears that Zahi Hawass having resigned his post as Minister of Antiquities, then being re-instated, has now been stripped of his Governmental post and has been sentenced to one year hard labour in prison.

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/404271

This seems to be because he ignored a previous court ruling on a land dispute case.  Maybe this is just the start, or maybe he will wriggle out of it. Who knows?

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Karnak Temple. The Chapel of Sekhmet


Recently I went to Karnak Temple with a small group of friends. We did not want to trail the normal tourist route but wanted to get into the feel of the Temple complex itself 

We entered the temple through the main gate, managing to get through the security point ahead of a large tour group, and headed off down the Avenue of Sphinxes on our mission to get to the soul of the Temple.For me, that is not the Hypostyle Hall with its throngs of people and loud tour guides, it is not the Sanctuary that is the Holy of Holies, which is now tainted by the guides who speak loudly and try to outdo each other with their levels of volume, it is not the sacred Scarab which seems to be constantly surrounded by hordes of tourists circling it 7 times just because their guide has told them to.


The soul of Karnak Temple is away from the crowds, in the peace and solitude of the outer precincts, in the giant blocks lying around waiting to be reunited with their fellow blocks, like huge pieces of a gigantic jigsaw. It is in the small chapels and shrines which are dotted around the perimeter, in the moments where you suddenly find something exquisite that you have never seen before,  a carved relief that makes your heart jump, a piece of pottery just laying on the ground, ignored by the throngs, but precious to the soul of the Temple.

We found ourselves wandering happily among the giant blocks of stone lying in the grass, some numbered ready to be pieced back together so that we may eventually see the whole.  We walked along with our eyes glued to the ground at one point looking for treasure and the next moment our eyes were glued to a particularly wonderful relief on one of the giant blocks.  

But our feet constantly lead us to the small chapel of Ptah, where the god, Ptah  (although minus his head) still sits in solitude, and in the small room next to him in spectacular isolation is his wife, the goddess Sekhmet.  Sadly, the chapel is not currently open to the public, as there is archaeological work being carried out, but as we approached, one of the guardians saw us coming and came out to meet us.  “You want to see Sekhmet?” he asked.  What a silly question!  So after a few minutes of negotiating how long we would need, he allowed us through and led us quickly to the chapel itself.



All of us, bar one had already been to talk with Sekhmet at various other times, but one of us had never seen her.  Naturally, she was the first one to enter into the presence of Sekhmet.

A sharp intake of breath accompanied her first step into the chapel.  The atmosphere was still and heavy, almost tangible, as she tentatively approached the magnificent statue of Sekhmet. Sekhmet appeared to be alive.  You could almost see her breathing.  My friend simply sat down at her feet while I sat down nearby. We both meditated silently.   


I cannot speak for my friend as to what her experiences were, but she was unable to look directly into the eyes of Sekhmet and left with a feeling of peace in her heart and a smile on her face.  I think Sekhmet enjoyed her quiet presence.   

As for me, this time, Sekhmet had nothing to say to me and I simply enjoyed the serenity of being in her powerful presence.  Maybe that is all I needed, just to know that serenity and peace are always there for us whenever we need to escape from the stresses of day to day living. 

After the inevitable handing over of baksheesh, we left the Sekhmet chapel and meandered our way through the humps, hollows and hidden treasures that form the majority of the outer perimeter, slowly making our way towards the Osiris Heqa Djet Chapel.  




Monday, 4 April 2011

A new Spirit is born


The guys were all busy replacing ropes and steel and my friend had been off buying paint.  Now........ the paint could be an issue. He was quite clearly told turquoise paint...... it is not turquoise! He brought back two colours that he said were blue turquoise and green turquoise.  Now I can go with that, turquoise can be blueish or greenish. But they are definitely blue and green! But the green one is actually very nice and will look good with the cream paintwork.  However, I insisted on being there when the painter arrived so that I could be absolutely sure that my colour scheme was being strictly adhered to.  After all this is Egypt, and the catch phrase is “inshallah”. 
The following day Spirit had been moved yet again from her moorings and was nestling under the cornice by the side of Kebabgy Restaurant.  
I was deposited on another felucca  while all the guys, including all of those who were already there, waded through the river to Spirit. Out came the white paint and the painter started work........ the boys were cleaning and sanding and the painter was painting. After about an hour of sitting alone watching, and desperately wanting to get more practically involved,  I decided to wander up to Kebabgy for a lemon...... nope....... wasn’t allowed to do that, Khaled would make me tea.  Why did I want to pay for lemon when I could drink tea for nothing? Hmmmmmmmm So I sat and drank tea and everyone came to join me. Tea breaks are tea breaks anywhere in the world!
By lunchtime I was both bored and fascinated at the same time. The painter was painting using a trowel to paint! In his underpants! (No, the trowel was not in his underwear, he was just wearing his undies!) What is it about those baggy white pants? Now there’s a picture for you! Then I was asked if I wanted to sail......... what a stupid question! Off we went for a couple of hours.  Lovely.  Now, I am not sure whether they wanted me out of the way or not, because by the time we got back the painter was putting the first coat of colour!  Colour that I was supposed to check out before it went on!  

Fortunately,  the colour was perfect, kind of a light sandy colour, a creamy yellow is probably the best way to describe it. Nice. Oh, I also decided on my prow logo,  I am using  one of the Seichem symbols that means Shining, Everlasting, Living Waters of Ra! Perfect!  It is now painted beneath the Eye of Horus that protects most of the feluccas.  A crystal given to me by a good friend in the UK is also sewn into the sail .  Add all that to the verse from the Koran for protection, and I think my boat will be the most spiritual and best protected boat in the world! 


What is it about chintz here? I needed fabric for the cushion covers and the sun tent. Everywhere we went........ chintz, chintz and more chintz. It doesn’t exactly fit with my idea for the boat. But I did eventually find some nice fabric, couldn’t find plain, but at least its not chintz!  My poor friend was despatched with me to carry my purchases.... shopping is his worst nightmare at the best of times, but shopping for fabric with an English woman was sheer hell for him! He did, however, find some nice fabric in a nice shade of turquoise....... very nice until I pointed out the Winnie the Poohs all over it! The boat was finally finished from a painting point of view. It just needs a few days to completely dry out and then they can start putting all the masts etc back in place.
Finally the main mast was put back in and and it was the turn of the lovely man who would paint the name for me.  He was ancient and his hand was trembling so much I have no idea how he ever managed to paint a straight line, but it all turned out brilliantly and I am really pleased with the end result. 


And so Spirit was finally fully mine, exactly as I had dreamed.  Now it was time to begin my true life here in this amazing country.