Monday, March 31, 2014
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
So, lately, I have once again been baffled by something which is total normal in Egypt.
Consistently for the past few weeks, everyday that I go out around 8am, I see at least three garbage trucks picking up the garbage at Soliman Gohar (SG) Square.
SG square is a place where all the garbage gets deposited (not in bins, on the floor, taking up two or three parking spots) from the surrounding market place and businesses. Usually there is a bit of a lag between the accumulation and the pick up. Not so anymore! But now, we have not one company cleaning up, we have TWO!
From what I've gather based on different local nearby merchants, one company is the government entity (or governorate, not sure) where the workers get paid peanuts (300 EGP/month?). this money gets collected as part of the water bill (which for our 5-story building is about 250 LE per month (including both) according to my cheap-o landlady).
The private company that picks up the garbage and does a good job is the one were each apartment unit or business has to pay about 15 LE per month for their private services. That's the service traditionally associated with the zabaleen in manshiet nassr (I went to see an exorcism there in 2011). They are also generally considered very efficient. This has been extensively covered by Western media.
Anyway, the point being, we went from having not enough garbage pick up, to TOO much garbage collection. And still no garbage bin.
Finally, a nice quote from my favorite NGO operating in Egypt, GIZ:
"The institutions responsible for waste collection and disposal are unable to cope with the complexity of the task in hand despite international support. There is no legal framework or strategic planning and responsibilities and tasks are not clearly allocated. The sector is significantly underfinanced and has an enormous need for long-term investments and services."
|That's the zabaleen truck. pilled high. probably super dangerous for the roads too. and therefore perhaps TOO "efficient".|
|Here, we have a view of the square, with one truck on the left, and two on the right, and one behind us (above). Normally the garbage is piled up in the center of the photo where the three men are standing side by side.|
|This is from a different date than the two photos above. same location. "The truck has become the bin..." I like the tree/shrub sticking out of the back of the truck.|
These are from 2011.
There are not actual exorcism photos here, just photos of where they take place.
|Nice drawings on the cliff at the entrance|
|the two tablets of the ten commandments|
|Entrance to the church before it goes in to the side of the cliff.|
|I like how the crosses also support the ceiling.|
|after mass. when the exorcisms took place. I didn't take photos of it out of respect!|
|A chat about religion lead to an emotional hug out.|
|Notice the Egyptian flag. We are Copts, but we're still Egyptian too!|
|The exorcisms were actually quite powerful. Although I knew they weren't real, it did feel like something was going on. Definitely something interesting to witness at some point. the power of faith.|