Egyptian Feast wraps students in learning

November 16, 2005

The Hood River Middle School sixth-graders got a taste of the ancient Egyptian way of life last week with the annual Egyptian Feast, which capped off the quarter-long study module.

The event kicked off in the multi-purpose room with activities such as costume judging, “Egyptian Jeopardy” game, displays of class projects, Senet games, and a mummy wrap.

“It’s kind of like checkers, except you can’t jump,” explained Axel Cox, as he and Dylan Hulme tried playing a game of Senet. Pretty soon it was time to rotate to another station, where they would play Egyptian Jeopardy or try their hand at hieroglyphic mural deciphering.

Perhaps the most enthusiastic participation came with the mummy wrap: The students were divided into groups of five, then each group was given three rolls of toilet paper and instructed to mummy-wrap the smallest person in the group as fast as they could, leaving no skin uncovered. When they were finished, the wrappers were to sit down and the mummy would stay standing.

When all mummies were finished, the kids were allowed to rip the mummy wrap off as fast as they could. Fun stuff.

As in years past, the students were divided into social categories, such as pharaoh and family, nobles and priests, craftsmen, scribes and merchants, and farmers and slaves. When it came to the feast, the pharaohs were seated first, at the best tables, and given fancier “goblets” with sparkling apple cider instead of apple juice.

This year, at least the lower classes were able to sit at tables – in past years they have been relegated to the floor. But rich or poor, noble or common, everyone ate from the same spread of food, which included pita bread, Armenian flatbread, tzatziki, falafel, white cheese, green and black olives, apples with honey, grapes, dried dates and figs, pomegranate and coconut squares.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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