Maybe when I’m dead, some people will say I was an entrepreneur.  What’s that?  Dictionary definition: “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.”  Yes, I been trying to do that since about the age of 21.  I never succeeded until Mara House, but I sure learned a lot along the way.

This is the second time in my life I thought I had it made – only to have it all disappear overnight.  First was the revolution of 2011, second was 2013 when the Army (rightly so) took over and all tourism completely stopped, and now, in 2020, it’s the coronavirus. Can I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone?  Not really, but I can take comfort in the thought that once this is all over, we may have a better world.  Everyone will have to strive to be an entrepreneur now.

Each of us has a choice to make:

  1. We join the pessimists, fear-mongers and frightened segment of society OR
  2. We join the people who say “It is what it is – now where do we go from here?”

Personally, I am going for Option no. 2.  This means

  • I am going to accept whatever safety measures we are advised to take
  • I am going to take some time out and focus on my personal mental, emotional and physical health a lot more than I have in the past (hey – I’m 63 so more or less in the ‘group more at risk’ segment of the population).
  • I’m buying a bike today – I know some who know me are laughing at this 🙂 but I have decided that if this is going to go on as long as is currently predicted I need some real way of getting proper exercise.  This is an expense, but since I have some health issues that include super high “bad” cholesterol, I regard this as a necessary investment in myself lol!  So, my plan is that every morning around 6 – 7 am, I am going to cycle out towards the countryside with Amr, my Mara House manager.  He is big into healthy living and is already missing his gym workouts. We won’t be seeing many, if any, people out and about at that hour, so our “social distancing” will remain intact.
  • My facebook, twitter and instagram pages are only going to contain stuff I consider happy, positive, hopeful and uplifting – hopefully even a bit of humor when I can find it.
  • I’m going to put more time and effort into my daily meditations (I use Dr. Joe Dispenza ones)
  • I’m going to write more posts on my blog here on whatever I see happening in Egypt and particularly in Luxor.

I originally began writing in 2011 on the revolution as I experienced it and then I progressed to writing about my thoughts, personal experiences etc…. I like writing.

In order not to lose sight of the business side of things, my plan is to keep my posts for the Mara House Luxor blog focused on what is going on in Egypt.


My last guests left for home (USA) yesterday and are probably still in transit.  My thoughts go with them, and I hope the airports there have cleared somewhat and are not as frightening as they appeared a few days ago.

Amr is taking down all the soft furnishings, such as curtains, all over the house, rolling up the carpets, and giving the entire house a full clean from top to bottom.  I am washing all these, and then we will wrap them all up in plastic for the time being and put them away.  It’s not as big a job as it sounds because, long before there was any sign of coronavirus, our cleaning routine for years has been to spray and wipe down all door handles, light switches, toilet flushes, glass, metal, tiles, and floors with undiluted vinegar anyway.  Vinegar is stronger than chlorine when it comes to sanitation.  So the only new precaution for us is the regular hand spraying.

Cash and cash flow could become a problem, but we are not alone in that; I think, one way or another, most of us are going to experience this at some stage in the coming months.  I have to express my thanks to the majority of people who had to cancel their bookings with us.  With one exception, every single person has said they don’t expect refunds and just want to let what is paid stand until they can take advantage of it when this is all over.   I am more than happy with this and thankful to these lovely people.

For our friends who don’t already know – Amr’s wife gave birth to his second son a few weeks ago.  His big brother, Moaz, aged 4, is not that pleased about it but is slowly coming to terms with not being the center of attention any more.

I admit I am surprised at the level of awareness everyone I personally know, has about the virus, and all are carrying their own hand sprays.  The electrician and the air-conditioning guy surprised me when they whipped out theirs before I produced ours.

The Egyptian government has sent all non-essential office workers home; flights are suspended until the end of March, except cargo flights.  I had to go to the bank, and all were wearing gloves, and one man told me they have to wash their hands every two hours and keep using the hand spray in between as they are passing papers back and forth to clients for signatures, etc.

When I arrived at Cairo Airport, on my way back to Egypt, it was the only airport where I had to fill out a form before getting off the plane detailing what countries I had been to over the last 3 weeks and my address plus a contact number for the next 3 weeks.  I also had to put a tick or an x next to questions asking if I experienced any coronavirus symptoms such as fever, headache, etc.  Then we were temperature screened before going through visa and customs.  Over the last 3 weeks, I have been through Cork, Dublin, New Orleans, Heathrow, and Amsterdam airports without a check, question, or temperature screening.  So, I am impressed with precautions being taken here

Schools are closed; some kind of disinfectant was dropped from helicopters over Luxor around 3 a.m. this morning, and trucks went through the streets doing the same.  Coffee shops, if still open, have to use disposable cups.  Shopping malls, clubs, pubs, etc. were all ordered to close from 6pm to 7am.

Any tourists still in Egypt after today must let the authorities know they are here.


Finally – all the media is keeping us up to date with new cases, deaths etc.  I haven’t come across any site giving us the survival and recovery statistics which are HUGE – so, before you go to bed tonight, click here and go to sleep with more hope 🙂


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