Here is an extract from one of our Bonas MacFarlane tutors who has been working with a family to help prepare them for their trip of a lifetime to Egypt…
“Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of working as a residential tutor with a family to prepare them for their holiday to Egypt. In the summer we spent weekends in England visiting the British Museum, practising animal mummification, learning Percy Shelley’s poem ‘Ozymandias,’ and mounting a canoe expedition, ‘up the Nile, to visit the Temple of Isis.’ (In reality, this was the river Cherwell in Oxford, where we carried our vessel over the rollers in the University Parks, which simulated the enormous set of rapids at Aswan in Egypt called ‘the first cataract,’ before emerging at the confluence with the Thames, which at Oxford is also called the Isis).
The groundwork prepared, I next met the family in Cairo shortly before Christmas, where we consolidated much of our summer learning with visits to the actual archaeological sites we had studied over the summer. Tablet in hand to pull up archaeological plans and translations of the inscriptions, the peripatetic learning continued, where we reenacted our canoe mission with a visit to the real Temple of Isis on Philae Island, recited ‘Ozymandias’ beside the in-situ statue which inspired it, and played ‘hide and seek’ inside the hypostyle hall of the Temple of Karnak. The last of these was particularly special for the fact that the idea came from the youngest of the children, and was an excellent one!
This residential position has been memorable, not least for the opportunity to enthuse a family about a period of history and archaeology that I love, but for the fact that they were so willing to immerse themselves in the adventure with quirky opportunities for creative learning. Visiting ‘the antique lands’ in this way, whether this is Egypt, or Greece and Rome, gives an ample chance to make an educational experience of a lifetime.”