Camels and Dress Blues

I’ve been so busy with school this semester that I haven’t had a lot of time to do much writing, but here is a short story and two photos from Cairo, Egypt, where I was stationed for my last year on Marine Security Guard duty.

Every year during Marine Corps ball season the detachment has group and individual photos taken and a favorite place to do it is at Giza, where the famous pyramids and the Sphinx are located. As you might imagine, the area is packed with visitors and tourists from opening to closing so we made special arrangements to come early…so early that we had to wait around for the sun to come up before we could begin.

This particular year someone decided that photographs at the pyramids wearing our dress blues was just not spectacular enough anymore. (In other words, we needed to do something to make our detachment photo cooler than the ones that came before us!)

Camel Herd

So the Marine in charge of MWR funds rented a herd of camels for us to sit on while the photographer snapped our pictures. Luckily the herd arrived with a handler for each camel otherwise we never would have been able to get lined up for the photo. The camels were not happy about this at all, they did not appreciate being forced to stand so close to each other and they were constantly squabbling like siblings in the backseat of a car.

After our camel adventures were over, we went back home to finish preparing for the ball that evening and I had to change into a new pair of dress blue trousers because the ones I had worn for the photos smelled like dirty camel saddle.