Last Saturday a group of teachers went and took a day trip into town to Garbage City. Now garbage city is just as it sounds, it’s a city of garbage. But there is so much more that comes out of it. It really makes you look at life in general a little different.
An overview of some of the rooftops of garbage city.
Garbage city is a fully running city. The workers reuse, recycle, repair most of the garbage or feed the scraps to the livestock. The process is very efficient and quite amazing. This is the job of the people who live here. They go through the garbage and sort out what is needed and use it for whatever they may need it for. Some families might go through plastic and others might go through paper.
When we first got there we went on a tour through A.P.E which is the association for the protection of the environment. They provide many different services to the people of garbage city. They teach the women how to weave to make rugs, bags, and many other beautiful items. They also do patch work and make quilts. We saw a few of the training rooms that they have to teach the girls how to weave. The training course is three months long and they get paid daily for training. After we saw where they learn how to weave we went into the showrooms to see the finished products. There were many different sizes and colors of rugs to choose from. They also had quilts of all sizes as well as quilted Christmas stockings, quilted advent calendars, and quilted books for children among many other beautiful items. I bought a bathroom rug and my roommate Autum bought a rug for bedroom. There were also woven shoulder bags with matching rugs. All in all the showroom was amazing and you couldn’t beat the prices 🙂
This is my bathroom rug
This is Autum’s rug she got at garbage city – the dog was not included with the purchase of the rug, she already had him 🙂
Next stop was where they made recycled paper. They gave a demonstration and once again we got to visit the showroom where we could purchase items made from recycled paper. Some of the items they had for sale were sheets of recycled paper, gift bags, note cards, bookmarks, necklace, bracelets, and many other items. The selection was amazing and prices were very affordable. I picked up a recycled bookmark with camels on it – when in Egypt get stuff with camels on it.
Making recycled paper –
After we visited the A.P.E we went on a walking tour down the streets where the actual garbage is sorted through. Yes, it smelled. Plain and simple, you walk through heaps of garbage it’s going to smell.
This is looking down a street in garbage city.
A corner within garbage city. You can see there is store on the corner. Like I said it’s a fully functioning city. While walking around I saw a hardware store, shisha shop, little grocery store as well as places to buy food. I mean this totally makes sense you need to be able to buy food, buy groceries, get some hardware stuff and of course smoke some shisha.
The greatest thing that I found was that everyone we talked to and passed by said hello and they seemed genuinely happy. The children would run up to us and ask us our name and want us to take pictures of them or with us. The adults would wave and say welcome. I didn’t once see or feel as though they were sad or depressed. This just goes to show you that life is what you make of it. They have jobs, they support their families and in the end they play a major part in Egypt’s society.
I feel very fortunate to be able to visit places such as garbage city. I try to remember everyday how fortunate I am and be thankful for all that I am able to do. Coming to Egypt has opened my eyes to new cultures, places and people that it’s hard to explain sometimes. Just know that I am thankful everyday for everyone that was in my life before I came to Egypt as well as everyone I’ve met since I’ve been here.
There is a documentary about garbage city called Garbage Dreams. I haven’t watched it yet but I certainly will now that I have visited there.
Later skaters –