This is a story about awakening to our greater potential and our greater purpose. Joanne Hutchinson takes you on her personal journey to Egypt where she meets many people and travels to many places to discover more of her real and authentic self.
Along the way, she confronts her own fears and understands how she creates her own reality by what she thinks. She meets face to face with disappointment and her own inner critic to find a deeper meaning to her journey and a level of peace that she has not felt before.
Working with the energies of the temples, the desert and her spiritual guides, Joanne undergoes a healing journey that enables her to develop a new level of awareness, insight and wisdom.
With each book purchased, Joanne will donate 33% of the revenue to the Good Samaritan Orphanage in Luxor which will go to fund projects that support their highest priority needs. For further updates, please visit our Giving Back page.
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We entered the Giza site from the desert and had the most magnificent views of six of the nine pyramids, of Saqqara, an area I love plus great views of Cairo city. Going uphill on the camel was fine, going downhill, well that’s an experience! Mohammad had to yell at me to lean back, which became a delicate balance between doing that and still being able to hold on.
Mohammad loved the actor Jim Carrey so every five minutes or so, he would say “don’t worry, be happy, and remember me I am Jim Carrey”. And then laugh. And I laughed too. He spoke great English and I found out that he came from Alexandria, a city north of Cairo. He was studying languages and typical of most Egyptian men, he first asked my age and then if I was married.
Abdul who walked the camel was about nine years old and he smiled at me the whole time. I asked if he went to school and he did, but he was on holiday because the Government had closed a number of schools due to the swine flu. Together they taught me a few Egyptian words subsequently forgotten but essentially how to make the camel go faster! Mohammad was adamant that after riding the camel I would be “walking like an Egyptian”…you know the song followed by more of his laughter.
They took me in the direction of the ticket booth and it was well after 2pm when we got there. I raced over delighted to find that tickets were still available for the King’s Chamber. The attendant told me to hurry as they would close it off in about ten minutes. So that’s what I did.
I climbed the stairs to the entrance and I was thrilled to have finally made it. On the way up, lots of people were coming out and by the time I got into the King’s Chamber, there were just three people there, all of whom left as I arrived. Here I was on my own, how unbelievably good was that!
I was sweating profusely and breathing hard from the steep incline into the Chamber. I focused on slowing my breathing and heart rate down so I could meditate. I am not sure how long I was in there, another man was there too but I closed my eyes, stood with my hands on the sarcophagus and went into a meditative space. I felt the sweat pouring out of me and my feet burning, the energy here pouring through my body. It was hard to quieten my mind, yet I knew it was not time to leave just yet. So I stayed until I knew intuitively, that it was time to go. When I left, the man was still there and then I realized he was one of the guards. Often, they will usher you to leave when they feel you have had enough time there. I knew it was divinely ordered that indeed I was meant to be there on my own. The energy was incredibly powerful and I knew that whatever had happened in here, I would feel the energetic shift in a few days’ time.
When I left the King’s Chamber, I felt complete, that I had done what I came here to do. I bought a bottle of water and then walked with Mohammad to the Sphinx. It was impressive but it didn’t have the hold on me like it did last year. I came to understand that I was not the same person who was here a year ago, that so much in me had changed and therefore what I’d be attracted to would be different. What did intrigue me was an area not far from the Sphinx that had recently been uncovered. There were a number of tombs and Mohammad said I could visit and meditate there as long as we paid the guard. Sadly, I didn’t have enough money on me to do that.
As we walked back to town (by now I had decided that walking was easier than camel riding so we had sent Abdul back with the camel), Mohammad saw my empty water bottle and told me to throw it on the ground. There are hundreds of plastic bottles strewn through the sand here and lots of rubbish too. I told him that I couldn’t do that because I cared about the environment. He understood and agreed with me, but he said “everyone does it here”.
He then caught me by surprise when he then asked me to pay him. I said that I would pay the owner who I had agreed the price with. He said the price didn’t include him and I said as far as I was concerned it did. He smiled and tried again saying it would be best for me to pay him now and not at the office. Of course, we got to the office, I paid the owner and then they both told me that it didn’t include Mohammad. Mohammad smiled and said that I didn’t need to pay him if I didn’t want to but this didn’t feel right either so I gave him the only money I had left, a 20 pound note. Now, I was well and truly out of money and had paid the price for an important lesson around discernment.
Feedback on “The Call to the Desert” – a spiritual journey of love, compassion and understanding
“An inspiring story of real life compassion and purpose”
I found ‘the Call to the Desert’ an inspiring story of real life compassion and purpose to help those in need. Whilst along the way understanding life’s little challenges that turn into life-long learning’s about people, situations and living your life with higher sense of purpose. I don’t think you have to be a spiritual person to understand this book but you will certainly gain some insightful thoughts on how far love and the compassion for others can touch people’s lives in so many ways. This book taught me that no matter how far away you are from someone in need, the simple act of giving, kindness and love can stretch across many many miles! Thank you for the inspirational story Jo, I look forward to reading more in the future. Nadine Tereora, New Zealand
“At every turn, there was a spiritual insight or awakening for you”
I have just finished reading your book – ‘The Call to the Desert’, what an enjoyable read and a great arm chair experience for someone who hasn’t been to Egypt – it seemed like at every turn there was a spiritual insight and awakening for you. You are left wondering how incredibly special Egypt is and what others will experience and discover when they journey there. It’s interesting the contrast of everyday life in Egypt and the spiritual and mystical treasures which exist side by side – truly amazing!
The book flowed seamlessly, was easy to read and down to earth, yet throughout the book there are deeper insights than words themselves. I would recommend the book to anyone – whether they are on their own spiritual journey or wanting a good read.
I also commend you on supporting the Good Samaritan Orphanage and your contribution to charity and humanity – it’s a great cause and I hope many people have the opportunity to buy your book and experience your spiritual journey and giving back to humanity. Thank you and all the very best. Mahesh Bhana, New Zealand
“Made me feel I was there with you”
Your writings made me feel I was there with you though all the mix ups and strange happenings. I have always wanted to go to Egypt and I did, every time I picked up your book I was there. I could hear the horns tooting in the streets and my heart went to my mouth when I read how close the cars get to each other. I could feel the heat and the smell the dust. I felt the fear well up in my throat on occasion and I felt the clamour in the marketplace. I was there! Thank you! Thank you so much!
Mary Bird, Australia.
“Lifts your spirits and opens your heart”
Jo has many wonderful gifts and one of the most special is her gift of sharing and giving to others through her teaching. Reading Jo’s book gave me a sense of being alongside Jo on her amazing journey and a hankering to join one of her upcoming tours to Egypt to embark on my own spiritual journey.
I enjoyed reading about the local guides Jo has encountered and to learn a little of what their lives are really like in a country so different to ours. It reminded me to appreciate the life we enjoy in New Zealand and so often take for granted.
Jo’s ability to connect with people on such a deeper level adds a wonderful dimension and depth of understanding as you join Jo on her journey through the pages of her book. An easy read that will not only lift your spirits and open your heart but also support those that reside at the Good Samaritan Orphanage in Luxor.
Linda Outhwaite, New Zealand
“Gripping and touching”
What comes across is both an inner and outer spiritual journey and our common humanity with all people. I found it gripping and touching and with Jo’s natural writing style, an easy read. Somesh Eladchumanar, New Zealand