Monday, September 13, 2010

Donya Dai'a

...small world...

A conversation with my dear friend Jordan tonight reminded me of how increasingly difficult it is to keep up with two worlds. To keep up with everything happening in Iowa: next to impossible (thank God for facebook for the little I do pick up)... To share with you everything I'm experiencing here in Cairo: really truly impossible. I'll do my best to keep posting highlights...

Ramadan is over, we had an extended holiday weekend in which 90% of Maadi went traveling to beach resorts on the north coast or red sea.. It ended up being a Plan Z weekend for Amy.. Plans kept changing, nothing actually went as planned (nothing that happened was planned, but I think that's a parallel to life too).. I was really feeling frustrated and a tad bit depressed on Thursday going into the weekend thinking I'd be alone.. all of my friends were traveling away (and had left while I was teaching already) or were with their families. Not only was I going to miss them, but I was missing my family back in the states quite a bit as well and it seemed to rub it in further that I couldn't see them because they were with family which I was without as well... I will admit I was a tad bit grumpy. I didn't want to do the touristy thing and go hit up the Steppe Pyramid and Egyptian Museum as I had thought I might (plan d), I remembered how much I hate feeling like and living like a tourist(doing things for the sake of saying I did them). So I decided I'd spend the weekend doing normal daily life things, and cross my fingers that it involved some local friends.

Turned out to be the best weekend yet. Topped Giza pyramids easily. I spent the Eid night Thursday watching fireworks, drinking shay (tea), and eating some kind of hummus soup on the side of the road on a bridge overlooking the Nile with my friends Hani and Hamad. (slept the entire next day). Went for a 5 hour walk of all of Maadi (I swear I almost reached Luxor). Traveling the back streets all over Cairo- I saw so many people and homes and goats... I heard "welcome to Egypt!" about 3 million times, and was begged to photograph each and every mob of children I encountered. To top off an increasingly enjoyable long weekend, I found my family. My Cairene family. Donya dai'a...they are wonderful people (I will devote an entire blog entry to in the near future)...friends of friends, related to the owners of the Kimo market right around the corner from my flat, art teachers, art students, and connected in any and every bizarre way to other people I've met here in Maadi. They speak enough english to communicate, quite well.. but encourage my desire to learn arabic to where after 3 hours sharing time together in an outdoor cafe saturday night, I believe they have taken it on as their personal mission to help me learn arabic before I leave.

Oh. And I have a standing invite to their home
...on the Nile
...every Friday.
Now this. this feels like home.

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