Friday, December 24, 2010

Moving on to Another Light...

"Light a small fire, watch the smoke rise, watch the paths clear, stand in awe of what you’ve done, warm yourself, then move along to light another."--thanks, Dallas Clayton

Amazingly enough, I am writing this from my cozy bed in little snow-covered Winterset just 36 hours from returning to the states. Somehow, my flights went exactly as scheduled, with no glitches, delays, or layovers... AND all of my overweight luggage arrived home on time and nothing broke... That Egyptian luck of mine held strong to the very end.. and for that I'm grateful.

It's really nice to be home, though.. to be honest it still hasn't fully hit me. I woke up at 3am today, because clearly it was time to catch a taxi to the family friday meal at the big house in Maadi.......... clearly... I'm jet lagged, I'm looking forward to being busy with the holidays this weekend and seeing all of my family gathered, but.. It still just doesn't quite seem real.

I'm jet lagged physically and mentally.

My last few days in Egypt were wonderful. We had a BBQ to celebrate my birthday which brought together so many of the great people I met in my travels in Egypt, spent a
lot of time at Beet il Kabir with Ezzat and his family, had one last hoorah with new CAC friends at the facult y formal, and went on a few more adventures around Cairo as I said my goodbyes... I'm going to close this blog out with a few of my recent favorite memories...

Masalama, Masr.... I can't wait until we meet again.....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Soaking up every last moment...

Just as predicted, these last weeks are filling with friends and fun......
December thus far has included chaperoning the ninth grade Islamic Cairo field trip to the Ibn Tulun, Hassan and Rafai Mosques as well as the Citadel,

seeing the whirling dervishes live downtown,

exploring the Hanging Church in Coptic Cairo,

beaming with pride at the middle school talent show,

and celebrating Egyptian Culture Week at CAC...

The only remaining items on my Egypt bucket list: Islamic Art Museum and Saqqara Pyramids... But you know, I'd still be completely satisfied with my time here even if they don't happen...

Whirling Dervishes==> Whirlwind semester

I came to Cairo to complete my student teaching. I came, and did so much more than that. This experience has blessed me, pushed me, and pulled me in so many ways. My placement at Cairo American College, working with Joan, Neil, Michael and the rest of the CAC staff was the most amazing blessing to start with. I cannot fully express my gratitude at being in such a professionally minded atmosphere, quite the transition from undergraduate work. I observed and learned from example how to demand the best from my students as well as myself. My students were absolutely incredible, literally unbelievable at times, and will always hold a place in my heart. Cairo pushed me to accept and acclimate to change. Pushed me to yet again shed my personal bubble and immerse myself in a new culture and language. Then once I allowed it to push, I felt it pull me in and capture my attention and appreciation. My experiences at CAC are too numerous to even begin to count; from back to school night, to my after school program, middle school play and talent shows, parent teacher conferences, setting up art displays, creating progress reports, revising standards, and chaperoning on the prime trip to the White Desert as well as the outing to Islamic Cairo. While this list goes on and on, the list of experiences and accomplishments outside the walls of CAC continues even further to Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Alexandria, Nuweiba, every corner of Cairo, museums galore, the khan, Cairo Tower, faluca rides, family dinners on Fridays, the street of the tentmakers, jazz concerts at the Citadel, numerous trips to the best sobia shop in Zeinab, womping in the waadi, and on and on to the top of Mt. Sinai. I will never forget these 5 months spent living up every moment of Egyptian culture and will truly miss this life I’ve found. I leave knowing that I will return again, insha’allah.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

blessed beyond belief

I can already tell these three weeks are going to be spectacular. Filled with continual adventure, the company of the good friends and family I've found here in Cairo, and more joy than one can imagine....

Of course there will be tears. I love it here.

"How lucky I am to have something
that makes saying goodbye so hard"

~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie