07 April, 2010

Greetings from Spring Break Egypt

I feel like I haven't written anything in this blog in a long time, but it's not been that long at all. My last official entry was on the 28 of March and it's only the 7th of April. That's really not that long of a time to break between posts, but I guess when I haven't really written about the current stuff going on, it makes a difference. 

So, I need to back track then...a lot. Let's return to when Will and I made our way to the Egyptian Museum to find out artifacts for class. That's approximately two weeks ago. The following Wednesday held nothing really important except the lecture to the access program about American football, which I believe I already mentioned. I do like working with the access program, I just wish I had known the topic a little better.  And Thursday was nothing too spectacular, except going to work of course. I really feel like I'm getting a lot out of working with Past Preservers. I get to write press releases and put all of the skills that I learned in my silly Writing for Mass Communication class. Glad to know that they are actually applicable in internships that I get. 

This brings us to Friday, March 26. I woke up and figured it was going to be a lounge weekend while I worked on my presentation for Customs and Habits, but I was very mistaken. Instead, I ended up going with Garrett, Ann, Haley and their friend Kareem to his villa on the outskirts of Cairo where we proceeded to have a cookout and swim by the pool. His house was gorgeous and I'm pretty sure that this not the way normal Egyptians live...actually, I know that for a fact as I'm living the way a normal Egyptian would live...in an apartment, not a secluded villa away from the noise of the city. 
The swimming pool at the Villa. 
 Garrett being thrown into the pool still in her clothing.
Well, even though I didn't go swimming, I did sit and enjoy myself. We grilled steaks and vegetables, which were absolutely delicious. Sadly, we had to leave the party a little earlier than intended as I had a Skype interview with a possible internship over the summer (I'm still waiting to here back as to whether or not I got the job), but I thought it went rather well. 
 Haley grilling the steak and vegetables. Yum, eggplant!!!!!
The following week was close to an absolute nightmare. Midterms week normally is, but it is always made worse when you feel like you want to be out exploring the city as opposed to inside writing papers and preparing presentations. And then it becomes even worse when your program manager goes on vacation and one of the kids in your program has friends come to stay for the week. 

But, I survived. I presented my presentation on Sunday for Customs and Habits about magic in Ancient Egypt versus magic in the United States and then on Monday my International Relations class took a field trip to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where we met with the Deputy Ambassador and she discussed the current issues of the Middle East with us. It was really nice to be able to hear someone actually explain what I've been reading about for the last nine weeks. I understand why it is such a threat that Iran is working on a nuclear plan, beyond the Cold War mentality of things and I understand in greater detail Egypt's position on the Palestinian-Israeli crisis. But, I won't bore you all by explaining it. Just know that this field was incredibly useful and if you want to know more, just send me an e-mail and I'm more than happy to go through all the notes I took during the meeting. 
 Ryan, Rebecca and Moose sit at the table waiting for our professor and speaker to arrive. 
 Sitting around in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The room was super fancy!
Tuesday was pretty normal, and then came Wednesday. The day before the big Spring Break and I had an Arabic mid-term and a museum catalog project due. Luckily, I was able to relax after I turned everything in. And I learned a lot about some of the lesser known queen of Ancient Egypt as my catalog contained two objects were from these queens, a statue and a canopic jar. 

After class, I taught the access program again. Sean and I decided to do it as a team and Will helped us out as Ryan went to meet some his friends who were in for Spring Break. This week we talked about movies, but sadly the conversation was not all that great. I still can't get them to talk. They just want me to do all the talking and I don't know what to talk about. Some of them are also really annoying as they have side conversations and continuously snap pictures of you while you're trying to teach. I just don't understand, this is a volunteer program and if they don't want to be there, they shouldn't come. 

After teaching, we met with our Egyptian friends and had a dialogue session about religion which was moderated by Dr. Riham. It was interesting, but a very uncomfortable topic to talk about because religion is involved with every aspect of life here.

As Wednesday approached a close, Spring Break began. I met up with some of the other kids in my program, Garrett, Shruti, Will, Tyler, Moose and some of our other friends. We were originally going to go salsa dancing, which made me super excited,but sadly we did not the chance to go. I'll get to go sometime, hopefully. Instead, we hung out at the "man-cave" for a bit and then tried to go to this dance club, but sadly it was too expensive. So, instead we went to a small bar and then headed home. 

Thursday began the weekend trip to Alexandria, which officially kicked off Spring Break. But, in order to not overwhelm this post with pictures and stories, I'll write a post tomorrow. I promise. So, keep reading and feel free to comment. I love comments!

1 comment:

  1. What! that villa and bbq looks amazing! im so jealous