Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Allow Me a Moment of Reflection

Beloved Readers,
I once again find myself at a milestone in my life. I find that in my life I have these goals that I constantly look forward to. "I can't wait to get to high school...I can't wait to graduate high school and go to college...I can't wait to go on my mission...I can't wait to get home from my mission" are only examples. However, midway through and definitely upon completion of my mission, I decided that Arabic was the course of study and the route for my future. After this literally life-changing decision, I learned that in order to complete this major I would have to do a summer-long study abroad in Egypt. An almost overwhelming thought to actually engage these people in their own land. A completely foreign country, culture, language, customs, and FOOD! But, above all, I felt an nearly uncontrollable excitement. Well, those longs months of waiting and anticipating have come and gone. Additionally, those long months of studying Arabic in the completely foreign environment described above have come to an end. Tomorrow I look out to my last full day in the Middle East. It's a weird thought. One more life's chapter down. I guess I can pat myself on my back for accomplishing this goal.
Allow me to take a moment of reflection of things I will miss, and things I won't miss so much. I know I still have to update you about the last days in Egypt, Israel and Jordan, but there is so much to say and such little time that I have to devote to it. So, I think any start is a good start. Here's to Egypt!

The Food (this one is a positive and a negative)
What you see here is foul (pronounced fool) its a type of bean dish. Not particularly delicious. Other stuff like shawarma or kosheray were good in small amounts. Homemade meals (which were few and far between for me) were also really good.

The People (definitely going to miss)
This guy is the guy who served me the above dish. Not a bad bone in his body. Most the people here, contrary to popular belief, are some of the nicest folks you can find. I really am going to miss there openness and generosity
The air (obviously bad)
This is a before and after picture of Cairo. Between this and the intensive amount of smoking that they do, lung cancer is unavoidable. Quite sad really.

Juice (one of the biggest upsides)
This is my favorite guy at my favorite juice shop pouring me one of my favorite juices. Subia with ice cream is the most amazing juice I have tasted. It is a coconut, vanilla, sugar drink mixed with ice cream. So, so, so delicious. All the juices at this place were under a dollar for a large and it was all fresh squeezed, we watched them peel most of the fruits. Oh how I will miss that

Litter (need I say anything)
This stuff is everywhere. It is quite sad that they have little regard for their exterior country (the insides are immaculate). You can see it all over, even in the nicer areas and in the poorer areas, shown above, it creates a rank smell.

These things are only a few that represent a wide range of emotions that I have connected to that city. I am sure I could draw a hundred more. Suffice it to say, Cairo, I will miss you and return soon, in-sha-allah.

That being said, I guess the next two big landmarks I have to look forward to are "I can't wait till I graduate college and start the real world...and I can't wait till I get married." When will they happen? Who has any clue?