I am loving Egypt. The atmosphere in Shubra is very welcoming and community based and I am starting to feel like my integration into the community is paying off. I have mastered simple tasks like crossing the road, buying snacks from the local bodega, and having small conversations with my neighbors, and learning the bargaining culture.
Some honest thoughts continuing into month number 2 are as follows:
- The Arabic language is so versatile and I love learning the informal Arabic as much as I love learning new words to add to my limited vocab. Only being here for a short time has already made me feel more Egyptian than I ever have and fitting in with the locals feels like a small win every time. I learned not to pay in high number bills as it can come across as rude or inconsiderate irregardless of your intentions or the fact that you only have a 100 to pay with.
- While my accent is a giveaway that I am not a native some people simply think I am from a different middle eastern country and so more or less treat me the same as a local Egyptian. If I act with confidence it works out pretty much everytime.
- The bargaining culture is very fun but I’m still figuring out the prices of things as they sometimes change depending on what the seller is feeling that day and I never know when I got a good price.
- Another really exciting update is one of my friends from the United Kingdom was able to come visit Egypt for a few days and we got to meet up for a little dinner before she left again back home. Getting to see someone familiar and sharing this experience with them for a few hours was truly an amazing time and I am really thankful that I was able to do so.
- Another really exciting part about being in Egypt is the family! While I don’t often get to see my family as they all have busy lives filled with work and school and daily life, some of my cousins and I have gotten the chance to reconnect after church on Sunday which was a really fulfilling experience for my inner child who has always wanted to have a large family. I got to play chess, eat amazing Egyptian food, and just overall be in their presence for a little which was really exciting.
- Perhaps my most meaningful update is I recently took on a service at the local church on the weekends and some days after work to help teach English to children who are unable to afford a teacher, and whose parents are either deceased or illiterate. It’s been the highlight of my time in Egypt and truly amazing to get to be a part of as the kids are truly in need and feeling like I am part of the solution leaves a warm feeling in my heart. They are all extremely precious and graciously welcomed me in with open arms. Truly some of the smartest students I’ve ever had and while this service was unplanned it feels like it was meant to be. I love them deeply already and I can’t wait to watch their progress for the remaining time i’m in Egypt.
- The Cathedral where I work
- A funny shop name
- My cousin and I playing chess
- My friend from the U.K.
- My cousin and I reconnecting
- A fun activity I did over the weekend
- Office space
- family pictures I’ve never seen
- Another view of the Cathedral I work at .
Thanks blog thats all for now,
Until Next Time,