Ilaria Youssef
Ilaria Youssef
Cairo, Egypt 2023-2024
I was born in Egypt and moved to the U.S. when I was 11 years old. Now, I am going back to Cairo, Egypt to volunteer as a data analyst with BLESSEgypt for six months! Come along with me as I give back to the community that raised me. Read More About Ilaria →

February Fun!

Hi blog!

The last couple of weeks have been so much fun!

First of all, work has been a little slow because everyone in the office is wrapping up reports for the end of the 2020-2023 phase. My task will be to read through them, ensure all the numbers are correct, and add some data visuals once the writing portion is completed. So, I went around helping my colleagues with some of their other tedious tasks that are simple enough for me to handle without requiring much instruction (since most of them had a lot on their plates anyway). With not much for me to do, I seized the opportunity and requested a couple of days off until the reports are ready for my contribution.

A goal I set for myself at the beginning of this year was to go out and explore a lot more, and I’m proud to say that I’ve been sticking to that goal pretty well throughout February.

Every chance I get, I either walk to a new bakery, discover coffee shops in the area, or maybe even get groceries from a different store. However, I also returned to the Opera House because music is simply healing for the soul, and I couldn’t resist a flute and harp recital. The recital was so angelic and has been one of my favorite concerts to attend so far! I also went to a small art exhibition of a local artist and was mesmerized by their mastery of colors!

The flutist and harpist enchanting the audience with their skills

Fascinating art piece from the gallery

Nardien and I found a delightful restaurant that offers all kinds of board games for customers to enjoy while dining. So, as we had dinner, we engaged in extremely competitive games of backgammon and checkers. At one point, we may have both gotten a little too intense about winning and were definitely the loudest in the place, but thankfully, we both ended up tying, so it’s safe to say that we are still friends.

Nardien accepting defeat at backgammon

For my long weekend during the second week, I traveled to Alexandria to meet one of my closest friends from Nashville, who, by some divine intervention, had to move to Egypt at the start of this year. Having not seen her since October, I just had to take a trip to Alexandria to catch up with her. Alexandria was rainy the whole weekend, so we mainly stayed indoors, but we managed to visit some cute coffee shops, the Greco-Roman Museum, and have dinner at a rooftop restaurant overlooking the beach. I left Alexandria feeling a sense of home and completely recharged.

The view of Alexandria from the rooftop

A small statue in the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria

A small update about my broken laptop: There’s no Apple Store in Egypt, and I couldn’t find a way to fix it, so it will remain broken until I return to Nashville. However, thankfully, I think I’ve found a good alternative solution, so I don’t have to wait to post at the office. Hopefully, this will be the last belated post.

That’s all for now, but I’ll write again soon. Until then, please keep me in your prayers!

Ilaria Youssef

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