Friday, September 4, 2009

Classes started on Wednesday, which was a pretty harsh reminder that this isn’t vacation. I’m actually going to have to study. Arabic is going to be harder than I thought. So far my Fusha training is just confusing me since so much of the aamya (Egyptian dialect) is different. I keep pronouncing everything wrong and using the wrong words. I can at least read the street signs though – but most of those are in English as well as Arabic so that doesn’t really make a difference. Our other classes are going to be pretty intense as well. We’ll be writing lots of papers, and I’m guessing Dr. Heather won’t grade very easily.

The other night we randomly got invited to an Egyptian family’s house for tea – which actually turned out to be juice. We met this woman on the street and were trying to practice using our Arabic. She was trying to practice her English. So then she took us up to her apartment and we met her sister and brother-in-law and their kids, and her kids, and her mom. It was hilarious because we couldn’t really communicate, but we had a good time anyway. They were so sweet and welcoming. Egyptian hospitality really is amazing.

The weekend here is Friday-Saturday instead of Sat-Sun because of Friday prayers. I’m starting to feel like I kind of know my way around Cairo – or at least around Agouza. We went to the Citadel (11th Century fortress) today which was pretty impressive. Salah Al-Din apparently knew what he was doing when he built it because it’s definitely impenetrable. I discovered that first hand as I had to walk all the way around it since our taxi driver dropped us off at the wrong spot. He then tried to ask us for more money…jerk. Anyway, we did eventually get there, and saw some amazing views of the city, with the pyramids in the distance. The mosque there is amazing as well. I tried to get pictures but I was kind of burning my feet on the stones in the court-yard (no shoes in the mosque), so I’m not sure if the outside ones really turned out. The inside pictures are fine though – I now have a crick in my neck from staring straight up at these fantastic painted carvings and lights inside the domes. It was very impressive.

Next weekend we’re going to Sinai and Dahab. So I’ll be hiking Mount Sinai, and then snorkeling in the Red Sea. Yeah, I know you’re jealous – I’m sorry. Tomorrow we’re going to the pyramids and possibly the Egyptian museum.

I miss you all! Sorry this turned into another long post.


  1. Sounds so fun! But, stay safe, ok? And really, we don't mind long posts.

  2. I love the long posts! crazy taxi drivers make for good stories. Salah Al-Din certainly was a pretty wily guy. Looking forward to seeing your pictures...