Sunday, September 18, 2005

busy week

it has been an insanely busy week. It was our first week with five days in a row of Arabic class. That was not very fun. It got progressively hotter all week long, until friday was easily 100 degrees with humidity--ugh. It was literally oppressively hot. All we wanted to do was sleep. The power has been going out a lot lately too--today it was out for two hours. Overnight it often goes out and I wake up in the morning to an un-air-conditioned room.
This week I have:
had a birthday party for one of our fellow YAVs;
Had dinner with a PCUSA mission coworker;
had a group dinner with some ELCA and RCA missionaries, the St. Andrews pastor, and some other people;
met with the head-honcho principal and the primary school principal at Ramses College for Girls;
attended the RCG graduation ceremony;
had 5 days of Arabic class;
studied Arabic approximately 10 hours outside of class;
eaten pizza hut twice and kraft mac-n-cheese once;
been to the suuk twice;
walked to the protestant seminary;
found our local "department store";
went to church on friday;
visited a western-style grocery store (not the two chains we've been to before) and bought balsamic vinegar to make salad dressing;
watched 9 episodes of buffy the vampire slayer, and converted at least two people to buffy;
watched a movie (how to lose a guy in 10 days);
slept a little;
checked my email more than I ever did at home.

It's been a busy week.
This coming week we have a busy week as well: I'll be at a workshop for RCG english teachers monday morning, CEOSS (Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services) on Tuesday morning, Egyptian museum one morning, plus Arabic class four afternoons for four hours each day. Friday we take our trip to Sinai! We leave Friday morning (with our Arabic school), go to a Red Sea beach for the middle of the day (like 7 hours or something), then continue on to St. Catherine's, arriving about two hours before we begin the climb at 1am. We'll reach the top for sunrise, have mass (our arabic school is a roman catholic, vatican-sponsored, run-by-a-nun place), come down, visit the monastery and the burning bush, then get back on our bus and come home on Saturday by dinner. fun! We aren't sure yet whether there will be some arabic-only rule for speaking on the trip--we hope not!

We visited Maadi this week--our Friday dinner with a group of people was down there. Maadi is the suburb (to the south) that is almost entirely populated by westerners, especially american expats. Maadi is like a different world--it was quiet, had little traffic, lots of trees and other foliage, people had domestic animals and SUVs, there were grocery stores that sell mostly imported food...there were no people out in the streets, no horns honking, less was crazy. I think I prefer living where we do--in the heart of things, where Arabic is necessary and the people live like Egyptians because they are Egyptians. Maadi was like being in Oak Park, IL or Decatur, GA. Not like we were in another country at all. very strange.

I think that's all for now because I have much studying to do. happy sunday, all!

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