Travel Map

Friday, June 25, 2010


I'm always thinking of the future and possibilities.  Perhaps this doesn't allow me to enjoy the present as much as I should.  That said, I'm already looking at my next big break in school, the week before thanksgiving, and where I could possibly go.  Greece is the cheapest destination at under $300....which is amazing.  Malta is also's crazy to think that all of these places will now be a few hours away!  I have no idea what's going to happen next summer, if I'll be flying back to the US for various reasons or if I'll be biding my time in Egypt, cramming Arabic.  I kind of hope I could take some grad classes next summer and take Arabic during the regular year.  If I'm in Egypt for the summer, I'll get to travel more places.  I have no idea how I'm going to be funding all of this travel but I'm going to, dammit!  I've always been able to find a way- foregoing bill and other nuisances- in order to experience some adventure.  I'm still hoping I can "hop" over to Ecuador during spring break and meet up with everyone down there for field school, say hello to all my friends in the community and all that.  I don't know when I can get back there otherwise and I do miss everyone. 
Wow, just to think that growing up I would read about "exotic" places and I figured the farthest I would go is Montana.  It all started with a student trip to NY senior year of high school.  Sometimes I feel guilty that my parents haven't gone the same places or gotten to share the same experiences.  My dad was lamenting the other day that he hasn't had the opportunity to live in another country.  However, after watching him and my mother in Mexico, it might be for the best.  Dad wants the scenery but nothing to do with the people...Mom is too scared of anything new to actually enjoy herself.  I hope she'll come visit me.  My parents have finally accepted the fact that I'm going to Egypt for school, but so far my plan is to stay or return for my career.  They might as well come sooner or later, because it's inevitable.  And I think it would be good for my mom to see that all Muslims aren't terrorists.  My dad, however, I hold out little hope.  If he can at least keep his mouth shut and enjoy his time he might learn something. 
After all, Egypt is just some one's home.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lazy Summer

Today my boss asked me when my last day was going to be.  I was tempted to say, "tomorrow."  Work is fine but I get tired of a pointless job that doesn't give me any purpose.  But as much as I would enjoy some time off I know I wouldn't like having nothing to do.  I think I'll quit a week before I go that way I'll have time to hang out with people, tie up loose ends, get ready, cram some Arabic! 
I should be more  motivated to study but without anyone to really practice with I guess I just forget....It seems like this summer couldn't go by any slower!  I know once I get over there I'll miss home and everyone but I've been waiting so long I'm ready to go. 
I'm so lucky to be able to stay in this amazing house, complete with a hammock and a hot tub- for free! I should just relax, read a lot, work out, and wait patiently.  I do have fun stuff to look forward to: 4th of July, Renaissance festival a couple of 5ks.  I have been getting a lot of reading done, too which is great.  I always feel like I never get to read enough while I'm in school- well, recreational reading anyway. 
Waiting for word from the school on financial aid.  Loooooots of waiting :) Damn my American impatience.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Moving right along

I'm now down to under 8 weeks before the I leave Colorado.  I've been trying not to worry about each little bump and so far things are moving right along.  The school has received my check for housing and tuition down payment and as far as they're concerned I'm ready to go, except for my physical of course.  Physical?  Am I getting an athletic scholarship? Um no but apparently they've had issues with pasty Americans dripping like flies in the heat.  Never mind that I did visit Egypt for two weeks in the summer....or that I lived in "rural" Ecuador for the summer last year....I need a physical and the list of conditions to check for is two pages long.  Things like lung capacity, heart rate, blood pressure all seem ok to me.  But what do scars on my skin or a urinalysis have to do with my schooling?  Also, the hearing test is described as "ability to hear from a distance of 20 feet away in a whispered voice" ah...
So pending those results I really am good to go!  I did have issues with the airline which was possibly going to cost me $300 or more in airfare but I finally got it worked out.  So I leave Colorado on the 18th of August to spend a terrific week viewing my friend Em's mansion in upstate NY.  Then I leave for my new home on August 24th and arrive just in time for the dorms to open and the end of Ramadan.. . I've heard things in town will be quite silent during the day as everyone is fasting and they lack caloric energy.  My first advising meeting is the 28th and classes start September 5th. 
I'm soooooooo ready to go.   I'm getting the obligatory question: "are you nervous?"  No! I've been preparing myself mentally for this move for two years!  I know I'll make cultural gaffs that I'll punish myself for over and over but I also hope that the learning and fun will outweigh my idiocy.  I also have the amazing opportunity to start working with refugees in my ethnographic methods class! I can't wait to have a job that makes a difference.....not one that caters to the privileged elite of the world.  I'm sorry, but does it really matter if your latte has too much foam while people are being systematically extinguished in places like Sudan and Palestine? 
Anyway, I'm postponing shopping for clothing because I hope it will go on sale and I also hope I'll get to go down a few sizes.  Regardless it will be kind of fun to get a whole new style of outfit.  Most of my shirts are inappropriate lol
I'm really going to enjoy last summer in Colorado.