03 July, 2012

A Year in Cairo

So Scott and I have lived in Egypt for nearly a year now!  July 15th will mark the day that we moved here and spent our very first evening in Cairo locked on our little apartment balcony and wondering what we had signed on for.

What a year it has turned out to be!  A year of great new friends, of witnessing political history in the making, of making some travel dreams come true, and of daily surprises/lessons/adventures.

We are now the "Old Crew" as we have seen wonderful friends moving back to Canada at the end of their postings and a new roster of people are just now beginning to move in.  It is fun to think back to how strange and different everything seemed to us when we first got here ourselves.  While we now have a certain comfort level in our own day to day routine, there is still a lot that will probably always seem quite strange and different to us.  Perhaps at the end of our time here we will be a little stranger and different ourselves...

As for the pivitol political year, we have sat on the edge of our seats waiting to see what direction the country would go following the revolution and most especially waiting to see if people would be happy in the chosen direction.  After surviving the election of a new president this past week, now we can finally look to see what changes will begin to come about and hopefully the first steps will be encouraging and promising ones.

Travel has been a massive perk for this gig thus far and in 2011 we got to go to Rome for our anniversary and Tuscany, Florence and Venice for Christmas and New Years.  Conclusion: we love Italy as much as we always thought we would!  In 2012 we got to see Paris in February which was a dream come true and we left with a long list of things we would like to see and do there again if we get to return; and most recently we went to Rome (again!) and south of Naples to the Amalfi Coast.  We just returned three days ago so once we sort through our pictures I plan to post on that as well.  Stay tuned.

As for local travel, we have been able to go snorkling in the red sea, had an amazing close encounter with dolphins while paddle boating, gone camping in the dessert, sand boarded like champs (like snow boarding but on sand dunes), visited pyramids and ancient ruins, and we have only scratched the surface of all the local must-sees thus far.

Lessons from this year: patience is necessary for survival; sometimes the most logical solution to me is not the go-to approach for others; the sense of community and genuine openness of strangers is a welcome and wonderful change and something that I hope to take home with me; learning Arabic is real hard and my charades skills need work.

With that very brief and vague recap of my missed months of blogging:  G'bye for now.  Stay tuned for more routine entries (hopefully...) as I have the whole summer off!

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