First Day in Cairo
Trip Start Jan 22, 2010
15Trip End May 29, 2010
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We had a busy first full day in Cairo after I arrived at my apartmenton Saturday night around 7:30pm. I share an apartment with two other girls and we all have our own rooms, and there are two and a half baths-very nice!! So far I’m a lot closer to the fourother girls in another apartment, but my roommates seem pretty cool too.
It is COLD here! I had no idea it would be this cool! It’s painfully cold at night,and no heat, and truly dreadful getting up to shower in the morning. The water is warm, but there is only a single stream and I have now learned to take the fastest showers of my life.I also managed to flood the bathroom floor two days in a row- oopsies! Not my fault, the shower curtain is rather useless....seriously.
Yesterday morning, Tyler the intern (cute kid), walked with the six girls to the building where our classes are. I saw my life flash before my eyes as I crossed the busiest most overcrowded streets in Cairo . When they say no traffic rules, they mean really no traffic rules. We were also walking in a group, were blatantly foreigners, and I think Tyler would forget there were six of us following him as he darted in the street with only enough time for himself to get halfway across before a car came. If you have ever played the video game Frogger- that is EXACTLY what walking to school is like. You wait til there’s a space, walk a little across, stand in the middle of the street with cars barreling around you until another space appears, wait, etc, etc. until you finally make it to the other side alive. Luckily some Egyptian drivers felt sorry for us and would kindly stop- which they definetly don’t normally do.
We eventually made it to school after a good 15 minute walk, and had a little orientation/ introduction with the staff and other students of the program.There are about six guys and six girls, 2 of the guys were here last semester too. After completely and totally falling asleep during the presentation- (my eyes physically could NOT stay open) we walked to a nearby restraunt for lunch-at 3pm in the afternoon. It was at a pasta place and I got spaghetti al pesto with basil, garlic, onion tomato sauce- it was GOOD! Then we went on a walking tour of Dokki, our neighborhood, with Matthew, the director of AMIDEAST. It was truly eye-opening and amazing. Again, scared to death crossing the streets, saw extreme poverty, was hissed at by creepy men, can barely breathe through the pollution but I still….LOVE it!! <o></o>
After the tour we went back to our apartment before we met up again an hour later for dinner. What was dinner like? AMAZING! It was dinner on a boat on the Nile River at night, soooooo beautiful!The boat actually sailed down the river for about 3 hours. While we ate there was live Arabic music and of course a belly dancer- I’ve decided I need to learn this dance as soon as possible. After dinner, we went up to the roof of the boat and it was even more gorgeous- and verrrry cold. We sat and talked while we sailed down the Nile- it was blissful. A pretty great way to end the evening! We then made the long walk back to our apartments where I crashed because orientation started at 9am. So now I’m eating breakfast before orientation today- who know what else lies ahead!!