Happy Birthday to ME!

Trip Start Jan 19, 2011
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Ok, so my 20th birthday is in 30 minutes.  It's kinda weird to think that I'm not a teenager anymore and that in five days I will be leaving the US.  I feel so blessed for all the opportunities that have been given to me.  I was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship (woot woot!)and was accepted to be a travel correspondent for Reach the World.  Basically, I will be posting an educational blog on their website and will be linked with an underprivilaged class.  They will live out my experience through me and learn about Egypt as well.  We even get to have live video conferences. If their classroom is close to where I live, I might get to visit them once I get back.  I'm trying to take advantage of evvverything.  I'm also going to be collecting research on the Egyptian mindset towards womens' involvement in political affairs.  I am soooo excited to go to Egypt and have adventures.  I have always wanted to go.  It is truly a dream come true.   I never thought in a million years I would get to do the things that I'm going to do.
    I will be living in Zamalek, which is in downown Cairo.  I will be in the heart of everything.  I can't wait to go out dancing and eat the yummy food my own family makes (and eats a lot of).  My classes will take place at the New Campus in New Cairo.  I will be taking two political science classes and an accelerated elementary Modern Standard Arabic class.  I really want to try to be as proficient as possible in Arabic before I leave.  It really means a lot to me.  Then my family won't be able to speak in Arabic when they don't want my cousins and I to know what they are talking about haha.  My family isn't as thrilled about my trip as I am, for good reasons.  They are from Lebanon but have lived all over the Middle East.  They stayed in Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, India, and many other places.  Firsthand, they know the dangers and situations people face in that region.  However, they are supportive and understand why it means so much.   My daddy went to the Cairo American College, which is in Maadi.  So, I'm very excited to go visit his school and take some pictures.  I seriously can't wait.
    On the other end, I was really sad to leave my loves at Presbyterian College (where I'm a Sophomore).  They are the greatest people in the world (*ΣΣΣ* SLAM!) and I miss them already!  Also, I'm really going to miss my family a lot.  My little brother is making this very hard on me.  He won't even go to the airport Wednesday because he says it will be too hard on him.  He is truly the love of my life.  I hate to see him cry and I know saying goodbye (like when I leave for school) will rip me up completely.  I'll also be saying goodbye to Dad and his girlfriend Vic (aka. her), Mom, Mark, and all the little munchkins (Dylan, Guppi, and Midge).  haha love ya Vic, you won't ever ever be a "her" no matter how much I joke.  Oh, and also don't get me started on packing because it is AWFUL.  I've barely packed and I'm not looking forward to it at all.  They recommend 5-8 shirts.  Obviously, these people do not know me.  We'll see just how well that goes.  Well I'm out for now. I'll give an update when I'm at the airport. Bye! 
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Diane Pritchard on

Good luck, travel safe, and happy birthday!

kati on

hope you are having a great time... i want to keep up with your blog..

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