Confession: I have pretty much always wanted to go to Egypt. I’ve always been fascinated by the ruins and remains of the ancient dynasties and the pyramids have been on my bucket list of things to see for as long as I remember. I didn’t really know what I wanted to study when I was looking at colleges, but McDaniel stood out to me because even though it was a small school, it had a growing Arabic program, and I figured, “Why not study Arabic? Then you’ll have an excuse to go to Egypt.” It took a little while for that plan to actually form, but look at me now, I get on a plane in two days to go see what Cairo has in store for me.
So basically I still have a crap ton of stuff to do before I leave. I think I have gotten pretty much all my visits and goodbyes taken care of, so I plan on not leaving home for the next 2 days so that I can pack and get myself centered before I head out. Right now I have a page long to-do list to take care of, but I put posting on the list, so that makes it ok that I’m not onto the packing stage just yet, and am instead spending some time here.
For those of you that keep asking, yes I do have some concerns about going. I know that there are safer places to be, and I know that America isn’t exactly a fan favorite in the Middle East. And I know that sometimes after I have spent an hour or so looking at Pokememes online instead of anything productive I wonder who allowed me to be an adult. But I think those are all also valid reasons for going. The gaps between the two cultures are never going to be bridged without some people who are willing to make contact and try to prove a fact that shouldn’t need to be proven: people are people everywhere, no matter what language they speak or god they believe in. And on a less preachy note, I think this experience will open my eyes up and show me what it really means to be an independent adult. Plus I will get to see a whole lot of awesome stuff.
Wish me luck! and if this blog doesn’t sate your appetite for Middle East Study Abroad Madness, check out my girl Emily’s blog about her semester in Amman, Jordan: http://emilyinamman.wordpress.com/