Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A New School Year is Approaching!

It seems like it has been a very, very long time since I have written on this blog.  In reality it has been.  Our holiday in Luxor was in April, right around the time that school was getting incredibly exhausting.  Therefore, the blog took an unexpected holiday.

So, now that it is September, and the school year is about to start fresh, it seems appropriate to re-ignite the blog.  The blog was originally created to document our day to day experiences in Egypt and our travels to other parts of the world, and that will certainly continue.  

I am sure that everybody who follows this blog will be aware of the events that engulfed the major international news broadcasts in mid August.  The ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi was not received well by the Muslim Brotherhood supporters and this led to very long protests in various parts of Cairo.  On August 14th, hundreds of people died and we watched the news in complete horror as we saw the death count rising steadily.  The thoughts, "How could this be happening" and "how could this impact our return to Egypt" to "will school start on time" to "should we go back" started swirling around in our minds.  We started to receive emails and facebook messages from concerned friends and family as they knew our departure to Egypt was a mere week away.  It was hard to turn away from the news and as we started answering questions about why would possibly want to return to Egypt, it became all the more clear that Egypt is our home for now.  Many people had a hard time understanding why we chose to return to Egypt with all the political unrest, but deep down, we experienced a peace that was beyond our understanding. 

Having lived in Egypt for 2 years, we are aware that protests occur often and that no protest in the past 2 years has impacted us.  This in addition to the fact that friends and colleagues that were in Egypt were saying that our area was safe, was enough that we needed to feel comfortable with our departure.  The flight went off without a hitch.  The kids behaved very well and we arrived in Cairo and moved through the airport smoothly.  For precautionary measures, we chose to stay at a hotel for the first night and drive through Cairo to our home in the morning.  It was so nice to unwind from a long day of traveling by sitting at the rooftop pool. 

Driving through Cairo was a breeze.  The streets were silent and traffic was minimal.  Both kids were thrilled to see our doorman and their bedrooms.  As we unpacked our suitcases and the kids became reacquainted with their toys, everything seemed to be "back to normal".  It is no secret that we had a very chaotic (yet very fun) holiday in Florida, and returning to Egypt was the triumphant return back home.  Despite all the media attention on Egypt, it seemed as though nothing had changed.  To be truthful, nothing has really changed for us.  Sure, there is a curfew, but it hasn't impacted us.  We still venture out to the mall and walk around the area.  The only major challenge that we had with our return is that we all seemed to have more difficulty adjusting to the time change.  Jet lag got the better of us and it took almost twice as long to adjust.  In some ways, it seems as though we are still adjusting.

The biggest impact that the events surrounding the 14th of August is that school has been delayed starting.  While we were supposed to start school on September 4th (tomorrow) the Minister of Education in Egypt decided that school would start on September 15th.  So, instead of starting tomorrow, we have been blessed to have 2 extra weeks to prepare for the start of school.  While I am anxious to start teaching and interacting with students again, I am thrilled by the chance to slowly move into the school year.

Until then, we will work on creating unique lessons that will captivate the minds of our students.  Some ideas will be great and others, not so much.  But, no matter what, we will continue to feel blessed by the opportunity to live and work in Egypt.  These truly friendly and open people are the main reason we have enjoyed our time here.  So, here is to a great year, wherever you are! 

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