Saturday, October 25, 2008
It's been a while
Hey Ya'll!!! It's been a while, so I thought I would write. Hopefully the internet doesn't kick me off again. I wrote a great blog a couple weeks ago, and the internet timed out and my whole blog entry was lost and I went through a period of being mad at blogger and the internet, so I haven't written. Sorry.
Ok, quick updates on lots of things:
Ramadan is definately over which is GREAT! Life is back to "normal" (?), we have whole days at school again, which means whole days of prep so I feel a bit more caught up. During the feast after Ramadan, we had a week break so I went on a diving trip with Sarah, Lori, Mike and his friend Dennis from Canada. I was the token American, but regardless of being surrounded by so many Canadians, it was great! We had some amazing dives and saw some great things - like a green Sea turtle, blue spotted rays, a bunch of giant morrays... the list goes on. It was wonderful.
I've been playing some footy with my African buddies and coaching the Varsity girls at the school. The Cairo American Softball League has also picked up and AIS just won our first game last week!!! (as opposed to being killed as usual). We were so excited, we took a picture of the scoreboard and one of the girls made a rice crispy treat giant softball to celebrate!!! I got to play in the Cairo Allstar Game - representing the West Coast team. We won, and it was a lot of fun, but I like playing with my AIS girls where we laugh a ton more, even if we don't get as many runs.
A couple teachers from the school started up a Bible Study last weekend that I'm really excited about! We're going through Romans together and it's a great place to sit and talk about scripture, and about different things we've experienced or are struggling with here in Egypt. I think we're all wondering why we didn't do it sooner!
Ok, super recent , frustrating things - last week I had my second drive-by ass grab (5th ass grab in total, first one this year) which has put me into another funk like I had toward the end of last year. This was in the middle of the day in Maadi walking home from playing soccer. I chased after the car yelling at him and everyone else on the street to stop him. There was a police officer in the street who stood there and laughed at me even thoughI was clearly angry. I got in his face and yelled at him to wipe the smile off his face, which he did immediately (I can't imagine doing that in the states?...). An Egyptian woman driving by tried to help translate and asked what had happened. I told her exactly what had happened, complete with ass-grabbing motion. I understood enough Arabic to notice that her translation to the police man was a bit different and she told him the guy had grabbed my bag, when I still had my bag with me, and had mentioned nothing about that... I yelled at her too for trying to change the story. The whole thing has made me pretty angry and distrusting toward Egyptians again. I think i'm coming out of it but it's hard not to judge or distrust every man I pass and sometimes I pick up a rock just in case. My perspective is a little screwed up right now.
A couple weeks ago on our way to school I saw a man lying in the street after getting hit by a car. He was clearly dead, lying there in his galabaya with blood pouring from his head down the street. All the cars just drove around. People did not seem too concerned, as though this was common place. I haven't been able to get that image out of my head. It was the worst thing I have ever seen. Another friend of mine saw the same thing last week, but with 2 men. Someone told me that it is pretty common, but they usually cover the bodies up with newspaper or cardboard or whatever they can find. Life is so fragile, but it seems more fragile here because little is done to avoid obvious hazards - like putting a walkway over 10 lane highways, that people cross everyday. A couple weeks ago, a huge chunk of a hill in an area called Mokatum fell down and burried a bunch of people in a shantytown below. They knew it was a hazard, but they could build there without people trying to kick them out. It seems like people are content here with keeping things the way they are, even if there is a possibility of changing it. I could write a whole lot more here, but I don't have answers. I don't know what to think. I don't know if I have a roll in this, or what that would be. It's easy to be sheltered, even in Cairo.
On a happier note, this weekend I got asked to coach at a day-long sports camp in Tanta- a little town between Cairo and Alexandria. It was a great little adventure, meeting up with some guy from he sports team named Nadir that i didn't know at the Metro station downtown - waiting 20 min for him to get there, running through the station to catch a train, meeting up with some more people I didn't know, waiting some more, standing on the train because we didn't have seats, getting into Tanta at 2am and staying in a hotel room with a girl named Sally that I didn't know, waking up and coaching 40 girls wearing jeans and ballet slippers running around toe-punching the ball in swarms, and getting a ride home back to Cairo with other people I don't know! In all the day was great and the girls loved it! They had never had a soccer practice before or anything like it. The boys guest coach was my Brazilian friend Marcos who I'd coached with a couple years back at the Wadi camps. It was great to work with him again. I was the only person who didn't really speak Arabic, so much of the day consisted of guessing what was going on, but it was fun. It helped me re-gain faith in Egyptians, to be around people who were so joyful and loving. I think they're going to try to do this every month, and I would like to help out in the future. It was really good.
I wish I'd been keeping up with this thing more, because there are so many stories to tell!!! Like urban climbing across walls and wading through flooded Cairo streets, arabic lesson adventures, fun times on the metro, our gin and tonic bible discussion group in Helio, haramarama and my vampire eye, putting together a barbecue at our house after the guests had arrived, Canadian Thanksgiving dinner party, oh man, so many things!!! I'll end here and try to keep up the updates a bit more. Hopefully i'll get internet set up soon!!!
Peace in the Middle East,