Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Of Circus, Food & Diving

This is a pigeon. Pretty soon, they will become delicious squab.
Squab stuffed with some sort of grain. Delicious.
The damage after my delicious meal.
I would like to post a bit more about food on this blog, as it is something I love about Egypt. Not just Egyptian food, which is fantastic thus far, but the different takes on international cuisine here. My eating habits have changed immensely and most of that is due to ease and necessity. I learned to cut a pomegranate and regularly munch on almonds and unripe dates. I eat the same thing for lunch every day and always look forward to it. I bought 30 pieces of falafel for the equivalent of 60 cents (TOTAL!) and every night for two weeks, I've had a falafel sandwich with cheese, mayo and tahini.

Autum and me before the circus started.
Two weeks ago, I spent the weekend with my friends, Justine and Chris, in Maadi. Maadi is an island in the Nile where many expats are located. It captures the feeling of both a city and a neighborhood and is very green with trees, plants and grass. I love it there and would consider moving, but the 45 min.-2 hr. bus-ride is a major deterrent. Regardless, Chris and Justine are AMAZING people who open their home to me. I get to spend time with two of my closest friends and explore new parts of Cairo. We went back to Al Azhar Park to see one night of a circus festival. Beth and Autum met us there and we were able to see three circuses: Cairo, Tunisia and Belgium. It was great fun and I've decided Al Azhar Park is one of my favorite places.

Love me a good levitation!
The breathtaking Tunisian.

Hilarious Belgians.
Last weekend, 9 of us went through intensive certification for Open Water Diving. It was a week of major textbook reading, 6 hours of academics and equally as much time in the pool with full scuba gear. This weekend, we are going on our certification dives and by Sunday, I'll be certified! I was very moved several times throughout this experience, because diving is something I always wanted to do but I was convinced I would never get the opportunity. It could very much change my life, because if I love it as much as I think I will, it may be hard to move back to a landlocked state.

Our gear before we learned to assembly and wear everything.
Wet suit!
I am struggling at work, still, which has made me more grateful for the brilliant experiences I have outside of school. I love my job, and I find myself especially improving in early childhood teaching. As frustrating as it is to be part of something so new and at times, crazy, it is also extremely exciting to be a member of the team that is shaping the future of AIS West Elementary School. I work with talented people and have already made lifelong friends. The rest will come in time.

Stay tuned as I spend the next two weekends diving in new parts of Egypt! First, Hurghada for my certification dives and then taking the five-day fall break to visit Marsa Alam and get some real dive experiences under my belt. That underwater camera case and diffuser will come in mighty handy, I'm sure!

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