Tuesday, August 19, 2008

From New York with...Nervous Anticipation

I'm sitting in my father's apartment in Midtown Manhattan, going through a mental checklist of everything I need to remember for tomorrow when I hop on a Lufthansa flight from JFK headed for Frankfurt, Germany. From there, I'll be on my way to Cairo at last!
Though I still have not been assigned a host Rotary Club and have no Egyptian Rotary contacts, I was able to get in touch with another Rotary scholar (from Texas) also studying at AUC who had lined up an apartment and was in need of a roommate. The apartment, not far from AUC's Old Campus in downtown Cairo, seems to be conveniently located and, mostly importantly has the two fundamental elements of life: air conditioning and wireless internet.
Unable to make it up to the Egyptian consulate in Chicago for my visa, I went to the one here in New York to get that important aspect of my journey taken care of. Last time I visited Cairo, I simply gave them $15 at the airport in cash and was given a visa in return. I didn't want to chance it this time around though.
So, I have clothes, medicine, toiletries, snacks, two Qur'ans (one in French and Arabic and the other in English--it's interesting on which points the translations differ in tone and wording), a Lonely Planet guide to Egypt, my passport, some power adapters and a converter, a journal, my laptop, and a whole lot of butterflies in my stomach!
I will be landing in Cairo at 2:15 PM local time on Thursday the 21st (6:15 AM Peoria time) insha'Allah (which means God willing-quite a common phrase in Egypt and in the rest of the Muslim world.)

No comments: