Tour Guides

Egypt. Have I said I love it here?
We are finally starting to settle in, now that the one-week mark is coming up. Mary and I have gotten a pretty good idea of the campus layout and explored some of the surrounding local. Our Egyptian roommates are precious! They are so fun, and have been teaching us Arabic. They think we are pretty silly, but hey, whats a girl to do (not babble in Arabic, is the correct answer).
So much has happened! But, I suppose it is best to start with a tour of the campus.

This is our villa - a three bedroom, single bath apartment that I share with six other girls. There is filtered water, and (spotty) air conditioning. Keep in mind, the air conditioning here isn't like at home. It drops the temperature from 100+ to low 80's. EVERYTHING here is hot. Everything. There is no cold water, because it is warmed in the ground by the heat outside. Try taking a hot shower, in a bathroom that is already 80 degrees. Its not ideal. Hot toothpaste, hot soap, clothes that always feel like they just came out of a dryer. It has taken a bit to get used to, for sure.

This is the view standing from the front porch of the house. The road you see turns the left just past the edge of the screen, and on the right just past the field of vision is the campus wall and the gatehouse. You can vaguely see in the distance ahead some of the massive assorted orchards, and on the left of the road you can see the tangerine orchards. 

This is the view that we would have if we kept our windows open (we don't because that significantly increases the temperature). This is directly behind our house. The walls you see are about ten feet tall, and surround the entire campus, with the exception of the front gate which is kept under watch day and night.

This is the front of campus, once you come about half a mile down the road from the gate. It is very well landscaped and beautiful now, but previously had been very overgrown. The giant palms were planted just last year, and soon all the dead growth on the top will fall off and grow giant fronds that look like the palms we thing of. There is a fountain in the center (turned off in this photo) surrounded by benches. This is the place the students like to hang out between classes.

This is a view of some of the orchards from behind the school. In the front, there are new mango trees, behind those there are papaya trees, and far off in the distance you can see the giant date palm trees. I tried a fresh date for the first time today - they are awful! They are incredibly astringent, like persimmons, and make your mouth taste fuzzy and numb for a very long time afterwards. Somehow, I have never seen a fresh date before and was surprised that they are oblong and red, and are very very crunchy almost like a carrot/apple cross. The fresh mangoes and papayas are amazing; we drink a lot of mango juice made with them.

And now, it is time for me to go to bed! JETLAG IS KILLER. This photo is from Monday, when we stayed up till 6:30am, early enough to watch the sunrise. I think we were slightly crazed at this point (if you can't tell). Seriously, I thought I had a problem with sleep back at home. Now that I am ten hours ahead of my previous life, I definitely do!

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  1. Hi Taylor... This is great!! Thanks for taking me in a tour!! I am so glad to hear that you are loving it there and you are doing well.. I am suffering in spirit with you about the heat and conditions... but I am sure in time that your body will get use to it. I can't wait for your next blog post.. I miss you and love you lots... Love, Dione

  2. Hi Taylor,
    I'm Kent Lopez's sister, we met at your church back in May when I was visiting him, you might not remember me, and that's okay. He sent me your blog address and I just want to say, "You go, Girl!" I'm so happy to hear that you're loving it, :-) despite the heat and humidity (you'll get a little use to it eventually, I did). Have tons of fun, STAY SAFE, and keep the pictures and blog a comin'! We over here state-side love to live adventure through others when we're stuck doing our same-ole, same-ole. Ciao' (What do they say in Arabic?) Tammie :-)

  3. So good to hear from you both! Tammie - I do remember you! I remember my mom and myself enjoying you greatly :) It has been so much fun here - we went to the market today and I hope to post pictures another SM took so you can see what it is like here. Even with the heat, everything is so much more exciting! And my three Egyptian roommates are slowly teaching me Arabic. They say "bye-bye" to say goodbye, but it comes out sounding like "boy-boy" haha. Hope to hear from both you and Dione again soon!