Most Spirited

I am so anxious. So restless. I have cabin fever.
I'm itching for an adventure! Everything is just so mundane.
Every day, I wake up, go to class, come home, grade papers, go to bed... and start it all over again.
And I can't leave campus.
Stupid Morsi starting riots that keep me confined to campus.
I feel like I'm in prison.
I'm in a glass box of emotion!...
I want desperately to go do something fun, to mix up my daily fits of ennui.
It also doesn't help that all I want is that "Christmas feeling" which is so illusive in an Islamic state. Gosh, what I wouldn't do for some Christmas lights and candycanes right now.
There has been a lot of protesting this week, as Morsi has decided he's too cool to be solely a president. Dictator sounds like much more fun, huh?
Don't worry.
We really are 100% safe here.
Pastor Tom is overly cautious, in order to prevent any type of disaster that might befall one of us should we enter a bad part of town or run into the wrong group of people.
Hence the cabin fever.
We haven't been allowed to leave campus.
In like... a month.
We can go into neighboring parts of Gabal on a "good day" and with an Egyptian in tow to translate/"protect" us, but otherwise, are restricted to campus.
Keep in mind, there is nothing to go do in Gabal. The craziest thing I have done in the past month has been go buy some fruits and vegetables.
I'm. DYING. to. get. out.
We have been trying for a few weeks to get to the Khan Il-Khalili again - the giant market in Cairo - to buy Christmas gifts for everyone, but two things have prevented this: 1) the Khan closes when there are protests, because people don't come to buy things with the rioting so close by, and 2) Even if the Khan was open, it's proximity to Tahrir means we aren't allowed to go there.
So, I'm letting you know in advance: if you are a loved one of mine, don't be offended if I don't bring you back a gift for Christmas. It's not personal. I literally have been locked inside a school for the past month.
I love giving gifts too, so this is killing me.
Hold out for June!
There have been some things happening on campus to make life slightly more interesting than usual.
This week was "Spirit Week."
Now, for those of you who don't know me, I like to do things over-the-top.
Which means I am big into spirit week.
I never really got to do spirit week during high school, because I was a new student my freshman and sophomore year (so I didn't want to stick out) and my junior and senior year I was in college so...
Now is the time.
Go big or go home!
Or to be quaint. Balls to the wall. (reppin, Grace!)
So, I decided to go all out.
Also, I always loved when my teachers would dress up for spirit week, so I figured the kids would love it too.
Well, they did.
Something that is nice is that I don't mind embarrassing myself if it is for the pleasure of the group.
So I made it happen.

Day one was "Crazy Hair Day." I think it is safe to say that I fit pretty well. The amount of time it took to tease my hair to this volume... and then wash it out afterwards almost wasn't worth it. But the reactions of everyone I encountered made my day. Even if I am the cause of the joke, I love making people laugh. Sara and I looked seriously crazed. Or, like people from the 80's. Same thing really. 

Day two of spirit week was "Twin Day." This day by far had the most participants, and was probably the most fun to partake in. My twin was one of my best friends here, Amar. We had the same shirt and similar hair, with only one major difference: I am an albino. So. I remedied the situation. With about a bucket of bronzer. Please see above photo of "Crazy Hair Day" to visualize the full extent of the contrast I made. 

We totally matched! Amar looks natural so bronzed. I, on the other hand, look like a pumpkin. Or a packet of Mac n Cheese powder. The sad thing is, is that after I did my makeup like this I had many students come to me and say "ya miss, you should really do it again..." Fair skin isn't as highly valued as I previously thought. 

Two of my housemates, Mary and Sara were twins. Mary is Amar's sister, also. They were so cute!

Some of my junior/senior student twins! From left, there is Moses, Bassem, Deng, and Ashraf. 

I managed to get one group photo with several of the twins from the day. They all looked so good! I do particularly enjoy Phil and Akram (the two in the back with the orange shirts) as twins, though. 

Day three was "Tie Day" for the girls and "Scarf Day" for the guys. I couldn't just wear a tie though... I had to make a whole "look" to go with it. Hello mustard, oxfords, and wayfarers. To be honest, I actually kind of like this outfit. Maybe one day I will do a real-life version of a menswear inspired look.  Also, I officially learned how to tie a tie. All by myself. I feel like I've conquered the world! Even though it did take thirty minutes of practicing... Whatever. Still impressive.

The last day of Spirit Week was "Galabaya Day." This one was easy because galabayas are so comfortable. A galabaya is traditional Egyptian dress. The women wear brightly colored embroidered/beaded galabayas, while the men wear neutral toned ones with matching mens' scarves. From left, it is Jeff, Sara, me, Austin, and Phil. I love galabayas! If I was allowed to leave campus and go to the Khan, I would go buy several more. For now, all I own is this verdant green one. 
PS - the guys are all several inches over six feet tall. Especially Austin. Sara and I aren't that short.

We have two weeks left of school before Christmas homeleave, and I cannot wait. 
I am aching to get home - I miss everyone and everything like crazy!
And I had a realization.
I'm spending 24 hours in Paris on the 21st of December.
Paris at Christmas? And then home with my family? Sounds perfect.
So, essentially my sanity comes down to making it through the next two weeks of classes, and then celebrating with a cappuccino in Paris. 
Sounds good to me.
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1 comment:

  1. Glad your safe even if it is boring! Think Paris all day everyday for the next 2 weeks...the time will fly by. : )

    Can't wait to see you!
    00XX Marlo