Prepping Through the Summer
I suppose you may think that with preparing to study abroad for 4 months, a full semester, that I’d spend quite a bit of time actively preparing. Well, that is right…to a degree. And you may think that I may be trying to tone down my activities before diving into a semester nearly guaranteed to be filled with new adventures, travels (besides going to a new continent!), and some challenges. Well… to an extent, that is right again. What you don’t know is that my quasi-attempt at doing both of those idealistic things practically made me more busy.
The first half of the summer I did spend quite a bit of time preparing mentally, researching in the evenings and talking over expectations with my parents. You see, my family is planning to visit me in Egypt at the end of my stay. I wanted to be able to prepare them as best I could before the second half of my summer. The transition point between first and second halves of summer came pretty much on top of getting my wisdom teeth out. Yep. That put me out of nearly all activity for a week. And, now deep in the second half of my summer, I’m only able to catch up on news, research more, and work through prep logistics on one day a week.
I spent the first half of summer working with my parents on our farm – hands on labor, with the sun of a drought zapping the crew’s energy. Kudos to everyone at home who have kept their spirits up and the plants happy throughout the drought! The second half of the summer I am spending at an adventure-tripping ELCA camp. I’ve been half of a guide team for two week-long trips, and am at the cusp of a third. I’ve also spent two weeks at base camp, working as support staff for other guides. Thus, naps compete with reading Middle Eastern, Olympic, and family news on our one day off.
After this next week, I’m going home for three weeks…ish. In the middle of those three weeks, a friend and I will be flying to Colorado for roughly four days. So I have fourteen days to pack for Egypt. I can do that – until actually counting for accuracy, I thought I had maybe eight days. I feel better about the crunch time now.
Honestly, throughout the summer, with as busy as I’ve been and as tired as I get on weekends and evenings, IFSA-Butler’s newsletters and emails from my program directly have been great preparation help and catalysts for researching. I find myself scanning my inbox for IFSA emails first. Now, it’s like the next step is actually meeting the people I read about in those emails, in Cairo and Alexandria!