Orientation (Wish I could do it all over again!)
Orientation is over and I have to start reminding myself that I am on a study abroad and not on vacation. I say this because during orientation apart from going over the technical administrative procedures our orientation also consisted of fun excursions and trips. One of the first big trips was going to Waadi El Natrun in the Western Desert. We had to ride on four wheelers because they are the only vehicle that would not sink in the sand and are safe enough for the adventure. We left at about nine in the morning that day and did not get back until about after 6pm, so we literally stayed an entire day in the desert. The experience was nice, but I don’t think I would do it again unless my family would like to. The day we went was very windy and the combination of wind and sand is not a good one. However, the sites were gorgeous and the open spaces were beautiful. Another exciting trip the group took was to Coptic and Islamic Cairo. During this outing we were toured around different churches, mosques, and one synagogue. They were all so serene and amazing in architecture and design. Each one with a special style pertaining to the century it was built in. Another excursion was, of course, to the pyramids of Giza. It was an all day trip visiting different museums including an open air museum containing an enormous statue of Ramses (I think the Second, if I remember correctly), the Solar Boat museum to the Sphinx and Great Pyramid. We were able to go inside the Great Pyramid, climb all the way to the inner burial chamber and come back down. (Let me tell you, it is a work out!!!) The final big thing the group did was visit Alexandria. We had to drop off 6 members of the Egypt group in Alex so our RD (Dr. Mohamed, who is super cool) decided to make it an event. We stayed to nights in Alex and saw an Italian Symphony at the Opera House and the lovely Citadel. Not to mention before the Opera night we saw Egypt win the African Cup and experienced firsthand how Egyptians celebrate after victory. Overall, the orientation was great I am exhausted but happy and wish I could do it all over again.