Friday, July 31, 2009

A Journey of a Lifetime

Its 11 pm and I am sitting in the Tubman Quadrangle, trying to complete my work for housing hours. I am so very exhausted. I spent most of last night moving out of my summer housing and trying to pack for my trip to Egypt. The whole trip still seems so surreal. I can't believe that I am headed to Egypt!;not in a million years did I ever imagine the I would be taking a trip to such an amazing place!

I am almost sure I am going to forget something even though my mom has called me like ten times today to remind me what I should pack and If I have extra tylenol in my hand piece and to make sure that I packed my vitamins. I think she is a bit worried, she knows that I don't always adjust easily to a new environment but I have reassured that I will be just fine!

The only thing that I am worried about right now is that I can wake up in time for 7.15 bus to New York City. I get to spend Saturday with my ipal Cindy. We are suppose to be visiting some great museusms in New York.

Hopefully, I remember that I need to pick up sun tan lotion and to get that prescription the travel clinic recommended. Once, I can get on the flight and not forget my passport and my 1-20, everything else will be awesome

I think I am going to spend the rest of my time here in the Quad trying to read about the History of Egypt. Hopefully, I can stay awake to do this! I feel like it is imperative that I read about the history of Egypt so when I am standing inside of the pyramids, I can truly appreciate it.

I can't wait to meet everyone!, See you guys at JFK


We leave for the Nile Valley in two days. I am reminded of the long genealogy of scholars and travelers who have made their way there in search of self, memory, instruction and inspiration. I think of how Edward Wilmot Blyden quoted the Liberian poet Hillary Teague, who urged Africa to "retake your fame" after having been inspired by the sight of the Great Pyramid. Of how Paul Robeson sang from the operatic "Isis and Osiris" in the great chamber of that same structure; how Louis Armstrong blew his trumpet in the shadow of the sphinx with his wife Louise looking on. I am reminded of how Howard University's Alain Locke and William Leo Hansberry both stood in the sands where Africans constructed the first free standing stone structures in the world, invented what became known as numbers and letters, and were the first to chart the stars with the system that we still use today, largely unchanged. We are connecting again to more than history: we are about to undertake the investigation of what it means to do intellectual work in this, an age sorely mischaracterized by so many. We are about to undertake the consideration of what Ayi Kwei Armah has called "The Eloquence of the Scribes." What an honor and what an exciting moment. A legacy renewed, indeed.

Howard in Kemet - A Legacy Renewed

Welcome to the site and to our adventure to Kemet!

Dr. Carr & I have adopted "A Legacy Renewed" as a kind of theme for this trip, not only because it's the university's theme of sorts this year, but because Howard's presence in Kemet is a part of our rich legacy and because this year's student cohort (small in comparison to our 60+ group to the country last summer) will help us to renew that legacy going forward.

I've read all the research proposals, packed a bunch of books (some for light reading, some related to students' projects, written a million things down on a "do not forget to" list (now if I can remember not to forget to look at the list!), and actually started packing. So, I'm just about ready to go.

Even though this is a return trip for me, I'm excited. It took me 3 days to stop saying, "Hey, there's a pyramid outside of my window." I imagine, I'll say the same thing again this year, at least until Wednesday or until we live Cairo for Aswan.

This year, when my fellow Bison start jumping from our cruiser into the Nile, I'll have my camera ready. Last year, almost spontaneously, they all started singing the alma mater (flashbacks from Beginning Swimming classes no doubt!). While others along the river looked on with fascination (non-Bison, of course), I put my feet in the water and joined in right at "proudly there on Hilltop high" and sang it all the way through.... "Clad in robes of majesty (or swim suits!), Oh Howard, we sing of thee."

Last Minute Packing suitcase is at the foot of my bed mostly packed but I feel everything I need is not there. The main reason for that is because I am not only packing for Egypt but for my initial return to DC once the trip is over. But with my lax nature, if it's not there, it's not there; if I forget something I'll get another. I am trying not to stress too much. Today is my last day at home. I fly out to NY tomorrow. It has crossed my mind about how long the plane ride will be to Egypt but it should be fine. I'm fine with flying, just expecting to sleep ALOT. But I am really excited!

Can't wait for Sunday and to meet everyone.

Clarice :]

Almost ready...

I'm almost finished packing right now, and although I have my list and all of the recommendations and other lists from school, the Mayo travel clinic, and everyone else, I still don't feel like I have everything I need lol.

But...I'm kind of a go-with-the-flow type of person, so I think I'll survive. Leaving for New Jersey tomorrow and staying with Jazelle and Brittani until we all leave on Sunday. I'm so excited to see everyone and get the trip started.

On my flight to Austria and back (last week! Man, I can't believe that was only a week ago), the huge plane kind of weirded me out. It was my first time on a plane like that! ...but on the way back I just slept most of the time (took a tylenol PM. Don't worry: it's Dr. approved.) and that sleepiness took my mind off of being on such a big plane. So, if anyone feels the same way, my advice is just to go to sleep. (and don't drink caffiene either)

See you all Sunday.