Thursday, August 19, 2010

The End of the Road

Sitting back in the comfort and familiarity of my own room, one year older today, I reflect on my year and my recent adventure: Egypt. While doing this, I play the one song that comes to my mind-Boyz II Men: "End of the Road". "Although we've come to the end of the road Still I can't let go It's unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you..." My adventure is over, the attachments we made are hard to let go, and we have left Egypt (my home...our home).

After two long weeks that seem to not have been long enough, I sit here wishing to still be in Egypt-the place all of us who embarked on this trip call home. Speaking as someone who marks this experience as her first study abroad trip, I can honestly say with no question that I am beyond ecstatic and overwhelmingly overjoyed that my first experience was Egypt. When asked how my trip was, my only response with the biggest smile on my face is: "THE BEST TRIP OF MY LIFE!" As many times as I have traveled far away from home, this trip was definitely incomparable to the rest. Everything that you see in pictures in reference to Egypt, in addition to anything else you could possibly think of or have read about-we saw and touched. From the pyramids, to the sphinx, to the temples and the tombs-we did it all.....including swimming in the Nile. WHO DOES THAT?!

Although the site seeing was remarkably incredulous, I think what made the trip so preeminent was the people I met and was able to enjoy the experience with. In two weeks we became our own family. I honestly do not believe that I would have had the type of time I had without the once in a lifetime friends I made. Moreover, the greatest part is that we can continue our friendship when we return to school!

Despite my return to the familiar things I enjoy most such as being able to use and drink my tap water, eating ALL different types of fruits and meats without second guessing and worrying if I will regret it later, being able to drive throughout my town during the day and night without the fear of someone jumping out of a van or just walking in the middle of a busy highway, or being able to walk in my neighborhood without being harassed by vendors or guys who call me "cousin" or "sister" or "like my skin color because it is the same as theirs", or who want to know "how many camels" or if I have a husband; I will miss some Egyptian customs I have now gotten used to such as bargaining. I never paid the price they asked for for anything while I was there. You love it when you get good at it...and I got good at it.

However, it was imperative that I return "home". Not only was I surprisingly missed more than expected, I have knowledge to disperse and stories to share. Furthermore, I cannot wait to continue enhancing my scribal skills when I return to school by working with Dr. Carr. He really is my staff and I appreciate him beyond measure. The expectation that I am going to increase my knowledge of the world and he is going to help me despite the fact that I am not taking on his department as another major makes me even more anxious to return to Howard.

Although we have come to the end of the road, and I sill cannot let go of everything I learned, the people I met, and the experience I had...this is just the beginning.