The following is from my journal during the first day in Alexandria:
I lie here on my bed on my first full day in Alexandria. The very first thing I noticed flying in to this country was all the many buildings, crammed together into little towns and cities, very much like the imprint of a gridded shoe in the earth, a once muddy surface, now dry and cracked. It was quite an impression. As I stepped off the plane into Cairo, the dry heat and dense air hit my face but I was surprised by the hot breeze that occasionally passed by.

On the Korneesh, on the edge of the Mediterranean

We arrived at the girls’ dorms by the late evening where I met my Egyptian roommate, Alaa. She is only 20, but acts like a big sister with me, very caring and patient with my unfortunate Arabic. Most of the other girls in this program are in the same position, with varying degrees of fluency in the dialect here. Madame Hoda, the kitchen manager, has taken an extreme liking to me, as I am uncannily similar-looking to a girl from a few years ago. I’m going to take it as a compliment.

My dorm room

Everyone here talks so quickly that it’s very hard to follow right now. However, they also have very kind eyes and often greet me with a smile. I haven’t ventured outside in the daylight yet, but soon.
One of the most interesting things I’ve noticed, even after a day, is the way in which people communicate. It seems that in order to be heard, everyone talks over everyone else, even those with more authority. It’s as if they fight for their voices to be heard among the chaos (which seems counter-productive). Entry from 6/10/2012
The last thing I would like to mention is how valuable water is here. There is a brand of bottled water called Hayat which means, “Life”. Fitting, isn’t it? One of the biggest symbols of life in this country is indeed water. Without it, everyone would be reduced to nothing. It’s common for Americans to think of the Middle East to be dry and dusty.

View from the plane, Frankfurt to Cairo

But here I am at last, and Alexandria is bordering the beautiful Mediterranean Sea…A symbol of the life that thrives here so vibrantly.

The view of the city from my dorm room

The Mediterranean


4 Responses to “Alexandria: Here at Last!”

  1. Hannah Pastor on June 21st, 2012 3:50 pm

    I am so proud of you love. Keep drinking of the True Waters, the Fountain of Life:) I love you!

  2. Yonathan on June 21st, 2012 4:37 pm

    “I am uncannily similar-looking to a girl from a few years ago. I’m going to take it as a compliment.” No, SHE should take that as a compliment.

    Sounds like you’re off to a good start. Keep it up! I want a full report by the end of the month! 😛

  3. Bethany James on June 21st, 2012 4:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing Genevieve! Keep drinking at the fountain that never runs dry!

  4. Genevieve on June 25th, 2012 2:12 pm

    Thank you so much for all the support and the great comments here and on Facebook!! It really puts a smile on my face knowing I have my sisters fighting for me back home.

    Also, Yonathan you are too kind. Thank you so much for the self-confidence boost!!

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