Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rotary's District Conference

May 1, 2010
Dear Friends,

Jeff, Cameron and I really enjoyed Rotary's District Conference in Saratoga Springs. I was inspired by the presentations from other scholars and decided to come home to begin my own blog.  I will be a scholar with The Rotary Foundation (TRF) in Egypt at the American University in Cairo.  

For starters, let me tell you a little about our situation. Our family will be going to Cairo in August as part of the ambassadorial scholarship program with the Rotary Foundation. We're grateful for this opportunity that Rotary is providing to all of us. Though I have lived in other parts of Africa before (mainly East Africa and South Africa), I have never visited or lived in North Africa or in an Arab country. I know it will be challenging but I think this will be one of the most enriching experiences of our lives. Though we don't leave for three and a half months, it already seems like this odyssey is fast-approaching.

For now, we are in the preparation phase: looking for Introductory Arabic books and tapes; finding renters; locating and contacting Rotary Scholars in Egypt now; contacting the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to inquire about computer consulting possibilities for Jeff; figuring out if Skype really can work well enough for Jeff to continue to work with his business partner and so I remain a Library Trustee (hopefully skyping in for our monthly meetings); researching possible schools for Cameron; trying to connect with people at the American University in Cairo and Cairo's Rotary Club to find temporary housing when we arrive and suggestions for long-term housing; researching customs and cultural diferences before we leave so we can try to avoid inadvertently offending others out of ignorance..... the list goes on.

We'll keep you posted on our progress. In the months before we go, I'll probably post every few weeks or so. After we're in Egypt, I will try to post every week with thoughts, news and photos.

Thanks for joining us on this journey! Feel free to post comments, questions, suggestions, etc. and I'll do my best to respond.