Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ah, the anxious anticipation....>.>

I'll be honest, I've been going a bit crazy lately waiting for my host family! I mean, it was amazing to hear that I was accepted by AFS Egypt, but I feel so curious to see who I'm going to live with, where I will go to school, and where I will live, for an entire year. In any case, I can't wait to find out and I'm obsessively checking my email every day for updates...
In order to distract myself, I'm trying to focus on learning the Arabic language (both the Standard and Egyptian colloquial registers), and educating myself as much as possible on Egyptian culture and customs in order to prepare for the experience. In the meantime, I'm trying and failing not to lose my sanity as we dive headfirst into the last chaotic month of school, between a physics field trip to Cedar Point, pig dissections, reading an entire novel, getting grades up, going to a wedding, and of course essays and finals galore...
BUT beyond that, I have a lot to look forward to: the glorious freedom of summer, and eventually my own exchange program. :)
Another thing I'm thinking about is the sad day I'll have to say goodbye to the AFSers here this year. I became friends with many of them, since they graciously accepted me into their chapter of "PeaceJam," an admirable organization that strives to educate and motivate youth through Nobel Peace laureates. We even went to a slam earlier this year together, as well as two back-to-back conferences in April. At every conference, there is a specific Nobel laureate who speaks, and this year's was Rigoberta Menchu Tum, an amazing Guatemalan indigenous rights activist (look her up if you don't know about her!!!!). Then from there we went on to Chicago for a gathering of many more Nobel laureates, called the World Summit, which included people as famous as the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachov, Lech Walesa, F.W. de Klerk, Muhammad Yunus, Jody Williams, and Shirin Ebadi. We and several other PeaceJam groups even got to meet Jody Williams in person, and we're all friends with her on Facebook now!!!!
Point being, I had a lot of fun with these year's AFSers, and we bonded quite a bit as a group. I'll never forget this time with them, and I'll miss them greatly when they go home. But in the meantime I've got a trip to Cedar Point with them to look forward to!!!
I feel very lucky to have the amazing friends that I've got in my life <3
Well, goodbye for now!
Until I have additional news,
What I'm doing right now...
Me and most of the other AFS-Washtenaw PeaceJam students: (from left to right) Ice(Thailand), Sonam(Pakistan), Kate(Russia), Ahmed(Egypt) ME, and Hafed(Yemen) ^_^ Not pictured are Ayub(India) and Zam(Philippines)
Nico Borbely :)

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