25.8.12

I'm a big girl now

So, I have been here for ten days now - supposedly enough time to have officially overcome jet-lag. My body argues otherwise. I guess I will blame it on the heat.
We started real work this week, preparing for classes because school starts next week! I am prettttyyyy stoked about that. I have been thinking back to all the classes I ever had, and all my favorite things my teachers did in school so that I can copy them. It is so strange that I make my own class rules, and curriculum, and am kind of a real teacher.
I'm all grown up.
I'm a big girl now.
I've run out of ridiculous one-liners.
Almost all of the staff is here now, which is fun! We have been spending tons of time working in groups and hanging out so that we get to know one-another. Here, meet the crew:




In the front row (from the left) we have my roommate Miss Mary; she is teaching the upper division English classes. To the right of her is our other Mary, my housemate; she is the school secretary. Maryam is in the brown shirt, and she is our school accountant/one of the translators. Nyasha is the tall fellow to the right of Maryam, and he is our tech support guy and music teacher. His wife Felly is standing next to him, and she is the school librarian. Nyasha and Felly both happen to be the parents of the most adorable child in the entire world Mtha (who will make an appearance in photos later on). Jumping up one row you see me on the left, and Bethany our school science teacher is next to me in the green shirt. Behind me and to my left is Chris who is teaching the bible classes and world history. The guy in the red shirt behind him is Austin, in charge of most of the math classes, and next to him is Phil - our geography and civics teacher. Jeff is in the back center and is teaching math and working on the farm, and the older couple next to him are Chuck and Janet.

I'm sure that huge paragraph was completely valuable and totally necessary.

OH! And as promised, here is the most adorable child you have ever and will ever see. His name is Mtha, which means "prayer."



Anyways.

We have all been spending our mornings working on the farm and the school trying to clean everything up before classes start next week. The classes are all locked up during the summer, but the windows are left open to allow ventilation, so they are absolutely covered in sand and dust. And spiders. Good thing there are no slugs, otherwise there would be trouble.
Essentially, there is a boatload of work to be done and not a whole lot of time to do it in. It requires some intense work, and unorthodox cleaning measures.


Have you ever tried to erase markers on a board after four months?
It doesn't come off with anything other than arms of steel and a mop-head of significant size.


This is a fun game; sweep the spiders off the mass of webs on the ceiling and whack them against the wall with the broom head like a baseball bat when they fall down.
We did actually clean...

After all the cleaning (in 100 degrees, mind you) we needed a break like crazy. This is where the farm holding tank comes in. And by farm holding tank, I mean "swimming pool"


Let me tell you: this may not look that fancy, but ohmygoodnessgracious! When you have suffered through 100 degrees for two weeks without being able to swim, this is about the most beautiful pool in the world. AND IT WAS COLD. 
Literal heaven.
You know what is not literal heaven? Our swim attire.


According to Egyptian cultural norms, we must not show any skin that is deemed "inappropriate." AKA we wear full clothing over a bathing suit into the pool. 
You have to be careful, otherwise your pants will fall off with the weight of the water.
I feel like loss-age of pants is a legitimate problem with this cultural rule.
Pants or no pants, we had a lot of fun, and it was wonderful to be COLD for once in what feels like forever.


Now, I am terribly exhausted and am falling asleep as I type, so you will have to read about my other adventures another time. I can't take photos of the city (because I am a woman), so I will have to bribe one of the guys here to let me steal photos to show you. When that time comes, I will give all sorts of wondrous stories about outside the wall.
Don't get your hopes up, nothing exciting has happened out there yet.
Maybe next time.
Tomorrow we head to City Star - a huge five story mall in main Cairo an hour away. May God be with us. ha!

Good night!

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