It is dark, and the seat is empty. To my right, Joe Somebody, head-to-toe business-serious, taps-taps-taps at the keys of his keyboard, even though the pilot has already reminded us it is past the time to stow electronics. Beyond him are the glowing fulvous lights of O’Hare International. I wish them good-bye. Ahead is the utter blackness of city-sky. Have you tried to sit and see the stars from the heart of any downtown? City-sky. Utter blackness. And then home. Joe Somebody
Originally published on St. Olaf's TIME 2012's Group Blog.
On the streets of Zamalek, at the base of the pyramids, wandering Al Azhar park, we are celebrities. Our blonde hair, our blue eyes and our armed guard (mandatory by Egyptian tourist law) make us the subject of numerous stares and whispers. The bravest of these admirers are undoubtedly the fearless children who, with absolutely no sense of what we would consider decorum, run up to us and tug on our shirts and proudl
The viewfinder on my camera focuses in, then slightly out. Framed: One cat, scrawny with sparse hairs matted in dirt, crouched on a heaping pile of old papers, rotting fruits, discarded potato chip bags. It’s bitty feet slip between the broken seals of old bottles, its tail drips from an unidentified goo. The cat sits unaffected by the gnats and flies that flick it’s whiskers and then -snap- a moment is captured as it takes a bite from a twisted moldy loaf of bread. I examine
Originally Published on St. Olaf's Term in the Middle East Group Blog. It’s become second nature on this trip, especially in unknown areas, to stare at the ground when I walk around, avert my eyes from passerby on the street. Any attention I may draw tends to come from men sitting on the sidewalk, and if I make myself invisible, I don’t have to worry about feeling exposed. But the moment I step into Zamalek, our little island neighborhood in Cairo, everything changes. My step
Originally published on St. Olaf's Term in the Middle East Blog. When I signed up for Term in the Middle East, many members of my Catholic family posed the following question to me: how will you manage your faith abroad? After all, I was about to step into a world filled with radical Islam, disdain for Western society and religious systems, and streets lined with mosques instead of cathedrals. Some family members still send me emails littered with daily bible quotes, a step w
Originally Published on St. Olaf's Term in the Middle East Group Blog. The beauty of Term in the Middle East is how absolutely calculated and exquisitely planned it is. Sure, traveling is always an adventure, and we have, as a group, run into our fair share of minor bumps in the past few months, but, as a whole, we’ve been inherently fortunate to have the excellent team at the St. Olaf International and Off-Campus Studies office plan out our logistics – where we’ll lay our he