October 25, 2009


If you would like to check out my pictures go HERE! It gives a pretty good summary of what I have been doing with my life in the past month!


October 22, 2009

Being Green in Egypt

When I first got to Egypt the first thing I looked for were recycling bins....and they were no where to be found. I kept searching and I found out that the American University in Cairo does have bins to recycle paper in. It is my understanding that they sell the recycled paper to NGOs to use. Then I realized that on our trash cans there are signs that say "Wet Trash" and "Dry Trash"...meaning Dry Trash are recyclable things and Wet Trash is not recyclable things. However, drama has started on campus because people don't know if the Dry Trash is actually being recycled. We (the hippie americans) are looking into this...I think it has gotten some wider campus acknowledgment though.

I clearly have gotten spoiled by SMCM who has recycling bins EVERYWHERE! You don't see a trash can without seeing a recycling bin close by. It's quite wonderful. Plus SMCM has started placing Compost Bins in places where student would be throwing away food. (eg by the dorms, by the Campus Center etc) I haven't had much stuff to compost at school since I have been living in dorms....but here we have been cooking a lot because food on campus is expensive and a part of me dies every time I have to throw away veggie bits that could be composted. I'm always tempted to throw them out in the gardens...but I know that if I do that the cats/dogs that roam campus will start roaming around the dorms and that poses many problems.

I also grew up in a house where we composted anything we could. My Dad pretty much walked behind everyone in my family my whole life telling us to turn off the lights when we left rooms. I was never allowed to leave food on my plate at dinner and we have been recycling for years. So I am pretty biased on this subject....but I feel like most people would agree with me that SOMETHING has to change and soon!

I have also seen a HUGE problem with students leaving trash everywhere. And I hate to say it but it seems to only be Egyptian/Arab students who do this. The vast majority of the school population at AUC is extremely privileged and they are used to having people clean up after them. Most of them have maids at home and they clean up after them. But they need to realize that they aren't at home! You can't just leave your trash outside of the Cafeteria and expect it to go away. Often the trash sits around for days before people can get around to cleaning it up. I have also been behind people walking down the path and they will drop trash on the ground right out in the open! I have to wonder if this is just complete and total disregard for what they are doing, or if it is because they are ignorant to the horrible consequences of constant littering?

I can only hope that AUC starts implementing some sort of active recycling plan in the near future and also environmental awareness education. Because when it comes down to it...things may be getting better in the United States with becoming more "Green"...but that is only ONE country. There are thousands of countries out there that need a complete and total U-haul.

Just something to think about...

October 15, 2009

If you don't have Facebook but want to see my pictures!

These are all public links so if you don't have Facebook you can still see all my pictures! Just click and it will take you to my album! I will try to put up the public link whenever I put up new pictures! 



Greece Pictures!

October 6, 2009


Alison and I got to Greece and chilled in the hotel room our first night there. We found out that our ceiling actually had little lights in it that change colors and look like stars....we were amused! Our first day was LONG. We went to the Acropolis Museum, which opened this June, it was amazing and the artifacts were beautiful. There was actually quite a long line to get in, it is apparently the nicest museum in Greece and has all of the newest technological gadgets to keep everything preserved. The most interesting part wasn't even inside the museum. Before you entered you stood on a platform that was made of glass. If you looked down you could see the ruins that the museum was built over. (It made waiting in line bearable!) While we were wondering around the museum we stumbled upon a few AUC kids who just happened to be at the museum...the world is really small when you think about it!

After the museum we climbed up the Acropolis to see the Parthenon...and truth be told it was a let down. I had gotten so used to Egypt where you can go in temples and explore and look around. There are virtually no limits to what you can and cannot do. But in Greece we weren't allowed in the temples...we had to stand about 5 yards away from the Parthenon. Plus they had scaffolding up everywhere, and have had it up since 2000, to repair the temples. It was still really cool to see! The best part though was defiantly the view from the top of the mountain! After exploring all the temples on the top of the Acropolis we hiked all around the mountain and found the smaller temples that surrounded the Acropolis. These temples ranged from caves...to small groves. It was a fun scavenger hunt! Hiking around the mountain was defiantly more exciting than looking at the big temples on the top of the mountain. It was the only time that we were able to get up close and personal with the sites. Plus who doesn't love exploring caves and hiking?! Needless to say we slept well that night!

The next day we went to the Ancient Agora (It was Athens shopping center back in the day!), Hadrian's Library, The Roman Agora, the Zeus Temple, and Hadrian's Arch. The Agoras were the more interesting sites....mostly becuase I really like seeing where normal people would have interacted on a daily basis and where else would be a better place to study that than at the local marketplace?! This day was also filled with A LOT of walking. Probably more than the day before. But this did give me the perfect opportunity to get lots of pictures of some really awesome street art! (The street art in Athens was amazing! If you are a street art fan I would totally recommend a day trip to Athens.)

Our last day we REALLY wanted to see the water. So we took the metro to the stop that had a boat next to it lol yup that was the extent of our planning. We got there and saw lots of boats....but there wasn't a pier for us to look off of. So we returned home dismayed. After grabbing a quick lunch (and once again feeling really poor because we had to pay in Euros) we headed to the Archeological Museum. At the Archeological Museum in Athens, Greece I saw Egyptian mummies....I haven't even seen a mummy...and I have been living in Egypt for a month...but I saw one in Greece! :-)

We meandered back to the hotel where we picked up our bags and walked 3 blocks to the Suburban Train that took us to the airport. After sitting on the train for about 30 min...I was looking at the awkward map on the train wall and trying to make sure we were going in the right direction (I knew we had gotten on the right train...Platform 2 Line 2). A guy behind me asked me where I was trying to go...I said the airport....and his face fell. "You have to be kidding me" he said. "No I'm being completely serious...why?" I responded. "You are going in the wrong direction" he told me. Apparently the lady who sold us our tickets didn't tell us we needed to switch trains at the first stop. So we jumped off the train we were on. Waited 30 minutes at that station until a train was coming in the opposite direction ( and if you know me you know that I get REALLY anxious and nervous if I am going to be late to something so I was slightly freaking out). But the stop we were at was right by the gorgeous water! So we finally saw the water!!! We got on the next train...switched trains where we should have the first time and got to the airport one hour before our plane left. We got to our gate 15 minutes before our plane was supposed to leave....we were booking it through the airport. And after sitting there for 10 minutes they delayed our flight for an hour....our layover in Istanbul coming home was only 2 hours long...so that only left us with 45 minutes to find our next gate to head back to Cairo.

But all in all we made it back to Cairo safely and non of my souvenirs got broken! Although the trip to Athens was fun and I really enjoyed seeing the sites...I do not want to go back there. If I were to go to Greece again I would go to the islands. Athens was fun but there is not much to do after you have been there for two days.