“I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing…”

Christmas has come and gone and this means a few things for my trip: I got a bunch of new stuff, and I told my extended family about the good news.
Reactions were…mixed.  Everyone is pretty concerned about my safety, except for maybe me.  The way I look at it, the Bury is a good deal more dangerous than living in a nice hotel for six weeks.  In the words of my brand-new cousin Darcy to my mom, “the Peggy in you must be thinking this is so exciting, but the mom in you must be so worried!”  My Gram is very concerned, and Cope crossed himself and then said congratulations.  It is safer to be in Cairo than to cross Huntington Ave, the main thoroughfare of NU. Of course, family and friends will be getting updated on my health and safety via this blog, emails, facebook, etc.  When I told Bridge-o-matic about the blog, she got very excited, especially because she can comment and send me messages.  She also told me that the only thing she wants is a picture of a pyramid.  On that note, feel free to start submitting souvenir requests.

Also, I have a webcam and Skype.  It’s voip (ask my dad) but basically you can talk to me for free over the internet if you have a webcam.  It’s a free download, so I highly recommend it.  Search for my user name, (delia.harrington) and you can add me.
A decent number of people have asked me if I will need to wear a headscarf, so I figure I’ll answer that now.  Egypt does not require either a burka or headscarf by law, unlike some other Arab countries.  However, out of respect when going to certain holy sights, I will cover my head.  This is akin to covering shoulders/arms and knees when in the Vatican.  So I’m not covering up the entire trip, and I do not think it’s an assault on my rights or feminism or anything, it’s simply respecting someone else’s religious tradition.  Plus, there are some wicked beautiful headscarves, and I can’t wait to get one.
On the bright side, my parents gave me some travel books and a “survival arabic” book.  I like it because it has the phrase in english, Arabic script, and phonetic english.  There are also sections on customs, which is nice.  Hope everyone had a great Christmas!  And I hope I have something worthwhile to update about soon 🙂

Sphinx-tastic!

So I just got accepted into the 2009 Dialogue of Civilizations in Egypt for Summer I.  For those not from NU, this means 5-6 weeks in Egypt, taking Arabic and a Middle East class and going on all kinds of crazy adventures!  I plan on updating when possible with an itinerary, pictures, stories and whatever else I can come up with!  Soon I will start learning Arabic, do some pre-trip required reading, and start amassing the stuff and dollars I’ll need to pack.  But for now, I get to celebrate in between finals.  Woohoo!

For the astute 12-year-old girls in the audience, yes, the domain is a reference to the Angus books.  I couldn’t help myself.  And let’s face it, those were wicked funny!

The only other person that I know is coming for sure is the lovely and talented Alexandra Chapman, which should make this really fun.  If anyone has been to Egypt before, speaks Arabic, or has general travel advice, let me know.