Πέμπτη, 14 Ιουνίου 2012

Epilogue

So, here I am, in Greece, a year after my internship.

I havent read my blog all this year,in order to see what I remember from my experience...

I remember the walks in Khan el Khalili...
The asab...
The pyramids...
And the cold showers...
My self getting sick...
The photography lessons...
The night in the Dessert...
The photo exhibition...

And above all the people!
The people that made my experience unique, the people that helped me create all these beautiful memories...

A year after my internship the only feelings that I have are those of happyness and nostalgia about Egypt and the everyday life with all the interns and AIESECers of Egypt, specially Ezz!

I thank you all!

And as for all the readers,that have read my blog this far...I urge you to live such an experience!

Salam!

Κυριακή, 31 Ιουλίου 2011

An internship of cold showers...

We worked hard and finally it was ready!

Our photo exhibition!

A day that got me working from morning to night, but sure was fun.

We, and by that I mean all the interns of the project, gathered in the new campus of the American University of Cairo, and decorated the gallery, printed materials and made all the preparations!

Guests started coming after the first hour of the opening, an hour that sent many cold chills down my spine, but it was worth. Seeing people looking at our work, asking for it, and actually being tempted to visit those place we were showing, was the best reward we could get!

Unfortunately, because of factors beyond our control, we had to cancel the other two days of the exhibition. Nevertheless it was a nice experience!

And here comes the 30th of July.

A day that started really early...and had me, Dauren and Irina, heading to Giza...

We reached Giza by metro. Every taxi driver asked for 30 pounds to get us to the pyramids.
But then we found the "No1 driver in Egypt", an old guy that took us to the pyramids with only 10 pounds, so to speak.
He actually took us to one of the many offices that operate in the area around the pyramids, offering tours around the place with camels or horses.
Of course we took the camels!

The tour lasted for an hour, since we took the cheap package, with only 100 pounds each.
Our two Bedouin guides took us to the second largest pyramid, and they made arrangements with the police officers so we were able to go, touch and climb up the pyramid!!!

Then we went to see the tombs of three queens, and then we went to the last part of our tour...
The Sphinx!

If you ever asked me some places I would like to see in my life, I don't think I would mention the Sphinx, so I was quite surprised to realize that I actually really wanted to see it!

It was like a dream coming true. I felt really excited and happy to be able to see that huge statue from so close, and actually be able to gaze at Cairo,almost the same way it does, everyday, so many centuries...

That night we had our goodbye party.
All the interns of our project that were left in Cairo, gathered along with more interns and Egyptian AIESECers, and had a beautiful party.
It's funny to think that the majority of people that were at that party, will not be in Cairo 24 hours after it...

This morning I went with Irina to Khan el-Khalili, to get the last souvenirs...

And now I'm writing these lines, home alone, since all my roommates have left...

So, that was my internship and the unique experience I lived thanks to AIESEC.

Don't miss the next post of my blog, that will be written in Greece!

Now I'll go prepare my luggage!

Salam!

Κυριακή, 24 Ιουλίου 2011

A week before the end...

Hey people!

I haven't been around for quite some time, because of two reasons...I had stuff to do and I was too bored to update my blog.

Well...first thing I should say is that I din't go to the Azhar park nor the Cairo Museum.

But I went for sand-boarding...
We went to Sahara along with people from Sahara Safaris, an organization that has been helping our project.

We reached our destination around 22:00 at night...it was full moon so we could clearly see without the use of any artificial lights...of course when in desert there are not much to see, by default.

Close to our little settlement, were some sand hills...
After a quick meal, we took the sand boards and headed towards them...

At first I should say that I was scared to try sand-boarding, a fear quite justified given my experience with similar activities...or any activities that require balance...

But there was no chance I would miss the opportunity to surf on the sand...who knows...I might never be given the chance again...

So I took the sand-board...and I went straight down the hill...
And I did quite well!

I didn't fell, and the only mistake I did was when I was almost at the bottom, that I didn't handle well my board and it was covered with sand...
And then came the hard part...climbing up the sand-hill...let me say that again...SAND-HILL.

I don't want to talk about that part of the trip...it ruins the good memories!

Around 3:30 I decided it was time to sleep...
So I left the hill and headed towards the settlement, along with Zohaib.
We were a little after the middle of the way back, when he realized that he forgot some stuff up the hill. So I stopped and waited for him to come...

You know,when we first entered the desert I thought it was like the sea...endless...

While I was waiting for Zohaib, I found one very important difference...no, I'm not talking about the lack of water...
It was really quiet.

I have been to many places,but this one was the most quite of all.
I could hear nothing...
Truly amazing...
When Zohaib approached me, I told him to sit and enjoy the calmness of the place...that led to a nice discussion about Pakistan...It's funny to think how many Pakistani immigrants are in Athens, and how little we know about Pakistan.

After some time we decided to sleep.
But I couldn't sleep because of the mix of sand and moisture.
Yes,around 4:30 in the morning it becomes really foggy and the moisture levels increase...it was not that cold, but still annoying.
And also Zohaib's snore...but let's ignore that...

Next morning we did a little more sand-boarding which led to that awesome picture:
(the picture was taken almost when I reached the end so I had to bent backwards)
(have you realized that I will now post a picture? Show some excitement!!!)

Very artistic, don't you agree?














Anyway...
Around 9:00 we left because it was getting unbearably hot.
I was also full of sand and sweat, a combination that I hate...
 Well,reaching home was a pleasure!

After that great trip...nothing!

We were just sitting around, something that caused great disappointment to many interns.
So I sent an e-mail describing the whole situation to the VP ICX.
Next day we had a meeting and everything came back to order...with an unexpected announcement.

We were going to organize a photo exhibition!
And I was chosen to be event manager because of the management skills I had gained through my AIESEC experience.

So here we are...many preparations are made about the event, more to follow the next days...

Stay tuned for more...And there is a high chance that the next post will be from Greece...

Have fun!

Τετάρτη, 6 Ιουλίου 2011

Pool Party Pirates, coming Down with the Sickness

Hello once again!

Over the past few days, a lot of things happened, some of them really good, some of them... not that much.

So, everything started this Saturday, that we were invited to a pool party, at the house of the LCP of AUC.
Considering the fact that I don't like parties and pools, I had a great time. Interns from all over the world talking and having fun, it was just awesome.
Specially the water polo part!
Yes, I played water polo!
Our team lost, but I really enjoyed it.

Next day, I did nothing special during the day, except two meetings with the Articles and Consolidation Teams of AIESEC Greece National Magazine (long live the X+L experience).
At night I went out with some other interns and a guy from Egypt, to City Stars mall, which is really great, and after roaming around doing practically nothing, we ended up watching the "Pirates of the Caribbean 4" in 3D. It was quite good, but not as much as the first movie.

Next day I was feeling a little sick, so I didn't go out with the project to Azhar Park.

Later on that day, I felt better so I found every one, at the Cairo Tower which we also visited. The view was really amazing!

After that we went to Felfela to eat, where I tried some Koshary.

That was one terrible mistake.
I spent the whole night having diarrhea and vomiting.
The true meaning of a nightmare.

Next morning Zohaib stayed with me and supported me the whole day. Ezz arrived around 12 and got me some medicine which where really helpful.

Right now, the next day, I feel much better, but I took one very important decision...not to go on the Camel Trek with the rest of the project...
It was something I was really looking forward to, but it's better to take some precautions, given what happened last day.

Anyway, I will try to capitalize on that time given to me, by visiting the Azhar Park and Cairo Museum.

See you soon!

Πέμπτη, 30 Ιουνίου 2011

This week...

Haven't been able to write here for a few days, but it sure was fun!

A lot of things have happened and I don't think I'll be able to write everything down but at least, I remember the basics!!!

Sooooo...the previous week I had the chance to finish my photography sessions with our first photographer.
I learned a lot of stuff, something really amazing considering that it was only two days.

I also had the chance to visit the Market of Al Khalili.

So...at the market of Al Khalili I got a nice gift for my mother (allow me not to say what it is) that cost me 350 L.E.
After a while I found out that it's actual praise is 150 L.E. so, along with an Egyptian friend, I returned to that place and got 200 L.E. back!

And then I visited a mosque.Truly amazing.
A peaceful place to sit and relax, quietly so not to disturb the prayers of the Muslims.

And then came the spectacle! I went to a show performed by mevlevi dervishes!

Truly spectacular and amazing!
And free!!!

After that, I had a felucca ride in the river Nile...
That's the true meaning of calmness, considering that you're surrounded by a city of 17 million people.

Next day, I think, we had a session about the revolution.
An activist and co-founder of the 6th of April movement talked to us about the revolution, how everything was planned, the way it was implemented, the reasons and the results.

Next highlight of these days, has to be the amazing film-making session. Although our instructor told us that this day was the Ugly Day, I really enjoyed it.
I sometimes think that I must stop my studies and fully occupy myself with film-making... At least it makes me happy. But any way...
That day, our new roommate arrived, from Kazakhstan.

Yesterday, we were supposed to have a second session but it was cancelled because of the events that happened in Tahrir square.

So I spent my day at home.
But my night was different.
Omar, an Egyptian AIESECer, took me and few other people, to a mountain, from which we could see a great part of Cairo... It was different and similar to other cities I've seen from above...
Nice and interesting.

After that, we went to taste Egyptian sweet delicacies. I tried Kuskusi ( I'm sure I spelled it wrong but anyway) which I should say was good...I just didn't like...too dry for my taste...

After that we went to Tahrir.
We found another activist of the 6th of April who talked to us about what was going on.
After a while we heard the firs shots of tear gas, so we left Tahrir.

That's all for now!

See you soon...I hope ;)

Τρίτη, 21 Ιουνίου 2011

Back in black

Quite a few things here kept me busy, so I couldn't update my blog. Those of you that were disappointed by that, I have a solution for you! Go to Syntagma square or any big square in your city and join the people!

Anyway...I finally had my transition as Media Manager of the NSTs 11-12 which was actually quite (over 9000) effective!

Next day was more interesting (for you people).
I just roamed around Nashr City (this is where I live) and ended up with Zohaib (the Pakistani guy people, plz pay attention) to a Christian church, which we couldn't understand whether it was Orthodox or Catholic. After that, we found another mall, that's about 30 minutes walk from our place, in which we did some ice-skating.
I'm happy to announce that I didn't fall, and considering that this was my second time in three years and I was almost all the time holding on the railing, it was a great achievement!
Later on that day, I showed to my roommates almost every roll call I knew. For non-AIESECers to witness something like that in their living room, they took it rather well. Now I have to teach them some!

Next day (that's Monday 20th of June for all those that don't pay attention) we had the opening ceremony of the project "Explore Egypt".
Forty four interns, from all over the world.
The ceremony was pretty nice, considering what happened near the end.
I was almost randomly picked to share my experience so far in Egypt!

I got up, said some nice things (all recorded to camera) and repeated myself for almost five minutes.
People applauded me, mostly because I told them to.
After that I left with my friend Ezz, who had his birthday, and went to a fancy Gaffe, in which there was a group of people practicing shooting...
Together with us, were about 10 previous AIESEC Leaders, and a current VP and LCP.
It was really a nice experience talking to these people, although it could have lasted a little longer.

After that, I was reunited with the other interns, that went on a place to see belly dancers!
Well there was only one belly dancer, and she had too much belly to be a dancer...

But it was fun.

Next day, we had our first photography lesson!
It was a nice way to realize that your camera is kind of crappy. But if you get the right angle, and tinker with every option on the camera, you can get some quite decent pictures.

After that, we went to Heliopolis, which is a district around half an hour walk from the place we were in, and had an hour to do our assignment, which was to take some specific pictures.
We split into groups and roamed around Heliopolis.
I made it just in time, to take all the necessary pictures (I hope), before my camera went out.

After that we had an one-hour "ten-minute" walk towards a pasta restaurant, which actually proved to be quite good and really cheap! I paid 2,5 euros for one big plate of spaghetti and a coca-cola!

After that some of the interns went to Old Cairo while the rest went to a photo gallery.

I had some work to do, so here I am at home!

Soon I'll go out with Ezz to Argyro's place.
Can't wait.



And a treat for you, for reaching almost a hundred!

Σάββατο, 18 Ιουνίου 2011

How to eat hamaam

Got up around eleven ready to update my blog...and the other guys told me that there was Arabic lessons in the old building of AUC, which is in Tahrir square.

At first I said I would not go, but finally I decided to go.

So I ended up riding the Egyptian metro for the first time!
It was really different. There is no A/C but fans, and the windows have shutters!
The rails are still under development, something easily understood by the constant bouncing of the train. And many stations were also under construction.

While riding the metro, there were some fellows that took real interest to my two roomies from Hong-Kong. They started taking pictures together while trying communicating in English.

After few minutes we were at Tahrir square. A lot of people had gathered there, as every Friday, to celebrate about the January Revolution.
We found the entrance to the AUC and entered... after a security check!

The lesson was fun and we actually learned quite some useful stuff. Now it's time to study!

After the lesson was over, we had to go to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the AUC.
But before that, lunch!

We went to a restaurant called "Felfela", of which I had heard before.
I had actually read about it, in the Blue magazine, given by Aegean airlines.
I remembered the recommendation it had about the Stuffed Pigeon, or else hamaam.

Here comes the highlight!
I ordered all by my self!

In Arabic!
Wahed Hamaam we wahed Pepsi.
It tasted good, but given the fact that there was no much meat in it and the time and trouble it takes to eat it...well, I don't think that'll I'll be ordering that again soon.
The other guys, and by that I mean all the interns in my projects, which count up to 15 people, ordered a lot of different things which I got to taste.
One thing is sure... you got to be a fool to eat Fuul :P

When we were done eating, we tried to go to the celebration...
But we missed the bus, so after some time waiting, that is about an hour, we ended up in a nice bar.

And it was quite expensive, since everyone had to get an order of at least 50 L.E.
That's around 7 Euros, so I guess it was worth it :P

After that we got home, and headed for the bed...

And now, one questions:
How many Continents are there in the world?