Thursday, July 30, 2009

FAQ About My Relocation to Cairo, Egypt

Here are my responses to some of the questions that I have been asked about relocating to Cairo, Egypt:

Where will I be teaching?
The American University in Cairo (AUC)

Is the school affiliated w/American University in Washington, DC?

Is it an English speaking school?

What will you be teaching?
Radio Journalism

How'd I find out about the job?
Job posting on The Chronicle of Higher Education website

How long is my teaching contract?
At least one academic year (nine months), with the option to extend

Is the job a part of a larger program?

Where will I live?
The university provides housing for faculty.

Will I have to wear a berka?

What will I do w/my Jeep?
Leaving it at my grandmother's house.

That's all for now ... my departure date is nearing - Saturday, August 1. I will arrive in Cairo sometime on August 3.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

A Visit with My Uncle

I had a brief visit with my uncle the other day. It was an impromptu visit. I was in his neck of the woods, called him up and asked for directions to his house. I'd never been to his house. He usually comes to visit us.

My uncle is a talker. He has lots to say about nearly everything. He can dominate a discussion, but when you do talk, he does listen.

Some of the things he says, he's said to me before. Sometimes the exact same wording. Doesn't make a difference to me though. What I don't say to him is, "You've told me that before." I like to hear him talk and tell his stories. He likes to have his say.

The topic on this day came before I could get comfortably situated on the couch: "I retired. I'm done." And so it went. He hadn't planned to retire at 63. "But I just don't have it. I don't have it anymore." Here's a guy who's worked very hard all of his life. His primary job has been working with asphalt. Yeah, that is a 'hard' job. But he loved it. Absolutely loved it. And he was good at it too.

And since the topic was his retirement, the topic was also why he retired: his declining health. That's why I'm writing this blog post. I've always seen my uncle as vibrant. He dresses nice and always look put together. Not that he didn't look put together when I went to visit, but he looked old.

He had a heart surgery recently. Something about a leaky valve. He says "I haven't been the same since ... I don't think I'll ever be the same". Since the surgery, he's been moving slow and he says he spends his days "do nothing". His teenage daughter says he's evil. She would say that. Now he's always around to needle at her. And he admitted that he's always on her back, usually for not answering her cell phone or not being where she's supposed to be. Teenagers.

I'd like to give her a few tips for dealing with him. He's been like my dad for over 40 years. I'd love to spend hours on end with him ... to hear him talk or to go fishing or to have him needle at me. She doesn't get it or appreciate him enough. And that's my advice: appreciate him. He's an ornery old man, but he's here for us to love.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Getting Ready for My Move to Cairo, Egypt

There has been so much to do as I prepare to my move to Cairo to teach at The American University in Cairo (AUC).

Mostly, I'm ready to go. I have most of the important stuff done like I have my passport and I have my shots: Hep A and B, Typhoid and Tetanus. Oh, I have two new pairs of glasses and a pair of prescription sunglasses - yay.

I don't have my mailing address yet, so I can't change my address. Except for magazines and journals related to teaching. I have a forwarding address for those.

My shipment was picked up on Friday. That was a most tedious task, but it really helped me decide what to take and what not to take. Here's hoping that my shipment arrives in Cairo before I do.

Things that I still need to do:
  • renew my driver's license (it expires on my birthday: August 6)
  • review my license plates
  • get official birth certificates
  • get additional passport photos (AUC recommended this, but I don't know why)
I also need to get a Magic Jack. I plan to use that for making phone calls to the U.S. I will use Skype and Oovoo too, but I'm getting the Magic Jack to have as an additional option. Several folks in Cairo have confirmed that it will work there. Magic Jack is basically a voice-over IP, but w/o any bulky equipment. It's just a little USB drive. Very nice.

There's a lot more to do, but I'll spare you the details since I need to actually get things done and not just write blog posts.

Hang in there w/me.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Music Monday 34 :: "Walk Like An Egyptian"

The Bangles "Walk Like An Egyptian" (1986)

My sister is responsible for this Music Monday post. I am in the process of relocating to Cairo, Egypt to teach journalism for a year.

My sister has hosted two going away parties for me, one in D.C. and one upcoming in my hometown. Each of the invites has "Walk Like An Egyptian" as the theme. At least she has that title posted. Do you think she is obsessed with it?

So let's go back in time, 1986 was the year that The Bangles had the hit "Walk Like An Egyptian". I recall this so fondly because I worked at my college radio station, WOUB at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. This song was very popular. And there used to be a kids show that played it allllll the time. The show was on public radio, but it escapes me at the moment.

Do you remember the dance that went w/the song? You don't have to actually admit it, but I totally recall it.

Funny thing is someone tells me that the Egyptian references in the song are on point. I'll try to verify that when I get there.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

MOVIE REVIEW: "The Hangover"

Movie Review: "The Hangover"

"The Hangover" is a boy movie. I think I only know of one other woman who's seen it. But make no mistake, this is a funny movie! And I do mean "laugh-out-loud" funny. Love that. There are, however, some gender specific antics. Be warned.

What makes it funny? Great chemistry among the four major characters and a really good story line. I think that you could predict the ending, but you certainly could not have guessed how they got to the end.
  • Zach G is a show stealer. He seemed a bit obnoxious to start, but he held his own and had several organically funny moments.
  • Bradley Cooper is super duper eye candy!
  • I did not know Ed Helms' name before I began to write this blog post. I could only recall him as the guy from "The Office". He was a riot as Stu in "The Hangover". The mystery of the missing tooth was quite comical.
The three of these guys had the most screen time and it was fun to watch how they pieced together what they could not remember on their own.

Oh, and how could I forget Mike Tyson. His role was a good fit and even more laughter.

I'd like to pick out a funniest part in the film, but I don't want to give anything away to someone who has not seen the movie yet.

The one thing I will say is that there were several times when I thought they/the writers tried too hard for laughs and there's one scene in particular that was not funny, but it went too long anyway. The crude boy parts were annoying for me because it's so fourth grade and there were too many of those instances in the movie.

Nevertheless, I'm anxiously trying to figure out if I can squeeze this into my viewing schedule again before it leaves the theaters.

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