Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A New Hope

(if you get the reference in my title, I love you)

No need to brace yourselves; this post is not nearly as long as the previous one. I have officially been back at school teaching for 2 weeks now. I’m starting to get back into the swing of things, adjusting to my previous schedule which allotted little to no time for a social life outside of school. Luckily, I have some incredible co-workers which make the day to day pleasant and the weekends oftentimes extraordinary (even when we stay in). Now, as I mentioned I’m sure many times in my previous posts, all but one of my best friends here in the program (cheers Ella) have moved on from TFP. Three or four weeks ago that idea made the prospect of this semester seem rather dark and (pathetically) hopeless. I suppose I wasn’t factoring in the potential of the new teachers, and I’m happy to say that they all have been wonderful and I am enjoying getting to know all three of them. I have to say, my current flat mates and I have been getting on really nicely, and I enjoy living with them. Of course it goes without saying that the dynamic is entirely different, and I will continue to miss my sisters even after I leave Palestine.

Which brings me to the main motivation for writing this update: as you may or may not know from my blog and/or any conversation you may have had with me in the past month during which Im sure I mentioned Egypt at least once or twice, I love Egypt and got the idea in my head (and heart) that I want to go back. So I began looking for summer internships in Cairo, just to see what I could find. When googling “refugee rights cairo internship” one of the first things that pops up is the Resettlement Legal Aid Project in Cairo.  After reading up on the position, I began working on the application right away. I’m not sure I’ve ever spent so much time on or asked for so many opinions about a cover letter before. I also completely revamped my resume and debated for a while on which writing sample to submit. 10 hours over 4 days or so later and I submitted the application. I interviewed and just today sent my email of commitment. It’s not paid, but I’ve already had two families express a desire to host me (exhibit A why I love Egyptians), and I have some money saved up from my previous work at About Faces, so I’m not worried. Then of course there’s the bonus that I already have a great group of friends there that I am excited to spend more time with. So needless to say, so long as something completely out of my control messes everything up, I’ll be shipping off to Cairo from September to January and perhaps beyond. Oh I suppose I should say what I would be doing, as that is my primary motivation for taking a leap of faith. I would be interviewing refugees and preparing written submissions to international organizations (UNHCR, IOM) regarding the refugees’ need to be resettled out of Egypt. The majority of the refugees are Sudanese, with some Iraqi and Eritreans in the mix as well. I’m really so incredibly excited for the opportunity, and am hoping for enough political stability in the region to make it there this summer or fall.

 Now I just need to find something for the summer which allows me to break even. In all likelihood, that will be the summer camp at the school I teach part-time at currently. Unless anyone knows of something elsewhere in Palestine or Egypt?

Regardless, as the title states, this internship has given me an incredible feeling of hope, peace and relief that I had been lacking previously. That paired with and prompted by a renewed motivation to focus more on my spiritual life (which I had left to the side for too long) has left me feeling rejuvenated and motivated to give the next few months my all—go out with a bang and all that jazz.

Also, on a side note, I have started getting into the Wire, a television serious which apparently put Baltimore on the map in the international community. Bmo certainly doesn’t look her best, but they do say the camera adds 10 pounds, right? Or does that only apply to people?

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