What could have been.
With all the stuff that has been going on in Egypt this past week it has got me to thinking about what might have been. For the longest time I wanted to teach in Lebanon but thought it probably wasn’t the safest. Ever since I got hooked on Lebanon (2003?) I had told people that I wanted to teach in Lebanon but I’d probably teach in Egypt instead since Egypt was more stable/safe. Then came the wars in 2006 and 2008 to confirm my hesitation.
Last summer I visited Lebanon and stayed for a month and loved it so much I knew I had to come back. If it hadn’t been for that trip I very well may have been in Egypt right now.
Not that that would have been the end of the world.
My friend Emily has been teaching at an international school In Cairo (Maadi) for the last five years. At the beginning of the week we were both joking about the protests in our respective host countries and how the news blows it out of proportion and freaks out our loved ones back at home. (Actually she was complaining that at first the international news wasn’t giving Egypt the coverage it deserved, though she herself was safe.). Now, a week later, it’s clear something huge is happening in Egypt and no one knows how it will turn out.
We spoke in the phone today and she told me that her school has been closed for a few days and about a third of the students have left the country. Even though many Americans in Egypt are being evacuated, her school isn’t evacuating teachers just yet (though they can leave at their own expense if they wish). She says her neighborhood is being patrolled by locals who are protecting the area and drinking tea by “campfires” in the down time. From 8am until 3pm people are walking their dogs and going about their errands (she went for a pedicure today!) but everyone is sure to be back home in time for the curfew. With no internet now (and no text messaging either!) her biggest concern is boredom! She’s going to keep me posted and if she does get evacuated, may just come to stay with me in Beirut to wait it out (imagine the irony!).
So all I can do is think of how I sorta dodged a bullet on that one. (Well, for now anyways.) I’m also wondering if this could be me in a few weeks(?), months(?). All is quiet here now, but I guess you just never know.