I know all of us are constantly talking about priorities, but have we focused more on the lesser of the important? Being a severe Celiac in Egypt has been quite the struggle. Going to Jordan for a week did not help in my frustrations as I was fed very well, gluten-free every meal (even boxed lunches for our day trips), and had the most sincere care by Mali, Chuck, Omar, Mohammed G., and the attentive supervisors, waitstaff, chefs, Nadine the Concierge Supervisor, salon, every single person at the Amman Four Seasons property were extremely and sincerely caring. Even pictures of all the gf products they were using, and directing us to the store (with a driver) to purchase items to bring back with me, yes, I was totally spoiled. But now I am back to reality in Alexandria.
After knowing that I could get over the constant stomach pains, up all nights catching catnaps on the bathroom floor, I think a solution has been formulated. I am now able to purchase the gf foods and be reimbursed, have a translator, the Four Seasons San Stefano might even be of help in making breads, but here is what is important – my new-made Egyptian colleagues and friends care.
My assigned Teaching Assistant, the awesome Ingy, is not just someone who assists daily in the classroom. She has become a friend, a caring friend and colleague. Ingy brought real local made yoghurt to me yesterday and I cannot tell you how good it is. I felt like I was getting Greek yoghurt from the little local stores (Bruno’s or Nielsen’s) in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Next, Nadia (assistant librarian) brought in fresh kiwi and avocadoes. Yum, yum. The TA in the neighboring First Grade, Aynour, has found out where a gf bakery and a grocery store with a large selection of products are in Cairo. We are going next Friday! Her dad is my contact with the Four Seasons San Stefano. Secondly, the staff here – AbdelAziz and Amr have met with me, and Ingy came along to help with any translations and I now have them helping me with getting my health back to normal. Their priorities are nothing but caring.
How often do we perform the little actions for someone because it has become a priority? I ask you to inventory your priorities. I know a priority is my health and taking care that I not get ill with complications from Celiac Disease. My major priority is to be thankful for all of the people mentioned in this blog. I care that they care. They are the perfect examples of humanity. Take a day and count your blessings.
I get questions, often, about how it is to live in a Muslim country. My answer is “I live in Egypt, a nice country full of very nice people. I teach students who are like students anywhere.” There is a mixture of beliefs working and caring side-by-side each and every day. There are good people and there are those who have twisted interpretations. Both are found in each and every country. Make it a priority to turn off the news and turn on face-to-face conversations and friendships. Make living a priority. Count your many blessings!
Living the Crazy Life,