I can’t believe it’s already been 3 months since my husband and I arrived here in Egypt. What an amazing journey it’s been so far! We’ve experienced many ups and downs, but overall our time here was been incredible.
In the past three months, we’ve covered the first 3 volumes of the text, “Bayna Yadayk,” we are using in class. We’ve also covered half of our first grammar textbook. Each class period, my vocabulary vastly increasing and the ability to conjugate and form sentences in my mind becomes easier. Our class dynamic has changed a little bit from a full 4 hours of straight study, to 3 and ½ hours of study and a ½ hour of conversation in Arabic. I’ve really enjoyed this tactic, as it has allowed my classmates and I to really work our brains and force ourselves to speak in Arabic. Although it’s been difficult to carry full conversations, it’s been incredibly beneficial and I’ve enjoyed watching our improvement week by week.
Along with our in-class improvement, we’ve also improved greatly in our daily interactions outside of class, speaking and understanding the Egyptian dialect. Although we hope to keep our Classical Arabic pure and not mixed with the dialect, it’s become a crucial part of our stay here to at least know the basics. In the beginning, going out was very difficult and rather frustrating for me because of the language barrier. It was so hard to interact and get anything done, ie. groceries, basic shopping, transportation, etc. Now, after pushing myself to go out and get things done, I’ve picked up at least a little bit of the dialect and with my husband with me, our shopping trips have been easy and routine.
In addition to the regular grocery and shopping trips, I’ve also had a plethora of explorations to neighboring cities and popular shopping and tourist areas. Our class even took a field trip to the pyramids this past month. With each trip out, I feel more and more connected to my surroundings. I’m not just studying in a foreign country, I’m studying in a place that I can honestly say I have a second home in.
With all the new adventures that have arisen for me by coming to Egypt, it is my studies that have kept me grounded. Studying has given me confidence to keep going even with the struggles we’ve faced and will inevitably continue to stumble upon. This language and this lifestyle have made their way into my heart and I pray that with everything new we learn, nothing but benefit follows.
Until next time.