The last few days in Egypt were a flurry of good-bye activities.
Our group made numerous trips for a last bite of falafel, koshary, and delectable zalabya; for a last sight of the Nile flanked by glowing skyscrapers; for a last whiff of the thick, smog-filled air that drifts throughout the city.
Finally, the time came to make the long voyage home. As our trip to Israel had been cancelled, we were outfitted with an alternative flight plan that would bear us to our respective homes in roughly 30 hours of travel. And so I went from Cairo to Abu-Dhabi to Chicago, and finally, to Minneapolis and home.
It's funny how a return like this can be both familiar and strange. As my family car turned onto my home street, it felt as routine as returning from the cities, or running errands. However, other regular Minnesota things like snow, signs in English, and sane traffic, were more surprising at first. I marvel anew at how easy it is to adapt to one's environment. These days I'm busy decorating cookies, listening to Christmas music, and catching up with old friends when little more than a week ago I was still a student in Cairo. I feel extremely blessed to have been involved in both of these worlds.
It was an incredible four months, and after it all I am so thankful to return to a place that is welcoming to both me and my suitcase full of souvenirs and stories. It's certainly true: there's no place like home for the holidays.