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Studying abroad in Cairo

Studying abroad is the next chapter in our #HomeSchoolingChronicles!

This homeschool journey continues to shape and challenge me in more ways than I ever thought possible, including the ability to explore the possibility of studying abroad. Had I never ventured on to this journey, such a consideration for my boys would have remained an improbably step, or at best, a dream deferred well into their college years.

All set...Egypt, here we come

Cairo bound, via Jeddah, on Saudia

Let's back up a bit...I've always wished for my boys to travel the world, which at least my eldest has done just a tad bit of on his visits to Nigeria, Trinidad, the UK, and to Canada, our closest neighbors. I also wanted them to experience life in Africa, in any country where folks who look like them, ruled themselves, and thrive all the same (the Caribbean would probably have served the purpose just fine), because being born and raised in America can sometimes give an unhealthy view of the capabilities of a person-of-color...a topic that could easily take up a series of blog posts, but it will be shelved for the moment. Other bucket-list items of mine include having them learn Arabic, the language of the Qur'an, and most importantly, for them to become hafidz of Qur'an ("guardian" or "memorizer" of the Qur'an). Somehow, nothing short of a miracle, the Hubs and I decided we'd let them take a year off school to study Qur'an and Arabic in Egypt this year.

@ Dulles International Airport with Uncle Hariff

Okay, Egypt is not exactly rich in melanin goodness, far from sub-Saharan Africa, but at least it's Africa (never mind some try to deny this fact and hang on to the Arab heritage only, but I'll leave that alone because the map is evidence enough).

We arrived here about three weeks ago for a 12-month program where the boys will memorize the entire Qur'an and learn Arabic, God-willing. It's been a bit of an adjustment for them. I've lived in and travelled to enough "developing" countries (or rather, low- to middle-income countries, in my public health jargon) to make quick adjustments. Egypt, to me, is a mix of Trinidad, Nigeria, Botswana, plus a tad bit of Haiti.

We spent our first week in Cairo as tourists, which felt very much like Spring Breaking for the kiddos...staying at the JW Marriott, visiting the Pyramids, and going on other fun excursions. My middle child, Hanif, specifically requested going to visit the "Great Pyramids of Giza" which he had read about in his homeschooling lessons. For him, it was such a great feeling to experience what he had read about in real life. We have since moved into an apartment close to their place of studies for about two weeks now and they're adjusting just fine. They've gotten used to my response of #ThisIsAfrica, whenever they ask for any of their many American-styled amenities. I look forward to many more adventures to experience with them and pray for a successful year ahead.

Stay tuned in the coming months for our next adventures...

The Pyramids of Giza

Boat ride on the Nile River


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