This blog was originally designed to keep me sane as I began learning Arabic. It morphed into a blog of musings about Arabic, the Middle East, and the Islamic World, as well as book reviews about those topics. Then, the blog became a place to keep my family and friends updated on my adventures while I was living abroad. During May and June of 2012, I had a 6-week long internship in Cairo, Egypt through a international student organization called AIESEC. I taught English at the Awladi Orphanage in Cairo, home to several hundred children. I lived in an apartment in Nasr City before moving to Maadi (each is a distinct area of Cairo). I experienced President Mursi's election, camped in the western desert, rode camels by the pyramids, and had countless other experiences. I have since moved past this blog, on towards new endeavors, but if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Prepping for Egypt

I've spent the last couple of days trying to pin down some specifics: vaccinations needed, cell phone use in Egypt, and how to do laundry there, among other things.

I have found that the Wiki Travel Egypt and Cairo pages are very useful!
From them, I decided I will bring my dad's unlocked blackberry to Egypt and buy a SIM card there to use inside of it. The SIM cards only cost about $3, and I feel like that will be the best use of my money. To make calls back home, I'll plan on using Skype.
I also decided that I will wait and exchange money while I'm in Cairo for the best exchange rates. I'm still not sure how much to change, so I need to look closer at the estimates for food costs and transportation costs. It probably depends on how much sight-seeing I'll be doing on weekends too. That will cost extra money. The exchange rate is approximately 1:6, so my dollar will go pretty far in Egypt.
I ended up only needing the Typhoid vaccine, thankfully. I'm in the midst of taking it orally, and I've felt no adverse effects. It'll be nice not to have to worry about that while I'm there! I also got a prescription for Cipro to take as needed while I'm there. Apparently it's extremely common to end up needing something of that strength at some point during a long stay in Egypt.

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