1. I learned that hot doesn't exist between the hours of 7 am and 6 pm in Egypt, rather it is scorching. 122 degrees makes me feel like I am a cupcake baking the oven. Its not pleasant.
2. I learned that dehydration is serious business and that it is possible for me to down 3 liters of water in one day (that's a lot of water by the way).
3. I learned that Israel (on the way to Egypt) has its very own version of Moab... except it has pretty white rocks instead of red.
4. I learned how to take cheesy pictures in front of Egyptian monuments.
5. I learned that it is possible to be violated by a form of transportation. We took a night train from Luxor to Cairo. I didn't eat. I only slept because I knocked myself out with sleeping pills (best idea ever). And I woke up in the morning with flea bites... disgusting.
6. I learned how to keep it cool on the nile.
7. I learned that it is possible to remain healthy in Egypt. You just don't eat the food, drink the water, and sanitize your hands every 10 minutes.
8. The term carbo-load has a whole new meaning. Bread, rice, and bottled water were on the menu 3 meals a day, all week.
9. I learned how to ride a camel, and that riding a camel can give you bruises the next day.
10. I learned to not only accept but welcome my chaco tan.
11. I learned that some Egyptian merchants can be even more stubborn than I am, but for the most part I can still get what I want.
12. I learned that I am so very blessed to have grown up in the United States and to have economic, political, and most importantly religious freedoms. Cairo is incredibly impoverished and I realized how blessed I am to be getting an education and to have lived in great comfort my entire life.
13. I learned that the Egyptian people are so friendly and kind. I was able to meet up with my friend Sean who is on a study abroad in Cairo for Arabic. There were a number of people from my group that met up with friends in his group. We were able to see the real side of Cairo while with them and I was amazing by the kindness and generosity of the people that we met, both on the street and the subway.
14. I learned that sunrise on Mount Sinai can be life-changing.
(and no... this wasn't photoshopped)
15. I learned that friends can become family after only a month.
16. I learned that Jerusalem is home... and it is so good to be back.