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Teaching in Cairo, Egypt

Updated on July 18, 2012

Turning Points: Journey to Egypt

In every life there are turning points. Choices we make that can never be undone or changed. We each make the best decisions we are capable of making at that point and live with the results. Sometimes the people in our lives wholly agree, cheering us on to our destinies. Other times, they venomously disagree, warning us of the unpredicted harm that may lie at the end. We stand and choose.

As I prepared to board the plane that would take me across the world for a school year, I cried. Knowing something was changing. Something inside would never be the same after this journey. I had no clue of the challenges and achievements that lie ahead. I just knew that I was leaving something and moving towards an arrival. An arrival to self perhaps or possibly just to new ideas and lifestyles. Something was about to happen, to change and my life and indeed myself would never be the same. I boarded the plane with this knowledge.

Sitting on the plane preparing for take-off, there came a wave of calmness. I suddenly felt that undeniable feeling that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. My shoulders eased. My back loosened and I felt the plane take off, leaving behind Los Angeles and every familiar face I knew. I took a few deep breathes, taking in the experience and feeling the cool, airplane conditioner in my lungs. This was a step that could never be erased or taken back.


The travel was long and after many hours of travel, I was anxiously awaiting my arrival into a country I knew very little about: Egypt. It had begun with looking for work. Pressed by my student loan bills, I knew the $19 an hour job I loved would not cut it anymore. I was barely paying my rent and other bills and progress had been slow in the last two years. Something had to be done. This is how it began.

Seeking better opportunities, I worked with a head hunter and looked for local opportunities. Nothing really materialized but I stayed steady and focused at my current job, loving on the children that so mirrored my young self. Unexpectantly, a school contacted me and they were from all places, in Egypt. At any other point in my life, I would have run, or simply clicked the name off the list of my opportunities online. But something was different in me.

I had reached a point in life where suddenly everything seemed possible and even my wildest dreams seemed achievable. Teaching abroad had always been on the list of “someday I will try.” And here it was, right in front of me! I talked to close friends and began talks with the school. There was something about this school that just hit me at the core. They were new and embracing not only the teaching methodologies I embraced, but also the philosophy. Their goal was to do perhaps exactly what I attempted to do in my small, urban classroom: create empathetic leaders for the future. There was a caring, a soulful passion that I heard in the voice of the school’s head when we met online. There was just that something that felt absolutely right.


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    • guyjackson profile image

      Guyene Jackson 5 years ago from USA

      I agree that at some point in life we have to make a decision and it will be the turning point of our life. In my life i left my decisions on God and He help me taking a right decision and choosing the right career for me.

    • KrystalD profile image
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      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks guyjackson. Following ones dreams is important in life. Even though it can be a disappointment when things "don't work," the journey makes it all worthwhile. This story started with me full of hope and ended with me fearfully waiting on an airplane to leave Cairo as escalating protests were going on. Now I know it was about the journey itself with all the people, places, sights and sounds I got to experience that mattered. Hold on! Things get wild when you let yourself go!

    • Jen Pearson profile image

      Jen Pearson 5 years ago from Alabama

      What a great experience! Do you expect to teach abroad again?

    • KrystalD profile image
      Author

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      It was a woonderful! I still feel so connected to the many friends I made in Cairo and to the school. I am currently very happy at a progressive school here in the Los Angeles area and I think I want to stay and discover more about myself and teaching as I let go of having books, standards and grades. Today I am learning the art of teaching by doing through woodworking, blocks, art, music, dance and many, many field trips. Will I ever teach abroad again? Maybe for a summer. But I can say my world is opened up in a way it never was before. It was personally empowering and sooo educational! I plan to continue traveling every chance I get (take)!

    • jeyaramd profile image

      jeyaramd 5 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful hub about taking chances. Sometimes it takes stepping out of the box to realize the possibilities of life. The world is huge and its at our doorstep. Sometimes, believing in the impossible as possible is what life is all about. If not now then when. Regrets over things that you wish you have done, the changes you wished you had taken is far more difficult than just taking a chance. Thanks for living your life and sharing your story with us. What a great story. Voted up. Beautiful.

    • KrystalD profile image
      Author

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks jeyaramd! This was truly a dream come true and it taught me that anything I want to do is possible.

    • profile image

      Jeanine 2 years ago

      Hi Dwaye,There's a lot of value with your videos. Great job of lyanig out the core concepts of keyword research. People that need to learn more about these concepts are sure to benefit from this high value lesson!All the best,Jim Jinright

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