Will I miss it?
I will miss my friends.
The music of cars beeping and the call to prayer echoing over the dusty expanse of Cairo.
I will miss the koshary, lemon mint, taamiya, tabouleh, baladi bread, hummus, and pickled everything.
Driving on the corniche along the Nile, seeing the Pyramids of Giza standing proudly in the distance.
I will miss my neighbors, who became our second family.
Our twenty-year-old black jalopy Jeep with whitewall tires that performed gallantly in the daily traffic battles.
I will miss mid-week brunch on the Nile.
There is much that I will miss. But I am not sad to go. I bring those things with me. The traffic, the ever-changing smells (both good and bad, and sometimes 10 different, distinct smells in a few blocks of walking), the constant staring at this Western gal, the insanely oppressive heat, the power cuts, the mountains of trash EVERYWHERE, I leave here.
I have done and seen things that I never dreamed I would. I have sat upon the pyramids, stood in the shadow of the Sphinx, sailed down the Nile. I have tried new foods, had adventures, and haggled with the best hagglers in the business. I leave stronger, smarter, with an even more open mind than before.
Egypt has changed me and I leaned into it.
I fell under her spell.
And I'm grateful.
So very grateful for this experience.
Grateful for the chance to live in a place so foreign, so isolated, so unique.
I am especially grateful for all the people who have touched our lives while we were here. Whether we spent time together daily, monthly, or just a handful of times, know you were part of what made this place so special. Whether you were my friend, colleague, or the parent of my children's friends. I believe that we are brought in and out of each others lives for a reason, and I am thankful we had this time.
I won't say good-bye yet, as I have a couple weeks still, but soon. Insha'allah.