Thursday, August 14, 2008


I am finally back home. It was nice being in my own bed. So far I have been knocking off good chunks of the things I missed on the list. Think I may have binged on the root beer, though.
The question I am getting a lot is whether I liked the first year more. The answer is an obvious yes because it was all new. However if the person wants to have an actual conversation, I generally say they were very different. The two years were almost too different to compare. The sights were different, for which I am thankful. Our leaders each year had very different styles. The group dynamic was much different. This year was much more work, yet some of that was very rewarding. Setting up a sit down with the Minister of Foreign Affairs is something I am very proud of. Our team was successful at the networking game.
I talked to the head boss, Dr. Fritz Erickson, my last morning in DC. Him and had some time to kill before we flew out, and went to stroll around Arlington Cemetery. He said he was very proud of what happened, the work everyone did, and the amount of Arabic instruction that went on. That really helped. We weren’t sure how successful we were going, as we were pretty much guinea pigs. In the end though he was pleased, and that’s what matters. Nothing really bad happened. Even the shooting did not really hamper our day-to-day lives. When I first landed, our in-country director, Ethan, said he had two goals. The first was to keep people safe. The second was to make sure the students had the best summer of their lives. Both were accomplished. All in all, the trip was an excellent success.

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