As advertised, the cab ride to the Ministry of Education was totally uneventful. Meeting was the idea of Noha Labib who is actually the Academic Programs Manager for Microsoft and is, without question, one of the most knowledgeable, energetic and focused educators with whom I have had the privilege of association. I cannot imagine anyone who would not be caught up in her enthusiasm. So there we were having tea with the shakers and movers of Egyptian education. It was a thoroughly productive and lengthy session. People with vision are beginning to emerge and it is truly an exciting time in Egypt.
After the meeting I sort of roamed around the old downtown area doing more looking than shopping. While wondering wherever I actually stumbled upon a familiar place. The Café Riche. Jose Llanes and I were introduced to this place by Dr. Ali Sweezi, a fine arts professor at Suez Canal University. The Café is a watering hole for the fine arts folks and has been such for a long long time. While there I noted a bearded, long haired American debating philosophical thought with a young woman whose ethnicity was a complete mystery (since we were close to the downtown campus of the American University Cairo, I assumed they were from there). On a lighter note, there was a table of French people and one man insisted on complaining about some sort of food problem. It struck me as humorous that someone who might willingly eat snails and patties of frog grass would complain about food. That was the end of a delightful day.
Tomorrow is Friday. A day of prayer and rest. Saturday depart for the land of the round door knob. In many ways this trip has been all too short, in other ways all too long. On balance I am grateful for the experience, grateful to those who made it possible. If the opportunity arises in the future, would I do this again? You bet I would.