I think of this summer – this first uni summer – in terms of three phases: Egypt pt1, England and Egypt pt 2. Each part was about a month.
The two Egypt parts were very similar. They were full of good books, much thinking, good conversations with family, trying to study, staying up late reading and texting friends, leading worship every week, hanging out with my siblings and writing a lot. We went out to coffee shops to meet with friends and I worked online. One café was called ‘Peony’ and was all pink! A very full and happy, normal-life-type routine. In the second Egypt part I spent a good chunk of time writing some worship songs in the Egyptian Arabic dialect.
The England part was very full on and very exhausting. We were moving to a new place every three days most of the time, but it was lovely to see everyone. We made lots of great memories, took lots of good photos and caught lots of sun in the British heatwave. A particular highlight was Newday, the big church youth camp that happens in August. I went as a server for the first time and really enjoyed it.
At the tail end of the England trip my sister and I went to do some travelling in Europe which was incredible! Definitely the best week of my summer. We went to Nis, Serbia to stay with a friend, we had a long layover in Vienna, Austria and then passed through Marseille, France before staying a few days with cousins in Toulouse. It was all good and beautiful and I hope to write much about it in the coming weeks. Beyond seeing friends and family, which were my true highlight, I think my Serbia highlight was eating burek, my Vienna highlight was the cool art museum we went to, my France highlight was riding the newly-built gondola in Toulouse (and all the great chocolatinas we ate!) It was an adventure and tiring, but thoroughly enjoyable and worth every tired minute.
The best thing about the summer was connecting with good friends. I’ve missed my Egypt friends very much. Last weekend we had loads of friends over to make paper in the garden. I did karaoke for my birthday. I’ve spent lovely long evenings hanging out and drinking tea, or playing games. I’m going to find it hard to leave. The main thing making it feel worth leaving, is the many London friends that I now miss just as much!
It has been what my mind and emotions need to have long, uninterrupted time with my family. To have silly and serious conversations. To eat my mum’s good cooking. To have plenty of time to read novels and sleep.
It has been a summer that is very mixed in content. Balanced, perhaps. Certainly busy. A lovely one. The loveliest to memory.