Spending time doing one of my favorite things: trip planning!

I’ve found a reasonably-priced ticket to Cairo for March break. So hey, I might be going to Egypt! And that way I can get back to the West Bank (after piecing together a good bit of bus/ferry/hitchhiking).

Damn, I love being able to afford plane tickets.

Anyone been to Cairo? Any advice on what I should do/see/eat? Anything in Egypt or the West Bank that you want me to check out/buy for you?



Zainab, one of my kids, learned how to connect her sounds today! It was brilliant. I brought her to the front of the class so I could spend some one-on-one time with her while still being instructive to the rest of the class. I wrote down two-letter sounds on the board: ga, ge, gi, go, gu. She was standing up there, saying, “g…a. g…a.” I help her say, “ga.” And then we move to “ge.” Zainab says, “g…e.” And stares at me for a few seconds. Then she turns back to the board and stares at it for a bit. I was just about to feed her the answer when she says, “ge.”


I was so proud that I gave her huge smile, a bunch of high-fives, a hug, and an extra-big sticker. We’ve been trying to put together her sounds for 3 months. And it clicked, and she smiled so big when I beamed at her.


2 thoughts on “Cairo

  1. Rachel! Zainab has just demonstrated phonemic awareness (and you taught her). Check out: You will see all of the research conducted at UO and elsewhere i
    in this area. It is super interesting. When I was a doc student I got to work with kids who struggled with these foundational elements of initial reading. It is very important work. I’m so glad you are enjoying it!

    1. Ah, that’s very cool! Fascinating. I didn’t know any of these linguistic distinctions.

      It’s definitely important work, and very difficult. Some student just get it, but others have to feel their way around the word and slowly connect these phonemes. After much arduous repetition in class, there are only a few students who still don’t really get it. It’s hard to be patient with them since the curriculum emphasizes results. But I keep reminding myself, they’re 4, give them time. I mean, I’m teaching myself how to read Kurdish and I’m quite slow at it…

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