4.c in Egypt on GCP exchange visit

In the afternoon on Saturday the 25th of September, the class 4.c took off from Copenhagen Airport with Egypt Air heading towards Cairo. We arrived in the evening and were met by nice warm weather and hugs from a group of excited Egyptian students and teachers, who immediately escorted the former Rysensteen-students to the first cultural exchange experience of the trip: Meeting the partner families. Here, 4.c was given both a warm welcome and a late dinner. On Sunday, we all went out to visit the pyramids in Giza. We drove through the busy Cairo traffic in the partner school’s orange minibuses and watched the megacity pass by the windows endlessly. The desert heat made us sweat profusely, and we were met by energetic souvenir vendors and camel drivers, who gave us the opportunity to try out some Arabic phrases. The afternoon was spent in the cooling pool of Saqqara Country Club with a view of palm trees and desert sand.

On Monday, the Danes visited DEDI (The Danish Egyptian Dialogue Initiative) on the Island of Zamalek while the Egyptians were in school. We listened to interesting presentations by institute leader Pernille Bramming and representatives from the Danish Embassy. We spent the afternoon with the Egyptian partner families who had arranged several activities, generous servings of food and a late bedtime. The next day, both the Egyptians and the Danes visited the oldest part of Cairo, Coptic Cairo, as well as the impressive National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, where the museum inspector himself gave a meticulous tour of Egyptian history and the catacombs of the Pharaohs. We visited Cairo Citadel in the afternoon, the mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, and went souvenir shopping in the Khan Al Khalili-bazaar. Later, we all went to a farewell dinner with Dr. Nermien and the teachers from Dr. Nermien Ismail Language Schools.

Wednesday to Friday was spent by ourselves in Alexandria, Egypt’s legendary Mediterranean city. The highlights were a dramatic train trip, exploring the bustling street life, luxurious swimming opportunities in both pools and the ocean, a church visit with a wine cellar surprise, lunches with sky view oases, authentic local restaurants and spontaneous wedding invitations. We also met Ali, a friend of Rysensteen, who told us about his exciting Egyptian upbringing and international career.

We went back to Cairo on Friday for a single eventful afternoon with cultural exchange workshops, interviews, football, and a Nile cruise with the Egyptian hosts. After an emotional farewell, we flew back to Copenhagen Saturday morning. It was an amazing trip.