Qena: day 1

This morning was very sedate, enabling us to meet the president of the university and some of the girls that we will be training. We had some photographs taken which may be published on the university website; svu@eg.com
The girls we are training this week are not all Guides so we may be able to encourage some new recruits. Everyone seems very pleased to hear that we will be teaching so many useful skills. In return Heba wants us to know 100 Arabic words by the end of the week!
First training was very different to last week. We had advanced warning that we were starting today and therefore time to prepare, arrange the room etc. The training room is laid out much more constructively. We have 2 rooms, 1 with tables and flip chart paper which gave us more opportunity for discussion and feedback. The other is an empty room which is perfect for games and means that all the activities can be carried out as intended. The girls themselves are more reserved and quieter but we think that we can draw them out of themselves more once they get used to our training style. All of them are enthusiastic and want to use the opportunity to improve and practice their English. It really makes us think about our own education to see that the girls here are bilingual and many also know German. The university governor explained that they have strong links with Germany and Austria, which might go some way to explaining why so many people have asked us if we’re German.
First experience of small lizards climbing up the building we are using for training.
After omlette for dinner we were taken on a bus tour of Quena, which involved driving through the town and heading to the corniche for a stroll. The peace and quiet of the corniche was a marked contrast to the bustle and noise of the corniche in Minia. We are also relishing the freedom of not having our tourist police escort.
From the bus we saw a tourist train head through the town. I don’t think many tourists are allowed to mill about here so we’re privileged to be able to experience the place, if only via university organised tours. Whether we will actually get to experience Guiding outside the university is something that seems unlikely at the moment.

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