Apologies for the long absence, but I have been super busy these past few months finishing up my thesis and getting ready to graduate from my Masters program. In addition, an exciting announcement is that I will be staying at KAUST to pursue a PhD and continuing to study all aspects of sea turtles including (but not limited to) genetics, movement ecology, sustainable ecotourism, and connectivity. I you are interested in reading my masters dissertation let me know and I’ll send it to you and you can read all you’d ever want to know about temperature and turtles in the Red Sea!
My parents are attending my graduation ceremony at KAUST, and because it is such a far journey from Hawaii, they decided to plan a holiday around it. A week before my graduation they planned a trip to Egypt, and after they planned and confirmed their trip I found out that my thesis was due December 7th and I’d be free afterwards. So I decided I might as well join them because I haven’t had time to explore egypt yet.
The weeks leading up the the trip were quite stressful because I did not know what I was doing with my life, if I’d stay at KAUST or return to Hawaii to apply for jobs. But luckily I received confirmation that I was accepted so I will be staying here in Saudi for about three more years. Woohoo!
I passed my final thesis in on December 7th, and flew over to Egypt on the 8th to meet up with my parents. We booked the entire trip through a tour company, which means all the transportation, food, accommodation, tours, and excursions were planned out for us. So there was very little stress and we were taken care of the entire time by Mohammad from Romanic travel (if you are interested in more info on how to book just let me know). He gave us a local cell phone so he could contact us at all times, and I felt safe for my entire stay in the country.
I presented my research at a Red Sea conference on a massive stage, it was quite intimidating but worthwhile experience!
This photo was from my final thesis defense!
I arrived in Egypt around noon, and my parents had landed a few minutes before me so I met them in front of my terminal in a bus. Together, we all headed to our hotel to check in and get settled. The hotel was super nice, it was called Kempinski and it had the best food ever and very comfy beds.
Rooftop views of the Nile from our hotel, beautiful pool too!
We unpacked a bit and checked out the rooftop swimming pool with incredible views of the Nile. At around 4:00 our amazing tour guide, Maha, and Mohammad joined us for a boat trip on the Nile for sunset.
It was a lovely evening and a great way to see the views of Cairo. After the boat trip, we went to the Nile Tower, which is a very tall building overlooking the Nile and you can see all of Cairo from here.
It was about 7 by the time we finished enjoying the views (due to long lines) but afterwards we went to a wonderful Egyptian restaurant that served just one meal, called koshary. YUM! It was a mix of rice, pastas, lentils, chickpeas, fried onions, with spaghetti sauce and vinegar. Sounds like a strange combination but I enjoyed it. The restaurant name was Abou Tarek, it is a well known place by the locals and I highly recommend it.
After dinner we stopped at a pharmacy so I could get cough syrup, because unfortunately I was/am sick for the week leading up to the trip. It was super useful/cheap though and helped my cold. Afterwards, we headed to our hotel to have a good nights sleep.