25 Years in Egypt

I remember getting off the EgyptAir plane on August 27, 1991, and experiencing my first drive through Cairo traffic into an experience that I had no idea would extend over my next (almost) quarter-century. I was 21 years old, on a year abroad program in my undergraduate linguistics degree from the University of Toronto. Over the following year I immersed myself in Arabic language and life in the most exciting, crazy, and unique city in the world.

And who ever knows where life will take you or what plans there are for us that we haven’t figured out yet? After living in a slum, attending a university catering to students on the opposite end of the socio-economic spectrum, and all kinds of crazy adventures, I signed up for life by marrying a beautiful woman who has been my best friend through the past 20 years… and who happens to from Egypt. My journey has been one of having a foot in two worlds that exist in one location. The expat “khawaga” (foreigner) life of constant discovery, and the local Egyptian life of family, connectedness, and community.

I am a teacher, an app developer, a business owner, a writer, a consultant. I am a sports coach for teenagers, a writing coach for new college students, and a crazy fan of my own 3 teenagers. I am an Arabic language learner, and have been growing in fluency for over 2 decades.

I grew up in Canada for my first 21 years, and I have been growing up in Egypt for the past 24 years. I am still growing up, and in that process have figured out some things that have helped me “hack” (tweak, adapt, refine) life and communication for non-Egyptians living in Egypt, as well as for Egyptians who need to connect with non-Egyptians.

I have a fascination and admiration for “third culture kids” – those who grow up with a foot in more than one culture. I have a love of good food and good exercise. I love community, and am blessed beyond description by the awesome communities – family, friends, faith, professional – that I am a part of. I am more or less optimistic and tend to answer “yes… what was the question again?”. I am a speaker to crowds of 2 to 5,000 people, on topics ranging from history to education to technology to prayer to cross-cultural adaptation to personal growth to all kinds of other stuff that interests me.