Yoga Instructor Heads to Egypt to Represent the United States of America. Marietta was invited to represent the United States as a Math Teacher at the first Egypt/United States Educational Forum. She traveled to Egypt, December 2007, with 40 other American Math Teachers, from all across our nation, to observe Egypt's Educational System, and to share US Educational Strategies. They first met with the Egyptian host, Walid Batouty, who welcomed all 400 of the American Teachers to Egypt, at the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel. Each Subject Area Group was introduced to an Egyptologists, who would serve as guides/historians for the entire visit. Through Ms. Dalia Khalil, Egypt Director of iEARN, they learned that the iEARN project was a unique non-profit with the world's largest global teacher network; the organization is active in 120 countries affecting one million students. Specifically in Egypt, iEARN works with 106 schools serving over 9800 students and 1000 teachers. Dr. Nadia Touba of the Education Reform Project-USAID and the Teachers' Cadre and Alexandria University, discussed the standards movement in Egypt, which began 2003-2004. Very similar to the Standards movement in the United States for the last 30 years. The American Teachers were also humbled by the Minister of Education, His Excellency, Yousri El-Gamal, who talked about the National Strategic Plan for Pre-University Education for Egypt being implemented in 2007-2010. On two screens, one in Arabic and one in English, Mr. El-Gamal explain the goals for Egypt Education, one of which was to build 3500 schools in the next 5 years. During the week visit, the Delegates traveled to the Suzanne Mubarak School for Girls on the west side of the Nile(Giza area). They were greeted by the teachers and students and escorted to the principal's office. Math and Science Delegates were at the school for the morning. Touring the building. Marietta and the other Math and Science teachers observed the craft room, containing mosaics, sewing products, pickling, and many other Egyptian crafts. The library was small and contained books in science, math, and reference materials. No fiction books were available. As we crowded in with students, during their Geometry Class, with Mr. Hamid, we sat down at desk, which were more like benches. The class room did not have text, students had little journals they used for note taking, and the instruction was with a computer software, demonstrating and reviewing shape, size, symmetry, domain, and range. Also, absolute value, cube function and square functions. Leaving Suzanne Mubarak School for Girls the American Teachers headed to Adou Bakr Experimental Language School(Elementary School), greeted by the students, "My name is ____________, what is yours?" Many were excited to try out their new language on the American guest. The school age ranged from kindergarten to 8th grade, boys and girls. Upon our arrival, students performed a traditional dance in costume. We were welcomed by Ms Afaf, Director of school and Mo Maval. Again touring this school, focusing on the technology in the math classroom, which they had much pride in. On the fourth day of the visit they were fortunate to travel to the Pyramid Center. The Great Pyramid of Khufu rises as a mountain from the desert. The monuments are ancient and incredible. The two smaller pyramids, the Pyramid of Menkaura, and the Pyramid of Khaefra were still very impressive in size. Some of the teachers purchased tickets to explore the inside of the Pyramid of Khaefra. Entering through an opening not more than 3 feet by 4 feet, walking down not steps but a plank. As they descended down the plank the air thickened to the point where it was starting to become hard to breathe. The temperature grew hotter and hotter. After descending 50 feet, arriving at the level of the Lower Chamber, which was not open for viewing, We began to ascend upward another 50 feet to a narrow corridor which led us back about 100 feet to the Upper Chamber, a room standing 10 feet tall, 15 wide and 25 long. Which once held the sarcophagus and mummified body of King Khaefra Chephren. Old Kingdom ca. 2558-2533. The burial Chamber was empty, without much air to breathe, observing quickly, they headed back to the surface, as fast as their feet would take them. Stopping only to wedge their selves against one side of the passageway, allowing other visitors by. Boarding the buses once more, they traveled between the Great Pyramids and Giza where the encredible Sphinx is located. The Sphinx aperience was the least worn, a deep dry moat surrounded the Sphinx, keeping the public at a distance. They also had the incredible opportunity to visit the Cairo Museum after hours. All 400 American Delegates toured the museum with their Egyptologists, who gave in depth information about many of the artifacts in the huge collection. Marietta visited two mummy rooms, which were refrigerated, to help preserve the mummies conditions. Occupying space just a foot away from Ramese the Great, was pretty amazing.
"In honor of the Egyptian people, I pray for a peaceful transformation to a better government, a better place for children to live, grow, and be nurtured into a loving peaceful democracy. The Government which promised 3500 schools to be built by 2010, did not follow through. I hope the children of Egypt will all receive the privilege of going to school, and learning how to succeed in this 21st century world."