The Self-Care World Tour: Spring 2018 (Day 2: For Colored boys who are in search of their inner Vibr
Cairo. Giza. Dashur. Three places that each distinctively showed me so much about the world that has been forming around me the last two days. Cairo, a buzzing metropolis that somehow is able to transport and move 30 million people everyday, radiated this morning as we arose and got prepared to go on a series of excursions planned by Dahab Hostel, a very affordable touring company. To be honest, I was a bit nervous this morning. While Cairo is a beautiful city beaming with people, culture, and life; I worried about trusting a group of local Egyptians for 9 hours as they toured us around the major sites in the vicinity. This was to no fault of their own, but majorly a lot of my American ignorance. Growing up in post-September 11th America has sensationalized what the Middle East is. Oftentimes we here of jihad, bombings, ISIS, and anything else but the actual cultural capacity and capital that literally beams from the streets the same way the sun beats down every street within the area until sunset. Today, I had to trust the process and understand that the Egypt we see depicted on the media, is not the Egypt that truthfully exists in all capacities. Our driver, Moussa, explained to us today that Egypt is a civilization of old, that has recently finished a revolution to disarm antiquated power structures. Because of this revolution, the economy has tanked because the world has marked a country striving for political prosperity as one that is not fit to be visited or viewed. Ironically, the birthplaces of revolutions that we typically learn about in school (The United States, France, etc.) subjugate their citizens to this thinking. While I understand all of the precautions we must take, I have to acknowledge that history is a bit screwed up when it allows one form of revolution to be lauded while others are seen as savage. It is a tiring facade that plays out over hundreds of years of historical dialogue, and quite honestly today was the first time I had to pause and realize this. So today, I decided to suspend Western predispositions and search for what connected me to this place, this country, this continent - my inner Vibranium. Yes, that was a "Black Panther" reference, but it is more so pointed at the essence of the mythical metal. It is powerful, it is resilient, it is coveted. Today, I wanted to learn what about me was powerful, resilient, and desired. Thankfully, I started to learn that as I viewed the Pyramids of Giza and Dashur, as well as when Josh and I went to get fitted in traditional Arabian garb (don't worry more photos of those soon to come). At Giza, I learned quickly that the mass of the pyramids is, in essence, the mass of my ability when I believe that I can do something. I rode a camel for the first time, and was scared. But, I did it. I went inside a Pyramid, by scaling 800 meters down into a dark abyss. I did it. These simple feats showed me that within me there is more capacity than fear, there is more ability than immobility. More so, touring these pyramids and specifically climbing out of the pyramid showed me my own resilience. The journey into the pyramid felt weird, I was descending into a grave for someone. But, as I entered I kept in mind that my ancestors had the mathematical and architectural wit to construct this. A little climb up and down wouldn't hurt me, when I had examples of those who surpassed the limitations speaking to me through the stones that once said they wouldn't be moved. Finally, I am coveted. Today, flatteringly so, I was constantly asked if I was Nubian because my skin was appealing to so many people. This was awesome. Me, a dark skin dude from Queens, was being complimented and recognized as being something of beauty. When in the United States we are so focused on conformity politics when it comes to beauty and attraction, today I felt appreciated and recognized. While this is only the beginning of my search, I like what I am learning. As I search for more of this Vibranium that I have stumbled across today, it is my hope that I will see more and learn more about what is central to me and who I desire to be. Here's to day 3 with a flight to Aswan and a new journey.