A Journey of Hellos and Goodbyes

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I remember Abraham Maslow’s quote that says “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” The choices we make put us on a pathway to find out who we are, where we came from, and why we are here. Months ago, I decided to choose to step forward, to take the risk and embark on a new journey. I feel very fortunate to have been able to embark on the PFP journey. Although we started in mid-October, it seems like it only began yesterday but at the same time, I believe we have achieved a lot.

Leaving family, friends, and jobs behind for 5 weeks is not an easy thing. Although it is not my first time in the US, I feel I’m discovering a new place that I have never encountered. As I sat down and began to write my blog, I started recalling all unforgettable memories, the amazing people I met and unbreakable friendships I made.

BEGINNING: I remember the first time the 16 young professionals from two different countries met in the airport. Each one of us had some ideas or expectations of the others. What a warm and wonderful welcome each one gave the other! We met with hello—salaam—wide smiles, and open arms.

ENDING: I also remember the last time the 16 met in the hotel’s lobby and the airport to say goodbye to each other. With tearful and heavy hearts we said goodbye; knowing that we may not see each other again altogether. We left saying Ma’a salaama—goodbye—smiles filled with tears, and open arms.

IN BETWEEN: We didn’t only share apartments but we shared lives. There are some moments that I can never forget; we have shared stories, laughter, tears, jokes, shopping, cleaning and cooking. I was inspired by each and every one; they taught me resilience, hard work, commitment and having fun amidst all of the stress. I learned that getting sick can be one of the most difficult thing you can face while you are away from home but the good thing is that you will find people who take care of you, and who stay up all night to check on. I learned that it takes time to adapt and adjust to new life style and new work environment. 

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’? DEFINITELY! And here are a few memories:

Panel discussion at Wesley seminary


Graduation Ceremony



The program definitely doesn’t end here but rather, it is a new beginning to a new phase. Finally I would like to say THANK YOU to Legacy International, our host organizations and host families. Thank you for opening your doors, your homes and your hearts to each of us. And thank you for making our experience so memorable.

Author: Fatma Younis

Fatma is a development specialist with more than seven years of experience. In her role, she monitors all project activities and progress, recommends further improvement of frame work, and develops monitoring and impact indicators for overall success. She is also the founder and president of the Global Network of Young Leaders (GNYL), community service coordinator of the Alexandria Chapter at AFS Egypt, and co-organizer and board member of TEDxYouth@Alexandria.

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