It’s summer in Cairo. The temperature has risen over 100F (40C) this week. The air is thick with dust and pollution and at night I wheeze as I fall into slumber. Sebastian has a little cough every once in a while to clear his throat and I am reminded why it’s much better to be among the trees.
With the high temperatures and sizzling sun, the summer trees bloom. My favourites are the flame trees and plumeria. Both remind me of Saipan. I smell the plumeria first and when I do, I look up in search of the tree. The flowers on the trees here are much smaller than the ones on Saipan, but the sweet smell takes me back to rainy days and the thick, humid heat of the island. The fiery red of the flame trees have started to pop open in bunches on the tall, lanky trees which seem to be lining streets and around each corner. Before Saipan I hadn’t experiences trees which flower, other than the Michigan cherry blossom. Every red flame produces a smile on my face. I just can’t get enough.
These trees bring me back to another time. A time when I was young and carefree. I had just left the US for the first time, nearly nine years ago now. I landed on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean and spent the next ten months creating memories and having experiences I had never dreamt. It was also a time of building new friendships with some amazing women whom I still keep in touch with today.