Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pollution in Egypt

One thing that we have to put up with, if we want to live in Cairo, Egypt, is the pollution. The pollution or smog, can get quite bad at times. We happen to live right outside of Cairo, where the pollution isn't quite as bad, but we have to drive into Cairo almost every day, and on our way we can see the black, luminous cloud, hanging over the city.

Most of this pollution can be blamed on so many cars on the streets and lack of regulated vehicle emissions. Plus, many cars on the streets are old, so they lack modern emission cutting features.

Our family rode in taxis for the first year-and-a-half here. Then finally we got a car. One of the main reasons I was very happy that we finally had a car was because of the pollution. Most taxis, even in the cooler months, drive around with the windows down. When traffic is bad, and sometimes even when it isn't, it is so hard to breathe because of the exhaust in the air.

So, if you are reading this somewhere where the air is fresh and clean, next time you go outside, take a huge breath, thank God for that wonderful fresh air, then take another one for me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm Back

So sorry for the long delay between posts. We just returned to Egypt about 3 weeks ago. As we say in America, we hit the ground running, and we haven't stopped. Also, our internet has been a big source of stress since we got back. We just got it back to normal yesterday.

Most of you know that last year I taught the 3rd grade here, but this year I am teaching KG 2. It is such a big change, and it is taking alot of my time to make the switch.

Above are some pictures of some of my students in their computer class and also some pictures of some of the 2nd graders reading to my students. Aren't they cute?

I just love teaching at a school like this. There is so much variety in the nationalities of the students. Our school has Egyptians, Americans, Koreans, Brazilians, Sudanese, Mexicans, and probably even others that I cannot think of right now.

This is just another experience of living in a foreign land.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thought: The Hardest Part of Living Overseas

The "whole" family.

My parents with my sister and me.

My Mom and Dad. I just love this picture.

The hardest part of living overseas is having to say good-bye to friends and family. We have had a wonderful time here in the States this summer and have really enjoyed getting to see friends and family that we do not get to see most of the year. After living for so many years overseas (8 1/2 years), this part is hard which ever place we are leaving. Of course, all of our family is here in the States, but we have made many, many friends in Egypt as well, and it is hard to say good-bye to them when we are travelling to the States. It isn't quite as hard though because we still spend the majority of our time in Egypt.

Above are some pictures of me and my family here in the States. It is a picture of my sister and her three daughters, my parents, and me, my husband and our three kids. This is the first picture like this that my family has taken, and I think they turned out rather well.

The reason for this "thought" is that we leave to return to Egypt tomorrow. In a way I'm excited. We get to get back to our own home and our "normal" life and routine there, but in another way I'm sad. It will be at least another 9 months to a year before we get to see our family members again, and that is if we don't decide to just stay in Egypt for the summer next year. Please say a prayer for us that our trip will go smoothly and that the jet lag won't be too bad.

Well, next time you "hear" from me will be from my other home, on the other side of the world.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Snapshot: More Transportation

In Egypt, there are lots of ways to get from one place to another, and since I have been talking about transportation, I thought I would post this picture we took one morning on our way to school. Now, I don't know if these young men were on their way to school or not, but apparently the mini van was too full for them to sit on the inside. We see this quite a bit, and honestly, it scares me to death. As you could probably tell, they don't have as many "safety" laws here. Basically, you can travel almost any way you choose.

My family and I NEVER ride in one of these mini vans, let alone ride on the outside. These vans almost literally "fly" down the road and zip in and out of traffic like there's no tomorrow. I think there are more accidents and deaths related to these vans than any other type of vehicle on the road here. With so many options of transport, I have no idea why people choose to ride in them.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Snapshot: Transportation to School #2

If you thought riding to school in the back of a small truck would be difficult, try this one.

Even in the States, where we are from in SW Missouri, I would not be too excited about riding a motorcycle to school, but here, in Cairo Egypt, it would be my worst nightmare. First of all, just thinking about breathing in all of the exhaust from the traffic makes me tremble. I do not even like to ride around in my car with the windows down because of this. There are so many cars on the road, and Egypt does not have the regulated laws on exhaust emissions. Secondly, it would just be scary because of sheer number of cars and the crazy way they drive. Being in a car on the streets of Cairo is dangerous enough, but being on a motorcycle is even more dangerous. Unfortunately, we have seen lots of accidents involving motorcycles. And, last but not least, some families (like the one you see above) probably can only afford a motorcycle, so, the whole family travels together, on the motorcycle. We have seen some crazy things in Cairo, but this one blows my mind every time I see it. My son Levi said he has even seen a family traveling on a motorcycle with a goat sandwiched in between two of the riders. Maybe someday I will see something like this and be able to snap a picture for you to see. If you are like me, and from the "Show-me" state of Missouri, you may not believe it until you see it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Snapshot: Transportation to School

Click on picture to make it larger.

If you are reading this from the States, you know that most schools are starting this week. The public school here where I am at the time (SW Missouri) did anyway. The majority of kids attending public schools here ride school buses. The others are either taken by parents, or, if they are old enough, may drive themselves. In Egypt, there are lots of modes of transportation to and from school. Most of the private schools do have buses that run and pick up the kids, but this is not a free service. If the students attend a public school, there are several options. One of those options is pictured above. Now, we do not see this very often in the areas we are usually in, but in the more poorer areas of town, you can see this quite often. They are picked up in the back of small trucks. Can you imagine having to travel this way? First of all, it can be a very dusty ride. Most of the streets in these areas are not paved. Most of the time it is very dry, but if it does happen to rain, this can cause problems too. One problem can be that you are in the back of a small truck, with no covering, and you could start out your day getting drenched. Another problem is that it can get very muddy in these areas which can cause many more problems, from vehicles getting stuck in the mud to children who have to walk through it. Then there is the problem of the weather. As you probably know, it can get quite hot in Egypt, so travelling in the back of a truck can be pretty uncomfortable in the heat. It can also get pretty cool in the winter time. The coolest I have known it to get in Egypt is around 45 degrees Farenheit, which is a little over 7 degrees Celsius. Now, while that is not freezing, it can be very, very cold to someone who is riding down the rode in the back of a truck. So, the next time you are tempted to complain about your mode of transportation, just think back to this post, and about the people and kids that have to travel this way. I think most of us who are wealthy enough to have a computer to be reading this blog in the first place would not have a reason to complain at all. In fact, it might just make us a little more thankful.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What-not: Sorry

Sorry for the delay in posting a new post. I had a wisdom tooth removed recently, and also, we are starting to get busy packing to go back to Egypt. I hope to get a post or two done before we actually leave.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What-not: The Town of Dahab

A beautiful view of the hotel we stayed in with the beautiful mountains of Sinai behind.
That beautiful "golden" sunset.
Levi on a camel ride.

Me, with a couple of little bedouin girls.

"Dahab" is the name of a beautiful little town in the Sinai that we visited several years ago. It is situated among the mountains of the Sinai. It used to be a small bedouin fishing village. Now it is mainly a touristic site, known for its great diving spots. Following the Six Day War, the town was occupied by Israel and is known in Hebrew as Di-Zahav, a place mentioned in the Bible as one of the stations for the Israelites during the Exodus from Egypt. The Sinai Peninsula was restored to Egyptian rule in the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in 1982.

Dahab enjoys large numbers of tourists. It is world-renowned for its windsurfing. SCUBA diving and snorkelling are also popular activities with many reefs immediately adjacent to waterfront hotels. The nearby Blue Hole-Which is nicknamed as "The World's Most Dangerous Diving Site"- and Canyon are internationally famous dive spots. Land based activities include camel, horse, jeep and quad bike trips. Mount Sinai is a two hours drive, with Saint Catherine's Monastery being a popular tourist destination.

The word Dahab is Arabic for gold and is possibly a reference to the geographic location; gold washed down from the desert mountains may have accumulated on the flood plain where the town was built. The name may also be a reference to the colour of the sands to the south of the town itself. Some locals attribute the name to the colour of the sky, just after sunset.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Every once in a while, when I don't have time to post much, I am just going to post a picture, probably with a short explanation. I just thought I would post this one of me and the camel. Lots of you have probably seen it because it is the first picture I used for my blog, but there may be some out there who haven't seen it.

I am fascinated with camels. I think they are so neat. My son just happened to snap this picture one day when we were at the pyramids, and it looks like the camel is smiling. I just love it.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thought: Cairo's Night Life

One of the things that I will NEVER get used to in Egypt, is that Egyptians love the night-life. Now, I haven't really determined what the actual reason is, but I have a feeling it originates from the fact that it is much cooler at night. Our family still operates on a pretty typical American schedule. That is, we try to go to bed by 10:00 PM. Now one thing that helps us do that is we have to wake up pretty early. We have to be at school by 7:30 in the morning to attend the teachers' meeting, and school starts at 8:00. We leave our home at 6:45 AM to be able to arrive on time. It does not take us 45 minutes to get to school, but we have come to realize that if we leave any later than this, the traffic is already getting bad, and that can cause delays. So, Tim and I get up at 5:00 (sometimes Tim is up earlier than this), and we wake our son at 5:30. It is so quiet in Cairo at this time in the morning. It is actually quite nice.

Now another thing that is quite annoying to us Americans, is that most shops and businesses do not open till at least 10:00 AM. This, of course, is due to the late-night hours they operate by. Also, their meal schedule is quite different. Breakfast is usually around 10:00, lunch around 4:00 in the afternoon, and dinner is around 10:00 PM. Typically, lunch is their biggest meal, and dinner is usually lighter.

There are Egyptians, of course, who operate somewhat more on an American-type schedule due to their kids having to be to school early etc., and I do not want to lump all Egyptians into this "night-life" habit. I know I have some Egyptians who read this, and I would love to have some of their feed-back on this. I definately do not want to put across anything that isn't true. I'm definately not the expert on these things. I'm just writing what I have experienced.

Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures to go along with this post because I am never awake to take the pictures of how Cairo comes alive at night, but I promise to try my hardest when we get back to Egypt to get some.

Now, my "thought" on this: Sometimes people can tend to be a little judgemental when it comes to differences in the habits of other cultures. I know I have been on this particular issue. I have thought, in the past, that this habit is soooo wrong. Why do these people have to stay up and visit and socialize so late into the night, keeping me and my famiy awake. But here's what I have come to realize. (This is a "duh" moment here.) I am living among 18-20 million Egyptians in Cairo. Am I so ethnocentric to believe that they are all wrong and I am right? Well, I'm working on it. I think it has helped to live in another country, and to realize that people are people, no matter where they live in the world. I will never be able to change the way an entire people group live and function, so why criticize and dwell on something which just makes my life more miserable. I think it would do everyone a bit of good to be able to live in a different culture at one point in their lives and realize this. Maybe the world would be a better place.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Biscuits and Gravy

In the States, especially in the South, Biscuits and Gravy is a very popular breakfast food. If I were to mention "biscuits" in Egypt, that would mean something more like a cookie. This is something that originated from British culture, but the American biscuit is very similar to the British scone. It is a pretty easy meal to make, not to mention that it is also very inexpensive, and all of the ingredients are staples usually kept in all kitchens.

I'm probably a little prejudice, but my Mom makes the best biscuits and gravy I have ever tasted. Now, while this meal is fairly easy and inexpensive, if you make the biscuits from scratch it can take a while. One thing that can make this meal even quicker is that here in the States we have canned biscuits. Now don't get me wrong, homemade biscuits from scratch are always the best, but there are some brands of canned biscuits that are really good.

It's kind of sad that I have only had biscuits and gravy once since we have been back, and that was at a restaraunt. If you have never had biscuits and gravy, you should give it a try. I have supplied the recipes below.

Biscuit Recipe:
*2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
*2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar (optional)
*1/2 cup (113 grams) cold butter, cut into small pieces
*3/4 cup (180 ml) milk
*1 large egg, lightly beaten

*1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (use pastry blender, two knives, or fingertips). Add the milk and slightly beaten egg and stir until just combined. (The texture should be sticky, moist and lumpy.)

Place mixture on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently until it comes together and is a smooth dough.

Roll out dough to 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thickness. Cut out biscuits with a lightly floured round cookie cutter. Place on prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with the beaten egg and milk mixture and bake for about 10 - 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the biscuit comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter.

Makes about 12 3-inch (7.5 cm) biscuits.

*5 tbsp. unsalted butter
*4 tbsp. all purpose flour
*Approximately 2 cups milk (vitamin D milk, not skim, fat-free, fat-less, or other, and nothing heavier, it won’t work.)
*Freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Add flour and combine. Add ¼ tsp salt and around 10 grinds pepper.

Stir until the flower is about the color of peanut butter and smells nutty. Add ½ of the milk and increase heat to medium.

Allow to come to a simmer, stirring constantly to avoid sticking. On the first run, the gravy is likely to nearly seize, be ready with more milk.

Add milk by quarter or half cups until gravy has thickened considerably. If using a whisk you’ll know the gravy is ready when drawing the whisk through the gravy leaves “tracks” from the wires that remain visible for at least 5 seconds.

Add at least 10 more grinds pepper and another pinch of salt, to taste.

Recipe can be doubled if needed.


If you like your gravy with a kick, feel free to add a dash of cayenne powder or ground chili. You may also add cooked sausage, or ground beef.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Then......and Now

This is the oldest picture I could find of all five of us together.

This is our family about a month or two before we moved to Egypt.

This picture was taken about midway through our time in Egypt together.

This picture was the last one taken of our family all together while in Egypt.

This is the most recent family picture. It was taken 2 years ago, so the kids have changed a bit. Hopefully, we will have another picture taken this summer.

I love looking at pictures of our family. Sometimes, I really miss the times when our kids were small. I miss holding them on my lap. I miss the funny things they said and the funny way they talked. I also miss the fact that I can't take care of all of their hurts with a kiss. (Well, that still works for our youngest Levi sometimes.) ;o)

On the other hand, there are advantages to having your kids grow up. You don't have to take them to the toilet. You don't have to get all of their food ready for them before you can sit down and eat your own. You also don't have to listen to them cry when you say it is bed-time. It is fun though (and sometimes scary) to see them devolop their independence and start making decisions on their own. It is also nice to see them develop into an adult and start to live "life on their own".

Our two oldest kids have started this journey. Our daughter, who is the oldest, is attending University and is getting a degree in English literature. Our second, just recently graduated from high-school. He will be going to a military academy this fall. Fortunately, the nest isn't empty yet. Our youngest still has three years of high-school left.

I was looking through some older pictures of our family the other day and I decided post some pictures of how our family has changed through the years. Hope you enjoy them.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Attending Church In Egypt

A picture of the cross on top of our church. I have always loved this picture.

The inside of the church building.

Two of our kids with some of their friends at a church camp.

The "church family" attending a conference about "being family".

The church pictured above is where our family sometimes attends church while we are in Egypt. The reason I say sometimes, is because it is a pretty far drive for us, but we have many friends here that we love very much.

We actually have two churches we attend. One of them is an English speaking church that our son Levi is very involved in, and the other is the one pictured above which is an Arabic speaking church.

The one I want to focus on here though, is the Arabic speaking church. We started attending this church back in the summer of 2002. The people were so friendly and welcoming, and the church and the people quickly became a very important part of our lives.

If you were to attend a service at this church, you would experience a very different type of service than you experience here in the States. First of all, the men and the women sit on different sides of the church. This is cultural. They do this in order for the people to keep their minds on the sermon and not on the other gender that might be sitting beside or in front of them.

The second difference you might see is that the people, including the youth, LOVE to sing, and they put their whole heart into it and sing at the top of their lungs. I love this part of the service in Egypt. It is so awesome to hear these people, who are such a minority, sing so loud, not caring who is outside the walls of the church listening. In fact, they want the people to hear the messages of the songs they are singing.

A third difference you would notice is that they are in no hurry to get the service over with, or to rush out of church once the service is over. The sermon always lasts at least an hour. They do not feel like they have gotten what they came for if it is any shorter. After church, it is not uncommon for people to stick around for a couple of hours. You hear about "church family" here in the States, but in Egypt, they are such a minority that this "church family" feeling runs much deeper. They start out getting to know each other when they are just little kids, going to Sunday school together. Then they grow up together and usually end up marrying someone within the church. It is not uncommon for adults to have many friends that they have known since they were small children.

In a way, yes, we are outsiders and always will be, but we have grown to love these people like family. In another way, we are insiders and very much a part of the family, the family of God, that is. We feel very blessed that we have gotten to know these wonderful people who live on the other side of the world, and that God has brought us together with brothers and sisters in Christ that have made us feel at home in Egypt.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Egyptian Engagement Parties

Tim and I with the happy couple.

The young lady at the hair salon. It is a very special day for her, so she wants to look her best. BTW, this is my hair dresser Osama.

The women's room.

You are never too young to dance.

All over the world, I'm sure that all little girls like to think about getting married in the future. From what I've seen, this is an understatement in Egypt. Marriage is considered one of the most important, if not THE most important event in a person's life. Little girls are taught from a very early age that their goal in life is to be a wife and a mom. Now, I am not saying this is wrong, but to plant the idea in a little girl's head that she will amount to nothing unless she is married is wrong, and this is exactly what they are taught.

While I am no expert on the subject, I am writing about what I have observed since being in Egypt. You have probably heard yourself that most marriages are arranged. Arranged marriages still do go on today, mostly in the villages and among the poorer and more conservative people. From what I understand, things have changed some, and young people now have a little more say in the matter of who they marry. It is still a very strict routine though of how they go about this. If two young people start to have an interest in each other, they are not allowed to date, at least alone that is. They may go places with a group of friends, but you would hardly ever see them holding hands or even sitting close to each other. Usually the girls stick close to the girls and the boys stick close to the boys. (This is changing somewhat though as Westernization slowly creeps in and among the wealthier and more liberal.)

When they are old enough, and the young man has purchased a place for them to live, the parents of the young man go to the house of the young woman to get her family's approval to begin wedding preparations. After this meeting, the young couple is considered engaged. Usually a big engagement party is held with dancing and very loud music. For the most part, men and women are separated into different rooms for this, but there is a little intermingling allowed depending on how conservative the family is.

We had the privilege of attending one of these engagement parties while in Egypt. It was definately an amazing, cultural experience. While it was amazing, I don't think I would want to attend many of these. First of all, this particular engagement party was held in a small apartment on around the 5th floor. (Some are held in hotels or clubs.) The apartment was packed to what would probably be considered over capacity. It was hard just to move because of the number of people. Secondly, the music was very, very loud. Finally, the party went on till the wee hours of the next morning. Now, I don't mind being around people, but I am not a fan of anything loud, and I am not a night person. Needless to say, we left before the party was finished, and I do have to say I had quite a headache when we left.

Monday, July 5, 2010

More of my Favorite Things

Aren't they adorable? These kids live in a very poor area of Cairo called "Garbage City". I've done a post on this city before. It is an area that is predominantly Christian, and the people here are the garbage collectors of Cairo.

This picture was taken right outside of the gates of an orphanage in this poor area. The kids are used to foreigners coming into this orphanage to volunteer their time. Volunteers come in and just spend time with the orphans. Volunteers come in and play with the toddlers, or they can help with the babies. Unfortunately, I have only been to the orphanage once. I helped with the babies. When you help with the babies you can hold them, help feed them, and then help with changing their diapers before they go down for their nap. I was not even aware of this orphanage until a friend took me there this past year. Hopefully this next year I will get to go back many times and I will be sure to take pictures and do a post on this very special place.

Back to the kids in this picture. Even though I love to stop and talk to kids like this, one has to be careful in this area. Not because it's dangerous or anything, but if you stop, pretty soon you could find yourself overwhelmed by the number of kids that will be surrounding you. These kids were asking for "hagga helwa", or candy. I had some mints and was handing them out. I had to do it quickly and discreetly so as to not draw too much attention to myself.

What I love about the kids, or even the adults, in this area is that they don't seem to let their circumstances get them down. The people in this area are very poor, but they are always happy and very friendly. Just goes to show you that money and riches are not what it takes in this world to be happy.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Few of my Favorite Things

My 3rd grade class from last year.

Me, with my 2 nieces and a friend's 4 daughters.

Some of the "special needs kids" I worked with.

The kids from the daycare in Egypt.

One of the cuties at the preschool I work at now.

Another cutie from the preschool.

No matter where I am in the world, one of my favorite things in the world is kids. If you know me at all, you know this to be true. While in Egypt, there were several things I did to work with kids. I taught the preschool class at our church. I worked with special needs kids in a very poor area of Cairo. My husband and I helped some friends start a daycare, and I taught 3rd grade last year, which I will be doing again this year.

While in the States, it is no different. I try to spend as much time with my two nieces and another friend's daughters as possible. There are six of them, and they are all 8 years old and under. Also while here, I am working at a preschool with two-year-olds. I am only working 2 1/2 hours a day, but it gives me the "kid fix" that I need.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Lighthouse of Alexandria

Just a picture I found on the internet of what was a perception of what the "Pharos of Alexandria" would have looked like.

Most people are aware and know of the Pyramids of Egypt which are one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World", but not many people know that Egypt once contained one of the other "Seven Wonders" as well. The Lighthouse, known as the Pharos of Alexandria, was built on the small offshore island Pharos. It is said that the light from this lighthouse could be seen as far as 35 miles offshore. In ancient times, the lighthouse was used to guide sailors into the tricky harbor to what once was one of the world's centers of civilization.

The idea to build this lighthouse can be credited to Ptolemy I, who was the ruler of Egypt after the death of Alexander the Great. Construction was ordered to begin in the year 290 B.C. It was such a huge project though, that it was not finished during his lifetime. The lighthouse was completed after his death by his son Ptolemy II.

The "Pharos" consisted of 3 parts built on top of each other. The bottom part was square and was appoximately 183 feet high. The second part was octagonal in shape and was around 90 feet high. And the third and final part was a 24-foot-high cylinder. If you include the base, the lighthouse was a total height of 384 feet. This would easily be compared to a modern-day 40-story building. This is huge in comparison to lighthouses today. From what I could find on the internet, the tallest modern-day lighthouse is slightly under 200 feet.

The Lighthouse stood for centuries, first and foremost as a beacon to travelers and next as a tribute to the greatness of this ancient civilization. Earthquakes eventually brought down the famed structure, however. The first one, in 1303, shook up the entire area; the second one, 20 years later, did significant structural damage. By this time, also, the Lighthouse had fallen into disrepair because the Arab conqueror of Egypt didn't keep it up. Although the Lighthouse soldiered on, it was done in entirely by Sultan Qaitbay in 1480. The sultan used the stone and marble that had once made up the Lighthouse to build a fort on the very spot where the Lighthouse once stood.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Window with a Different View

When I look out the window here in Missouri, this is the view.

This is a typical view out of a window in Cairo, Egypt. In fact, this was a view out the window of one of our past apartments.

One thing I miss so much when we are in Egypt is all of the green grass and trees. In Egypt, almost everything is a beige/tan color. There is so much sand, and the buildings are made of concrete, and the majority of them are a beige/tan color. Coming from the Ozarks I was so used to lots and lots of green grass and trees. After being in Egypt for a long time, and then flying into the Ozarks area, it is almost a shock to the system to see the difference in the color of the landscape. For the first couple of weeks I can barely stop looking at all of the greenery that surrounds us here. Now, don't get me wrong, there are trees and greenery in Egypt, especially in the Nile Delta, the land on both sides of the Nile. Also, in Cairo, there are beautiful park areas that are kept really nice. These usually have quite a bit of green trees and grass. So, if I ever have the desire to walk in the grass barefoot, I can if I want to.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We Pushed the 2nd One out of the Nest

This is D. when he was little. Isn't he just the cutest thing?

This is D. with his younger brother L. and his older sister K. (He's the one in the middle.)

In America, we have this saying: After all of the children have left the home you have an "empty nest". Well, today, our 2nd child "left the nest". We drove our 2nd child, who happens to be our 1st son, to a military academy he will be attending this Fall, if all goes as planned. For the next month he will be attending a Leadership Training Camp with the military. This "camp" is similar to normal boot-camp, but it also teaches leadership skills and gives each one participating, leadership opportunities.

As a mother, I had mixed feeling about this. I was (and still am) scared, nervous, and sad to see him go. But on the other hand, I'm also very excited for him. It is his time. It's his chance, and it's his choice. He's off and just beginning what promises to be a very exciting future, and I am very proud of him. There is a lot of work ahead of him, and it's not going to be easy.

My advice to him: Always remember to keep God first, and as I Corinthians 10:31 says "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Special Delivery

One thing I really miss about Egypt, is that almost anything can be delivered to your home. From fast-food to medicine, all you have to do is call, and it is on its way. Delivery is available at all restaruants, pharmacies, and most grocery stores.
The one we use most often is McDonalds delivery. As you can see from the picture above, most places use motorcycles to deliver. This is because the traffic is often so bad (as seen above also) it might take hours for your delivery to arrive if cars were used. On a motorcycle though, a person can just zip through and between cars, and if there isn't enough room between cars, they use the sidewalk.

As stated before, one of the reasons delivery is used for almost everything is because of the traffic. If delivery was not available, it would just be a hassle to get out in the traffic for whatever it is you need. Another reason people do not like to get out is because parking spots are very hard to come by. If you have a good parking spot, why get out and take a chance losing it. And one of the last reasons for delivery is because not everyone can afford a car. Delivery makes it easy for these people to enjoy the convenience of fast food or other items they may want or need as well.

I do have to say though, that having delivery of these things often makes it much more tempting. Sitting here in the States, if I get hungry, I'm much more likely to just go to the refrigerator and grab something already on hand, which is probably better for me and for my pocket-book. With that all said, I still miss it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Under Construction

As you can see, my blog is undergoing a few changes. I am currently in the U.S. I have been wanting to blog, but it is really hard to blog on what is happening in Egypt while here. I have changed the backgroud and even the title to make it more presentable. Also, I feel the title is appropriate whether I am in Egypt or the U.S. for a couple of reasons. First of all, I am truly a foreigner when I am in Egypt because of my nationality. No matter how long I live in Egypt, I will always be a foreigner. But, because I have lived in Egypt for almost 9 years now, I feel like a foreigner when we come back to the U.S. The second reason I feel the new title of the blog is appropriate, is because as a Christian, the Bible says we are all "living in a foreign land". As a Christian, "This world is not our home. "We are just passing through." For me, as a Christian, this means that I should never get too comfortable with the things of this world. When I die and leave this world, I will be going to my "true" home, and I won't be able to take my possessions of this life with me. That is why the Bible says "Where your treasure is, that is where your heart is also." If all I focused on was my worldly possessions, I would just be wasting my time. All of these things will come to an end. But living a life for Jesus and His glory will last forever. As an old pastor of mine used to say "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last ..."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I can't believe I have been writing this blog for over a year now, and I have not done a post on the most famous thing about Cairo, Egypt: THE PYRAMIDS. I think probably most of the people of the world have heard about the "Pyramids of Egypt", and I could almost bet, that given the opportunity, just about everyone would love to have the privilege of visiting them some day. Well, I have been very blessed to have had that opportunity on many more than one occasion, and on every occasion, it is like I am seeing them for the first time.

When you are actually there, it is almost unbelievable. They are so luminous, yet breath-takingly stunning. It is so hard to imagine how the huge stones that make the pyramids were put in place. Each of these stones weigh approximately 2 tons each.

I'm not going to bore you with all of the specific details. If you are interested, there are plenty of websites you can go to to look up these details. I just wanted to post some of the awesome pictures we have taken of these awesome icons of Egyptian history.