Thursday, March 31, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

Just a few pictures of last year's 2K/5K

So sorry to have been away for so long. I had no idea homeschooling my son would keep me so busy. Also, things really pick up for us this time of year. Even though our son is not going to the school anymore, there are still activities we attend with the school because my husband and daughter are teachers there.

This Saturday, there is the annual 2K/5K that our school does. Kids 4th grade and down run a 2K, and everyone over 4th grade runs a 5K. I ran this last year, but decided not to run this year. They need a lot of help running things, so I decided to be there to help in whatever area help is needed.

The next Saturday, April 9th, we are having an "Open House" at our apartment. We are doing this because we have been so busy this school year that we have not been able to see lots of our friends since we came back to Egypt last September. It will be a good way to see friends and have a good time of fellowship.

The next weekend, the high-school and middle-school will go on a retreat. They go to a "camp" where there are lots of challenging activities. They are put into two teams and these activities teach them to work as a team. My husband, daughter and son will go on this retreat.

I don't think there is anything planned for the next weekend, but we will probably be so busy playing "catch-up" that it will be busy too.

Then the last weekend of April is a family retreat with the church we attend here. This is always a great time of being with great friends and getting to "relax" a little.

From now until the end of the school year, it is like someone pushes a "fast-forward" button, and we seem to do everything in fast motion. Another school year will be over before we know it, and our family will be heading back to the States for a while. It is always a sad/happy occasion because we have to say good-bye (for a while) to our friends here, but we get to see friends and family back home.

In the weeks to come, I'll try to post on some of the activities mentioned above. Meanwhile, keep us in your thoughts and prayers. During the next few months, we will be packing up our stuff and moving to a new apartment. So, on top of all these activities, we will be busy with this as well.

Till next time, Jackie

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Will Egypt vote 'Yes' or 'No' to constitutional amendments? - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online

Today, the people of Egypt are casting their first vote since the revolution. I am not the type of person to keep up with political "talk", I thought I would just post an article that tells more about it. So, if you are interested, just "click" on the link below.

Will Egypt vote 'Yes' or 'No' to constitutional amendments? - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Our Cleaner

The picture above is a picture of our son Levi with the Sudanese man who cleans our apartment. He comes once a week and cleans for about 6 hours, and we pay him somewhere between $11.00 and $12.00 for the day. That is good money for cleaners here in Egypt. There are lots of Sudanese here in Egypt. They are either refugees, or they come for work because there is no work for them in Sudan.

His name is Deng, and he is very tall. I tried to take the picture with someone so you could tell how tall he was, but since our son Levi is so tall, you really can't tell. I should have had Levi take the picture of him with me.

Sudanese men are sought after for cleaners here. For one thing, they are strong and can move furniture if they have to. Also, they take pride in what they do.

He is a very quiet, mild-mannered young man. Every once in a while he will accept something to drink from us, but I have never known him to accept food.

It is very beneficial here in Egypt to have someone come in and clean at least once a week. No matter how well a person cleans here, the sand is a constant problem, and to have someone come in that one time a week helps keep the "sand" problem under control.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Prayer Still Needed

Of course these days, when people mention Egypt, people all over the world are going to think of the recent events that have happened here. The protests, demonstrations, riots, killings, unity among Egyptians, and ultimately a "presumed" victory for the people were all over the news, and these events were all that people could think about for a couple of weeks. Well, it seemed like as fast as these things started happening, they ended. We all hoped and prayed that what seemed "too good to be true" could really happen; that no matter what their differences, religiously, economically, or even gender, Egyptians were uniting and fighting for a better Egypt.

I believe there truly are thousands of people here in Egypt who truly hope and pray for this kind of Egypt, but there are still those here that are looking out for themselves and only wanted the regime to topple in order to bring about their own agendas.

Even as I am writing this, one of the minorities here in Egypt is ensnared in a battle; some even in such danger they are fighting for their lives and existence. I am speaking of the continuing battle between the Christians and the Muslims. Yes, the pictures we saw of Muslims and Christians uniting during the revolution were awesome, and I still stand up and applaud those who were sincere in this, but the fight and tensions that existed before all of this happened were embedded too deep in the hearts and minds of most people here to just go away in a couple of weeks. Just in the past few weeks following the revolution there have been churches burned down, and there was even a monastery that was attacked. Tensions have not eased since the bombing of a church in Alexandria near the 1st of the year also.

There is an area here that people refer to as "garbage village". One of my first posts ever was on this "village", and the picture I am using for my blog right now is taken in this area with some of the children. The majority of the people who live there are Christians. The people who live in this area began protesting against the violence going on against Christians, and they have come under attack for this. There are reports of their homes being burned down, and people being shot in the streets. A friend of ours, who has done a lot of volunteer work in that area has been receiving phone calls from many people in this area saying they are scared for their lives. Please keep these people in your prayers. They deserve the "freedom" that the Egyptian people have been fighting for as well.

See the post above for a news article on these events.

Little Patriot

Just thought I'd post this picture of a small boy holding an Egyptian flag. We rounded a corner, and here was this small boy with such a huge flag. He and his dad were selling flags. They are selling these flags all over Egypt. We have already bought one this size or maybe a bit bigger, but we stopped and bought a very small one and also asked if we could take a picture of the boy. He doens't look like it in the picture, but he was excited about me taking his picture. So cute.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Learning Together

There have been so many changes in our lives here recently due to the recent unrest in Egypt. One of the things that has changed, just this past week, is that we made the decision to pull our son from his highschool and homeschool him for the rest of this year. This decision was based on several reasons. First of all, and one of the main reasons, is because of the school he will attend in the States next year. The credits he will need upon graduating were not going to be met if he continued. There is a certain subject that he needs 4 years of and he was already behind one year, so we decided to pull him, drop one of the courses that he is ahead in, and double up on the one he is behind in.

Another reason for pulling him is that we are still missing two of the highschool teachers that left Egypt during the uprising. One of them is trying really hard to return, but the other has said she will not be returning. This has put the school in a position where things are much more stressful, and the teachers that stayed are taking on more responsibility. Our son was having some struggles, even before all of this happened, but we saw an increase in his stress as things got more stressful at the school.

Most of you know I recently quit my job teaching the KG 2 class at this school. Little did I know I would still be used in the role of teaching, at least for a few more months. It has been a wonderful experience so far. I know we have just gotten through the first week together, and that week was not very organized, but it has been enjoyable to be able to sit with my youngest son and teach him, and just really get to talk to him. I am trying to get things much more organized for the weeks to come, and he and I are "learning together" how to do all of this. It is such a responsibility to feel like you are in charge of what your child is learning, but it is also such a privilege.

As a Christian Mom who is homeschooling, I feel it is very important every morning to have a morning devotion with my son. Our devotions this past week have challenged us to think about our purpose for our lives. I can think of no better way to be used of God than to have such an opportunity with my child; to be able to be with him more, and just be able to enjoy his company. I ask all of my readers to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we take on this challenge. I pray that I can be a good teacher and keep things interesting for him, but I pray most of all that I can be a godly influence in my son's life and teach him that it doesn't matter what the world thinks our purpose should be, but obedience to God, and His purpose for our lives is the most important aspect of living.

(I will try to take some pictures of us in our homeschooling environment and post them soon.)