Sunday, April 24, 2005

Getting Adjusted

Asalaama Alaikum,

Well, we've been here in Cairo for two weeks and we've been through some interesting weather including sand storms and severe thunderstorms. Egyptians treat thunderstorms as though it's a light show. We were just by chance sitting on the Nile drinking juice when the thunderstorms hit -- Egyptians love it -- we were creeped out after living in Maryland. Regarding sandstorms I wondered why I was the only one in the neighborhood who hung out white towels or any laundry to dry in the nice "wind."

We are all doing well Alhamdullilah. Mira's adjusting to school better than at first. It is going to take some time and the only thing that will really help is understanding, patience and lots of rest. We are still getting used to the night living here--going out at night means napping in the late afternoon.

Our food is mainly consisting of fuul and tamaya right now. I've lost some weight already but can't tell how much-- as long as I keep walking and sweating it off I'll be ok, I guess. Mira's not eating enough to climb the 4 flights of steps -- but get this we're on the 3rd floor. Yes, it's Egyptian math.

We got our satellite dish and air conditioner. I like to spend alot of time in front of the TV just seeing what I can find in English - we get ABC and CBS news -- Bloomberg and CNBC -- I'm a news junkie by nature.

We're going shopping for some blouses tonight for me to wear. I only have 2 long sleeve blouses and really feel more comfortable in them rather than short-sleeve tops. One reason is for modesty, and the second reason is for protection from the sun. Although we almost always have a breeze where we live- the sun is brutal.

Hassan is doing well. He's adjusting in his own way. His family calls all hours of the day and night but mostly just to make sure we're ok. He's loving it.

I miss my family, Karen, and my 'stuff.' I hope we get our boxes soon - Insha'allah May 2 they'll arrive in Alexandria. Where we will put everything is another blog entry for sure. We managed to order a dulab (closet) for Mira's room. It will be ready in 10 days or so. Knowing Egyptian time it will be more than 10 days. I'm learning that I'm one of the few punctual people in Hassan's family, but that's ok for now.

I only drive in Rehab right now - I'm too nervous to drive anywhere else - one of these days I'll make it to Heliopolis.

Ma3salaama to all,


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Greetings from Cairo!

Greetings from Cairo!! The flight went well, although, honestly Alitalia stewards were not very civil towards Americans. We will definitely not fly Alitalia again.

Our flight from Milan to Cairo was beautiful and the stewards were very nice. Maybe they were glad we weren't coming directly from the US, who knows.

In any event, we're quickly adjusting to the climate here in Egypt -- we arrived in 90 degree heat.

Mira's in school already here at Futures Language school, she seems to like it -- there are 7 other Americans in her class -- one boy arrived from Chicago just 2 weeks ago. So it's good to see that we're not the only ones.

I have to go -- Mira's antsy and we need to find shawarma for Hassan.

I will write when I get a chance. Maybe in the next few days -- our pc is still being shipped.

Ma3salaama and love to all,


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Happy Birthday Hassan!

Happy Birthday, Hassan! April 4th seemed so far away and now it's almost over. I hope that with our move, Hassan has 100 more birthdays, or as they say in Polish, "Stolat!"

Tonight's our last night in "our" house. It's been an incredible run with the great memories we've made at 4305 Stillwater Lane.

In keeping with our move, this may be my last post for awhile. We will be packing up the computer (again) and getting it ready to go.

We fly out of Dulles on Friday afternoon and will switch planes in Milan, Italy, then onto Cairo. I am somewhat nervous about flying (Hassan gets a kick out of it, really).

Please keep us in your dua's as we travel and make our way to Egypt. Insha'Allah I will write from Cairo shortly after we land.

Ma3salaama and love to all,


Saturday, April 02, 2005

Saying Good-bye

On Wednesday, March 30, my Dad, two sisters, Laura and Elaine, and Elaine's daughter (my niece), Maggie, who is 16 months old, came down to see us. (Hassan was working.)

It was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining, there was a warm breeze, and we just enjoyed each other's company. Maggie was wearing a new outfit we gave her; she looked beautiful. Mira was all over Maggie who was all over Mira . . .

Dad treated us to Randy's barbecue for lunch; it was good. Just about everyone took a turn at riding the scooter, even Laura. (I have photos, Laura, if the sisters ever need them.)

When it was time to leave, Dad sang a song that sounded like a WWII song. Then the crying started. As Laura said, it was heart-wrenching, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. Few words were spoken, but many things were said with the tears we shared.

It reminded me of Garth Brooks singing "The Dance."

The next day, Thursday, Tom and his daughter (my niece) Frances came down to pick up some things. We spent some time together just talking after the things were packed in the van. I told Tom that we may make rounds to say good-bye before we leave, but he said that it's ok if we don't because he understands everything we're going through. So many things can be said through the few words spoken.

After all it's not good-bye, just "I'll see you when I see you."