Sunday, June 26, 2005

Finding My Place

I think I am finally beginning feel a little less out of place as an American living in Egypt.

I went to sign a contract today to work at the school Mira will be attending in September. I will be the office administrator for the American section of the school. While I am enthusiastic about working full-time once again, I am hesitant in signing the contract because it commits me to one year of employment. I've always wanted to work at Mira's school, but I was hoping it would be in the U.S. I originally thought the contract was for 11 months, however, the contract is for 10 months. The contract begins August 15, 2005 through June 15, 2006 with two months of vacation without pay. I was originally told the contract was for 11 months and then they changed it to 10 months. I think this is still ok because I get 5 sick days during the school year and 30% discount for Mira's tuition.

I drove by myself (Mira was with me) to the main school office in Nasr City about 25 minutes from where we live. After meeting with the principal, we drove back to Rehab and went to the mall where we tried to do some shopping but to no avail, most of the stores were closed. I think the stores open later in the day and stay open until late at night because of the heat. I am overcoming my fear of driving in a city where the drivers make five and half lanes out of a three lane road. I am beginning to realize that my incentive to drive is two-fold: I re-gain my independence, and I can spend money.



Friday, June 24, 2005

Shopping for Clothes

I treasure my independence and I am used to shopping by myself. Relying on others here in Egypt to show me around has been quite a major adjustment. Hopefully I will not be relying on others for too much longer, especially Hassan.

Yesterday Hassan, Mira and I went shopping to buy clothes for me to wear. I needed some summer weight clothing, especially short-sleeve blouses that are not t-shirts. Women in Egypt tend to dress up whenever they go out. An American ideal I hold dear in my heart is "wear what you want as long as it looks nice and is clean." Oh, did I mention that most women in Egypt, except for a few of us transplants, do not wear shorts. In any event, I bought some blouses, coming out of the store with only one short-sleeve blouse. I guess there just wasn't much of a selection of short-sleeve blouses at this one particlar store. Still, I am quite thankful for the welcome additions to my wardrobe.



Saturday, June 18, 2005

Ain Sukhna

Hassan, Mira and I went to the Red Sea resort of Ain Sukhna on Thursday and just returned about an hour ago. We went with Hassan's friend, Ehab and his wife Jihan. "Ain Sukhna" means "Hot Springs." It was nice getting away to the beach, especially since this particular beach is only about an hour away.

As we drove down the coast, there are mountains of rock on one side of us, and the Red Sea on the other side with a winding road in the middle. It was so pretty to see the contrast between the rock mountains and the sea. I thought to myself "How would Bob Ross paint this scenic view?"

The water is very blue, and from the shore you can see the Sinai peninsula. I understand how Moses coule have parted the Red Sea. From where we were, the distance from one side of the Red Sea to the other is probably no more than five miles. The water was very calm and extremely clear, with small white fish swimming under us. There are no real waves; the waves would be similar to those of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland - almost non-existent. The only difference between the two bodies of water is that there is a tremendous amount of salt in the Red Sea.

So now we've returned with salty bathing suits and tired bodies from swimming.



Saturday, June 11, 2005

June 11 - Adjusting to Life for Now

It's been one month since my last post - - sorry for the delay. Mira finished school and will be moving to another school in September. Her new school is an American accredited school. They offered me the job of office manager/files manager for the American school section. I am just waiting to sign the contract. I think this opportunity is good for a few reasons: 1 I will be near Mira 2 I'm going to be working full-time and the job will keep me busy 3 I will be around American teachers and educators working and living in Egypt and 4 it will help me find a good job back in the US when the time comes.

Hassan loves it here; he is around his lifelong friends and family who care for him very much. Mira loves playing with all the children and believe me there are a lot of children. As for me I am pleased we received our boxes the other day so I am trying to keep myself busy by getting organized for now.