We just returned from an 11 day stay on the North Coast again. We took Aunt Olfat, who is very ill with breast cancer, to see Fawzeyya's apartment at the beach. Olfat was thrilled that we were taking her, seeing as her children are not able to take her on a vacation for whatever reason (no comment here).
Hassan and I spent most of our time making sure Olfat was comfortable and had everything she needed, including making sure her medicine was taken at the appropriate time and her dermagesic patch for pain was changed every three days.
Mira met a girl at the beach, Noura, who was staying two apartments away and played with her almost all the time. When Mira wasn't playing with Noura she was playing with her cousin Munno (Mohamed) who is 4 years old and the new cousins we just met.
We had a chance to meet cousins from Mansoura who arrived during our vacation time. Mahmoud and his wife Hoda have three sons; I mean three young men (I thought they were much younger before I met them): Ahmed (20), Mohamed (17), and Osama (14) -- very well rounded, bright guys. They were very friendly and quite tolerant with Mira's behavior, even though Hassan and I were embarassed at times. Mira's into her "I hate boys" stage.
So with Aunt Fawzeyya, Aunt Olfat, the cousins from Mansoura, Uncle Yehia, Aunt Fatma, and their daughter Maya (her husband Osama was there for a few days) and son Munno, we always had something to do, and more than enough to eat. We even were able to see Hassan's other uncle, Hillel, and his family at times during our stay.
Whew! That's enough, don't you think?
I came to the conclusion that all families are the same, with the same dynamics and personalities. Yes, the same holds true here in Egypt -- avoid religion and politics when you get together with family. It is probably a blessing I didn't understand what they were talking about - seeing as my understanding of Arabic is still very lacking.
We are back at home for a week or so before we head over to Ain Sokhna for a few days.