Filed under Family

The Walk to Preschool

Our family lives in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, which is an upper to upper-middle-class neighborhood composed of many foreigners. Our particular house, however, is toward the border region consisting of more ordinary Egyptians, living at a lower-middle-class neighborhood. We featured this area in an earlier post following the sectarian attacks in Imbaba, Cairo, wondering … Continue reading

A Date on Public Transportation

Last week Jayson and I got a chance to spend time together … just us.  Since it is summer in Egypt where the weather is not so conducive to lots of outdoor walking, and it was also Ramadan which means no stopping for water breaks, we decided to go hang out at a mall for … Continue reading

Motivational Strategy: Comparison

I like many things about Egyptian culture, and am happy to be raising our children here, but one aspect of the way many Egyptians interact with children has been grating on me recently.  This is something I have noticed in Jordan, Tunisia and Egypt, so it may be safe to say it is a tendency … Continue reading

Uniform Shopping

Yesterday we got to do an exciting getting-ready-for-school thing when we went to buy Emma’s uniform.  It is pretty standard here to have uniforms in school and hers is no different.  A couple of weeks ago the school told me where to go to buy one, and we’ve been waiting for a free afternoon to … Continue reading

My School is Locked

Emma and Hannah have been attending a local preschool here in Maadi, for the last two years.  Emma started just a few months after we arrived in Cairo, and Hannah joined her sister when she turned 2 ½.  One of the main reasons we chose to send the girls to preschool is to help them … Continue reading

Emma: A Cross-Cultural Self-Portrait

A few weeks ago, Emma drew her first self-portrait.  Actually, I think it was her first attempt at drawing a person at all, and she chose herself.  I’m not sure where this falls on the list of developmental milestones or if she is on track, but up until now she hasn’t drawn many things.  She … Continue reading

Too Much Homework

The middle of July is an odd time to be writing about too much homework, but our oldest, Emma, has just begun summer school and is having her first experience with homework. This all started because we missed getting Emma into the school we had chosen for her last year.  In Egypt, the schools follow … Continue reading

Whose Wedding is it Anyway?

Last night Emma and Hannah were in their first Egyptian wedding as “ashbiinaat.”  This is basically the equivalent of the western “flower girl” or “ring bearer.”  I still can’t tell you the name of the bride or the groom, but I can tell you how it came about and how it played out. About three … Continue reading

An Egyptian ‘Rihla’ (Outing)

Last Saturday, our family of five joined a busload of Egyptians for an all-day trip to two monasteries.  This was the first trip we took like this since Layla joined our family a year ago, but Jayson has traveled with many from this group on several.  While these outings are great opportunities to see different … Continue reading

Daddy – Daughter at the Monastery

My daughter Emma is soon to be five years old – getting old enough to enjoy the occasional Daddy – daughter date. The idea came up when I was invited by friends at the Coptic Bible Institute I attend to go to the Monastery of the Archangel Gabriel in the Fayyoum region of Egypt. This … Continue reading

Overwhelmed by Belonging

Today was our first Friday back at the regular worship services at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox church.  We came back to Egypt almost three weeks ago now, but due to special services because of Easter, plus our own trip to Portugal, we didn’t have a regular Friday until today. We’ve seen some of our friends … Continue reading

‘Smelling the Breeze’ – In, and of, Tahrir

Yesterday was the ancient Egyptian holiday of Shem al-Naseem, translated ‘smelling the breeze’, which is a national observance the day after Orthodox Easter. It is the custom for all Egyptians, Muslim and Christian, to eat raw, salty fish, and go out and about, enjoying the pleasant spring weather. We decided to join the festivities, choosing … Continue reading

The Sole of Belonging

There is nothing, or more properly rendered, no one in this photo that suggests Egyptian-ness. Perhaps we are not blue-eyed and blond, and thus may not stand out immediately as foreigners in a crowd. But any casual glance from a local resident would eye us as ‘khawaga’ – a dialectical word stating that one is … Continue reading

Expectations in Maghagha

note: About a week before the revolution, our family took a trip to Maghagha in Upper Egypt. Whereas normally we would have liked to post about our experiences shortly after returning, events took a turn that did not allow much time for reflection. Two months later, Julie is finally able to share our experiences, with … Continue reading

Time Away

Since we left Egypt during the demonstrations our time in the United States has had its ups and downs, and we have not yet decided when to return. It is always fun to return to family and friends, and we have taken great encouragement through times of sharing about our experiences. It has also been … Continue reading

Too Far Away to Celebrate

February 11, 2011 is a day that will go down in history.  The man who has been president of Egypt for 30 years finally took the cue from his people after 18 days of protests and stepped down.  Having lived in Egypt for the past 18 months, we were heavily invested in this story. We … Continue reading

Control Freak

Jayson and I had a conversation the other day which confirmed something I had been thinking about for awhile.  He’s been taking the girls to preschool some mornings, and they told me that when they ride the taxi with him, Hannah sits next to the door in the back seat.  However, when they ride with … Continue reading

Out on the Island

Last week we had a fun opportunity with a small group from the Coptic Church in Maadi.  I have been attending a “family Sunday school” class which consists mostly of women.  This class meets during the time Emma and Hannah are in their Sunday school class, and it is conveniently located in the same building.  … Continue reading