Filed under Julie

What’s in Your Lunchbox?

What’s in Your Lunchbox?

One morning before school, Alexander, our newest kindergartener, was fiddling with Egyptian coins and thinking through options at the school canteen. His eyes lit up when he realized he could buy a milk box … maybe chocolate, maybe strawberry, or maybe banana! He looked up and asked, as if he had a revelation. “Mom, how … Continue reading

A Family Errand through Tahrir

A Family Errand through Tahrir

My life in Cairo is spent mostly in our house and the surrounding area of Maadi, which is about half an hour from the famous Tahrir Square.  Friends and family in the states get nervous when they see the violence and flare-ups in Egypt, but the reality for me is generally far removed.  Last week, … Continue reading

Alexander’s Subuu3

Alexander’s Subuu3

About six weeks ago, we welcomed baby Alexander into our lives. According to Egyptian tradition, one week later we should have given him a Subuu3. Subuu3 is related to the Arabic word for ‘week’, and the number three at the end represents an Arabic letter absent in English. We delayed his party, however, until his … Continue reading

Touring Egypt with Egyptians

Our family recently had the privilege to go on a Nile tour from Luxor to Aswan.  With my parents visiting from the US, one of the sites my Dad wanted to see was the Valley of the Kings.  At first we said it was too far to try, but then Jayson heard our local Orthodox … Continue reading

Living in Fear

“I haven’t gone out in over a year.” This was one of the statements my friend said to me the other day in talking about the changes in Egypt recently, particularly the lack of safety. “I used to go out with my sister-in-law.  I would leave the kids at my mother-in-law’s house, and my sister … Continue reading

Cultural Insights on Marriage and Children

Today I had a nice long visit with a fairly new Egyptian friend. Her name is Suzi and she is the mom of one of Emma’s classmates at school.  This was our third visit together, once at our house and twice at hers.  The kids all have fun playing together – Emma and her school … 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

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

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