Friday, January 29, 2010

The curse continues...

So far unpacking has yielded a few broken vases, a broken blender, a broken desk, and a dead mouse. We had someone come and pick up all the boxes and wrapping, so we are getting closer, only my scrapbook room left to unpack. Thursday we finally made a little outing. I feel bad that Sharla has come all this way, and all she gets to see is my house. It took us awhile to actually get out of the house. I hired a maid to come clean, and it was way stressful to try and haggle over a price. Luckily Ibrahim showed up while she was here and he could argue prices with her. I'm really starting to like having that guy around. He makes sure that things are getting fixed around our house. I think I'm going to like having the maid around too, she'd do my laundry and make the meals if I'd let her. I don't want to get too soft...

So, we hooked up with a lady in the ward, Sharon, who graciously volunteered to show us around. We drove to Maadi, where there is a large American population and most members of the church live. Then we drove to the bank of the Nile and got out and walked along the waterfront for just a little while. Sharla wanted to ride a faluka (sailboat) but she didn't know that I am deathly afraid of sailboats. Not sure why, but I think it's my megalophobia (fear of large things) -- a giant billowing sail kind of sets me on edge.

SO GLAD that I didn't get out on the Nile in one of those, because about that time Pharaoh's curse hit me. I barely made it home and then I spent the next 24 hours wishing I could die.

Seriously, no one is going to want to come visit us because of the crazy sicknesses you get here.

Anyway, I feel better today. We attended church this morning in Maadi. Picture below.

The day of rest here is Friday instead of Sunday. We have a branch of about 70 that meet here in a villa. It felt so comfortable to go there and meet people that you know will be your good friends. Maya loved Primary and settled right in.

Tomorrow for Enrichment we are going camel and horseback riding by the Giza pyramids. This should be eventful. Sharla on a camel? This I gotta see.

Anyway, now Dave is sick. He's already had this once since he's been here. How many times are we going to get it??? I'm just hoping that Ethen will stay well. It's hard enough getting him adjusted to the new time zone. Maya is doing better, she's only been up since 4:30am today. Sharla is taking the brunt of her bad schedule. I really wouldn't have made it this far without her. I'm so sad she leaves tomorrow.

Monday, January 25, 2010

An Egyptian Comedy of Errors

Our first 48 hours have been eventful to say the least. I would describe it as a comedy of errors. Where do I start? I guess at the beginning.

January 1 was supposed to be the day I flew to Cairo to meet Dave. That didn't happen because we didn't have a place to live. He had found one we wanted, but they needed time to finish it up, so I didn't fly out until January 22. Sharla flew with me to help me and I'm SO grateful I have her here with me for a little while. She probably wishes she wasn't (but more on that later.)

Our flight was actually uneventful. I bought the shortest flight I could find. Door to door it took us about 24 hours. We successfully navigated our connection in Paris with no problems. The kids did amazing on the plane. They slept most of it since it was a red-eye. Sharla and I didn't get any sleep, but that was to be expected.

Our house here is nice and big. Dave did a good job picking one out. However, the details of the workmanship are extremely shoddy. Upon move-in we had 1 working shower. Dave used one that sprung a leak in the shower hose, then he tried another that the drain sloped the wrong way and we had a puddle of water, only one has a shower rod and today I broke the other hose and it sprayed all over me and the floor. So we opted for baths. The water was brown. I think this is where we got the sickness...

Sharla got it first. She started throwing up last night about 6pm. She said she's never been this sick in her life. We called a guy in the branch to come give her a blessing, and he came with 3 other people in the branch so it was good to meet them.

Around 4:30am Maya threw up in my bed. I feel so bad for her. She likes the new house and wishes she could go out in the pool, but thankfully it has been too cold. I've been cold since I got here. Now, it doesn't compare to the cold in Switzerland our first month there, and the heat here is gas heat instead of radiators, so that is something to be grateful for. But I just can't seem to get totally warm. Maybe it's because the house is all hardwood and tile. No carpet.

Thankfully there isn't any carpet, because the dishwasher flooded. At first it didn't work when we arrived. The repair man came and got it working but I guess the drain doesn't drain as fast as the water goes in. So Dave mopped the kitchen floor.

So far Ethen has done pretty well. Despite his cold and endless runny nose and horrible cough, he is happy. Miraculously he hasn't gotten ill, even though he drank his bath water on multiple occasions. He gets bathed frequently because there is a fine layer of dust on EVERYTHING. The floor is really bad and he crawls around in it. A woman knocked on our door and asked to be our maid. Where do I sign?

Our driver's name is Ibrahim. He is more like a personal assistant really. He carries groceries, argues with the locals over prices, and will do really whatever we want him to. I was so glad he was at the airport. A man helping us retrieve our 11 bags, one carseat, and one stroller was pretty demanding for payment. I gave him $4 (20 pounds) for the help and he wanted more. So I told him to come with me and I'd get it from my husband. Ibrahim argued with him and thankfully it all ended well with us only giving him 5 pounds more. We shouldn't have, for when we got home we discovered he hadn't taken one bag off the cart which I told him wasn't ours. I felt sick about taking someone else's luggage. Air France was closed and we had no way of returning it to him. Thankfully Ibrahim called him and we arranged to meet and return it.

Did I mention our JET LAG? My 2 hours of sleep last night weren't quite adequate, so today we haven't gotten much accomplished. Thankfully it's Egyptian Police Day, so Dave has had the day off to help with everything.

More later. I wish I could report we are all well, but we are okay. I'll put it that way.

Here are a few pictures of the house. I won't post the ones of Sharla getting acquainted with our bathroom floor...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We have a crawler!

Ethen has been on his hands and knees with the intent for quite a few weeks now, but never quite crawled. He found that he could roll and maneuver pretty well to get the things he was after. He finally decided that this was the better way to go. Watch out, Maya, he's coming for you!

Baby Mobile

I saw a cute baby mobile in Heartland Paper in Bountiful and decided to try and make one. This is my attempt:

For instructions on how to make one go to:

I used 14 yards of ribbon (7 different types) but probably should have used 8.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010