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...


Cath said...

Oh Shirlee! I want to cry for you (and laugh) all at once! MAN! Nightmare of Errors is more like it ... you have an incredible attitude! I guess I'm glad WE aren't the ones who passed the up-chucks to you. Has to be something there - a new bug of some kind. Ugh. And the showers, dishwasher - this is crazy!! I'm glad Dave has the day off. I would yes - sign someone up for house help asap! But maybe you want to get settled first. Glad the flight went so well. We're thinking of you every day. And we'll be praying for you! Get some shut-eye if you can!!

MariLouise said...

I'm so glad to know you are safe, if not sound, in Egypt! I've been wondering. Wow--is that whole building your house? It looks like one of those "three family" houses in Boston.

Sarah said...

Oh I am so sorry for all of you! I am glad you all got there safely, we will be praying for you to all get better!

The McIntire Family said...

I'm glad to hear you got to Egypt altight-but I'm sorry to hear about everything you've been going thru. I pray everyone is feeling better and things will begin to settle down alittle. Your house looks nice and I'm sure you'll settle in great! Get some much needed rest!

Clara said...

Hi! I'm Clara Cummings, a YW in the Branch here. My mom wanted me to leave a comment about a housekeeper. If you haven't already found one, our housekeepers sister is looking for a job. My mom said she'd ask some people who might be interested. Can't wait to meet your family!

P.S. my mom *does* know how to use the computer, its just she's not at hers right now :)
p.p.s we would like to have you guys over for dinner. i think my dad is going to call and set something up.