Friday, March 30, 2007

Is it Christmas in Egypt, Mommy??

Yesterday we saw an unusual sight outside! Lights were being hung right in front of all 4 of our balconies. These weren't just any lights-they were big painted light bulbs hanging from the top of our building and cascading all the way to the street! We couldn't imagine what they were for. We thought they may be for the celebration of Mohammad's birthday which is this weekend. When Madison and Matthew Ray saw them flashing outside their balcony they said, "Is it Christmas in Egypt, Mommy?!?"
Today we learned that some stores hang these when there is a grand opening. When we arrived home today the lights were already gone. We watched the men hang them yesterday afternoon and it was a lot of work! Today they are gone????? Oh well, we enjoyed them for the 2 hours that they were flashing.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Creative Kids!!!!

Meredith's school had a "Paint the school" day. All families were invited to come and show their creative painting ability. None of us are very artistic but we were eager to join in the fun. The first picture is the beginning of our work and the finished product is next. Meredith, Madison and Matthew Ray did all of it themselves. I think we had the most colorful square. It really shows the bubbly and outgoing personalities of all of them!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Garbage City

We went to see "Garbage City" today. This area of Cairo is located on the out-skirts of the city on a mountain. The name "Garbage City" comes from the main occupation of the people that live there. These families collect all of the garbage from all over the city by donkey or foot, bring the garbage back to their city and sort through all of it to obtain any useful items for living. It was a very difficult thing to see. This area is made up of 90% Coptic people. At the top of the mountain is an amazing Coptic Church set in the side of the mountain.
Below are some of the pictures. There are a lot but even these don't show or "smell" what we really experienced today.

So many of the children are left alone to play on the street.

How many of you could balance your Wal-Mart sack on your head?

This is how most Egyptian women carry their babies! Isn't it creative?In the city there is a recycling center that is amazing. It is an entire compound made up of a training center for trades such as sewing, a free medical clinic to treat the people in the city, a garden fertilized with compost to help the polluted air, and a school for the children in the area. Here are some of the pictures of the school. There are no books for this school, all of their work is done on the recycled paper from the center and most of the teaching is done outside.

This is the trade center for teaching quilting, sewing and looming. All of the material is left over scraps that are being recylced. They call their program "Learn to Earn." Girls and women here are so thankful to have this facility. While Stacey was there she got to buy several rugs and purses from them!

Finally, we were able to see the Coptic Church set in the side of the mountain. Here are some of the amazing carvings in the side of the mountain.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

In a Dry Land, we still have water!

Some of you have heard about how our washing machine functions. But for those of you just now catching up I will explain the washing process: Put VERY SMALL load of clothes in washer, turn unmarked nob to someplace hoping it is the right setting, push red button because that has to be the way to turn it on, leave for about 2 hours to wash the load. During the two hour wait there are many noises sounding like a bomb exploding in the bathroom. One such noise happens in the spin cycle-when the spinning begins the entire washer jumps up and down and moves it's way to the toilet. The clothes are finished when noises completely stop. To take the clothes out we have to push the washer back to the wall. We pull out the clothes to hang them outside and HOPE they are clean. (Exciting, huh??!!)

This particular night the jumping caused the door of the washer to fly open causing water to flood all over the bathroom. All bathrooms and kitchens here have a drain in the floor. Here is Meredith using the squeegy to push the water in the drain. You just never know what a day will bring here!!!!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Egyptian Face Painting

We visited a local store tonight. While there the kids discovered the "face painter." We had seen many children around town with their faces painted like this but had never found who did it. Apparently it is common in some stores and McDonald's throughout the city. It was something special for them.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A Night on the Town

Several times a week we go out and walk around the area where we live. We decided that we would take our camera out tonight so you could see what we see almost everyday. We are always the center of attention because we look so different but this night we got even more attention because we were carrying a big camera. We looked like silly tourists!

Here are a few of the favorite foods that we enjoy.

Baked Breads:

Nuts of all kinds:



Fresh Sqeezed Orange Juice:

Lamb-doesn't it look delicious???? No, we really don't buy this on the street because Stacey can't seem to muster up the courage!

Along the way we met several children who really seemed to love Meredith. They met us at a store and then stayed with us the rest of the evening while we shopped. They didn't speak any English but they held Meredith's hand the whole time and wanted her to tell them things in English. We went to a local grocery store and they took her up and down all of the isles asking her the English name for all of the products. Meredith had a great time with these precious girls.

Matthew Ray is always on the move. Here he is enjoying himself in front of a clothing store.

By the end of the evening we were all pooped! We only got a shot of Madison looking this way but this is how we all felt!