Archive | December, 2007

“Jesus Slept Here”: Christmas Thoughts 2007

24 Dec

The other day Melissa and I visited Coptic Cairo, where many of the city’s historic Christian churches are. You always think of either the pharaohs or Islam in connection with Egypt, but for hundreds of years Egypt was a major center of Christianity, with the gospel first brought here by St. Mark, and Coptic Cairo is where many of the city’s Christians still live. The neighborhood is home to a number of beautiful Orthodox churches, many of which feature paintings or icons showing Joseph, Mary, and Jesus walking along or sailing in the Nile, with the pyramids in the background.

One of the churches we visited, St. Sergius, was built over the Crypt of the Holy Family, where according to tradition they stayed during their sojourn in Egypt after fleeing Herod’s slaughter of the children.
Continue reading


Now taking your predictions…

17 Dec


Forget the holiday bowl games or the NFL postseason, if you want major payoff for your educated guesses, State of D’Nile is the place to be. We’ve nearly reached the end of our anxious wait for Baby Finnshallah and are now taking your bets.

Below is the calendar, which I’ll update daily. Click to make it bigger.

Leave a comment with your prediction for D-day. A few clues to help you make your best guess.

*The first due date given was December 30. This is our anniversary.
*The second was January 6 based on an ultrasound at around 16 weeks. I like that date.
*The third was January 13 based on a 20 week ultrasound. Our doctor here likes this one, I don’t.
*My birthday is Jan. 4.
*My mom arrives on Jan.1 and leaves on Jan. 16.
*If the baby follows my personality type, he will be either impatient and early or fashionably late. If he follows Patrick, he will be pretty much on time unless he has a wife that seriously underestimates the time it takes to get ready and makes him 15 minutes late anywhere he goes.
*I’m cutting it off at Jan 20. The Dr. said the 21st is the earliest he’d induce, but if it gets to that point I’m going to convince him to do it the 20th instead because it would be cool for the baby’s birthday to be the same as Inauguration Day. Stop snickering, I think it’s cool.

No more than three people can share a date. The winner(s) will receive an authentic Egyptian prize to be sent home with one of our mothers and then shipped directly to you.

The lines are open…

The Worth of a Diamond

12 Dec

I find myself unable to sleep tonight. Today was one of those days that just keeps replaying over and over again in my head. I laid down for a while but tossed and turned so much that I’ve finally given up. So here I am.

I finished classes yesterday and woke up with a sense of triumph and freedom. I had completed a children’s book for my art course and a huge research paper for my graduate course, all while weeks away from having a baby. I was pretty darn proud of myself and looking forward to the next few weeks. Starting this morning, my priorities were solely preparing for Christmas and the baby. I had been making my to-do lists for weeks, but kept putting them aside to focus on other things.

So I got up this morning and started making a new list. Around 11, the doorbell rang and I let two of the regular housing workers in to fix the heater on our air-conditioning. I know what you’re thinking- a heater in Egypt?! It’s actually gotten quite pleasant here, I would daresay occasionally chilly. So they came in, one was Sayeed, who had been here before to work on electrical problems and the other a teenage boy who had been in with various workers. I assumed he was training with the housing guys, as he always seemed to be helping out.

They worked on the air-con while I went through items on my list. I typed out a birth plan to take to the hospital, did laundry, got ready to work on my current painting, and let the housing guys out at about noon. I was planning to head to the market and get things for a celebratory dinner (today was Patrick’s last day of classes). I went to grab my rings and noticed that my diamond engagement ring was gone. Continue reading

A Beautiful Reflection for the Christmas Season

9 Dec

Patrick is inundated with grading and preparing to give finals this week. I’m currently in the AUC library trying to get my final paper written for my graduate course. In the meantime, Brad Kramer, our newest blogger at By Common Consent provides us with a wonderful reflection piece that I’ll link to for your reading pleasure.

Check this out.

Sending things to Egypt

4 Dec

I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails recently asking about sending things out here. Just when my mom’s suitcases were starting to bulge, we found out that the university gives us a 300 lb shipment “for the baby.” Of course, we brought most of our baby stuff over this summer, so we’re left with lots of weight and a list of what brands of cereal we’re going to have shipped over.

So if you’re one of the ones who are wondering about sending things, e-mail me at and I’ll give you my parents’ address, as they will be packing it and sending it in the next few weeks. Oh, and if you e-mail me and I’ve never heard of you in my life, I’m probably not going to pass their information on to you. Just so any would-be psychos are aware.

**Update: They’d like to pack the shipment by Dec. 15**

State of D’Nile Cruise finale with bonus feature…the pyramids!

2 Dec

So after a night of laughing at elderly Europeans in dresses, we woke in the morning with a very busy schedule ahead of us. We were in Luxor, the ancient city of Thebes and home to many of the most famous sites in pharaonic history. We would be flying back to Cairo at 5, so we knew we had a lot to accomplish. We packed our bags and bid farewell to our giant crocodile. We loaded up on granola bars and water bottles and jumped onto a small motorboat to cross to the West Bank of the Nile. From there we headed for the Valley of the Kings. Continue reading