Archive | February, 2009

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

25 Feb

Dear Cairo,

It’s not you, it’s me. Well, it’s mostly me, but it’s partly you too. I mean, come on. You didn’t really think this would last forever did you? Haha…ha… Oh, you did. Um…

Well, it was great while it lasted. Really, we had some good times. You showed me things I never thought I’d see. The pyramids? I mean, wow! Amazing! And Luxor, snorkeling in the Red Sea, the Nile, ancient mosques, towering obelisks. I will never forget my time with you, even if I lived as long as you have, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

You were there for me when I needed you most. When I thought I’d have my first baby in the backseat of a taxicab, you were traffic-free for the first time in history. My little Finn will always be my Egyptian kiddo and someday he’ll come back to see you. You’ve been great to Patrick. He loved teaching here and had a really fantastic experience. You had a wonderful church branch waiting for us that welcomed us into a whole new type of family. Cairo, I love you, I really do. I think a part of me always will.

It’s just that, well, I’ve found someone else. Someone who is going to treat me better. Someone who offers quicker, cheaper flights to family, who  doesn’t transport raw meat to grocery stores by tying it on the roof racks of taxicabs, who isn’t on a mission to flatten me everytime I cross the street. Notre Dame can offer me a lot that you can’t, starting with FDA oversight.

In June, I’m going to pack up my bags and leave you for South Bend, perhaps never to return. I know you’ll get through this, you’ll carry on like you’ve done for thousands of years. Really, I’m just a small drop in your vast ocean. The Nile will continue to flow north, the donkeys will continue to pull their carts of carrots and small boys down the street, the call to prayer will still waft over the city several times a day. New expatriates will come and go. You won’t even miss me, really.

So let’s enjoy the time that we have left. We’ll laugh together, we’ll cry together. We’ll make each other think. Let’s make some memories to cherish each other with.

I’m glad we had this little talk. I think we’ll both come out better for having known each other.

Affectionately yours,



We Heart Lepers

25 Feb

Yep, lepers. Again.

Patrick organized another trip out to the Leper Colony last weekend. The last few times the branch has gone out there, I’ve either been pregnant or tending to a small child.  Said small child has been driving me nuts since he learned to walk, so this was a good opportunity for me to throw him at Patrick and run out the door yelling “I’m doing service bye!” Continue reading

We’re OK

22 Feb

There was a bombing at the Khan-el-Khalili tonight, with a few deaths and more wounded. Melissa, Finn, and I are safe and sound at home.

Chili Kings

15 Feb

A few weeks ago, the men in our church branch decided to organize and participate in that time-tested battle of masculinity: the chili cookoff. Once the date had been set, smack talk started filling the inboxes of the entire branch.

The Aussie started it: Continue reading