A little navel-gazing, a giveaway and a big goodbye

9 May

We started this blog in August of 2007 with a post about our panic and hysteria. In the  midst of our normal expat feelings of isolation, we connected with friends and family through this blog. We were amazed how many were following us and were thrilled to be able to share our adventure. We were wowed by all of you who came along for the ride of waiting for Finn and really touched to have you rejoice with us at his arrival. This is by no means the end of State of d’Nile, we’ll continue to write here, but it’s the end of the line for Cairo.

I thought that with the end of the Egyptian chapter and beginning of the American one, it was time for a little navel gazing. So here goes.

Since the birth of State of d’Nile, we’ve had 43,600+ visitors, as you can see from the sidebar.

Our most visited day was January 25, 2008: the announcement of Finn Javier, which drew a whopping 457 revelers. Astonishingly, because I thought it was quite boring, our most viewed post was the one comparing our Egyptian bachelor pad to our new digs, closely followed by my wistful questions for our late arrival: Inshallah, Finshallah.

Here comes my favorite stat. When people come to us via Google, they’re usually searching the name of the blog. But when they’re not, the most common referral is…”falling babies.” Go ahead, google it. We’re five clicks down. I am the queen of mothers who drop their babies and then google it. Thank you.

We’ve had visitors from all over the world. Seriously, all over. Behind the US and Egypt, our largest followings are in the UK, Canada, and India (hi Shabnam!). We’ve also had many visitors from such far away places as South Africa, Thailand, Bahrain, Ireland, Peru, Portugal, Malaysia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Trinidad & Tobago, just to name a handful of the 60 countries that our readers are from.

We’ve had one giveaway, where I was so bitter about the outcome that I never actually gave anything away, even though Kelly Standiford was the winner. I picked up her prize at the Khan this morning and it’s really pretty.

To thank you, our readers and friends, whether we’ve met you in person or not, I’m picked up a gift at the Khan just for you. One lucky commenter will randomly be selected to receive something Egyptian and wonderful. An authentic Egyptian handcrafted camel family and a can of tomato souse. I love these, they’re colorful and fun and make great decor. Laura's Egypt 021

So whether you’ve never commented here before or you’re one of our regulars, come out of the woodwork and let us know you’re here. It won’t creep us out if we don’t know who you are or only met you once or you think we won’t remember you, in fact we’d love to know you’re here. We love writing for you, whoever you are. Don’t be shy, leave a comment and win a great Egyptian gift.

And so Monday morning, we (at least Finn and I) fly off into the sunset, leaving our chaotic, exotic, insane, and fascinating home of two years behind.


We’ll see you on the other side!


25 Responses to “A little navel-gazing, a giveaway and a big goodbye”

  1. david May 9, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    I love this picture. I’m so excited for you guys. Travel safely.

  2. Amira May 9, 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    I suppose, since I’ve been a loyal lurker all this time, that it’s time to comment. This has been such a fun blog for me to read, especially since my husband and I met while we were studying Arabic in the Middle East and have lived overseas since being married. We love Cairo and I hope to live there again someday. Thanks for the ride!

  3. Jeff May 9, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    I enjoyed following along on your adventure. It was fun to get a glimpse of what life is really like in a different culture, and what happens when two cultures rub against each other.

    Maybe we will see you in Austin a bit more often now? 😉

  4. Delaware May 9, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    I’m Delaware and I’m a little sad right now.

  5. Karen Heiss May 9, 2009 at 8:08 pm #

    It’s been so much fun keeping up with your adventures in Egypt. It has helped me feel a bit closer to Nancy & Andrew, too. Good luck on the move and getting settled back in the USA. If you ever make it out to Utah, you’re welcome to stop by!

  6. Jeff Carrier May 9, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    I’m only commenting because I want a prize. Not because I think you and Patrick are some of my favorite writers, or because this post made me so happy, just knowing that I’ll be able to see you again after missing you guys for so long. I’m not commenting because I want to tell you guys how adorable Finn is, or how much I loved the last photo. Not even because of all the fun I’ve had following your adventures (with a twinge of envy) through a fascinating foreign world. Nope. I’m most certainly not commenting because I care about you guys, or because my wife, Sarah, has come to get to know without ever meeting you because of how often I talk about you. Definitely not. I am only here to comment to win a prize.

  7. Cody May 9, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    I’m here for the prize too.

  8. Mark Arnold May 9, 2009 at 9:06 pm #

    It’s been A really great story your time in Cairo.
    Happy to know the city was good to you.
    All the best.

  9. Sarah Carrier May 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    Jeff told me I should comment….

  10. Tracy M May 9, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    Oh for some souse! I’ve loved reading (and living vicariously!) about your adventures. I hope someday we can actually meet in person… Save journeys home to you all.

  11. Kay May 9, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    I’m so happy that bunny made the picture. We can’t wait to have you home! We’ll be at the airport Monday night and I promise I will not drive like they do in Cairo. I couldn’t do it even if I wanted! See you Monday.

  12. Kelly May 10, 2009 at 12:12 am #

    I can’t wait to see what you’ve picked out for me. I’m excited!

  13. Javi (not the brother) May 10, 2009 at 2:14 am #

    You guys take the best pictures. The ones of all three of you in front of that pyramid are priceless.

    Would it be weird to take a picture of you guys in the desert as a Christmas card?

  14. Melissa May 10, 2009 at 5:51 am #

    Delaware- I’m sorry to hear that.

    Javi- for your Christmas card? As in, Merry Christmas from Javi and his friends in the desert? A little weird, yes. 🙂

  15. Jo May 10, 2009 at 7:23 am #

    Priceless blog, love it love you. Sorry to see it go.

  16. Casey Martin May 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    Melissa and patrick, you guys should keep blogging in south bend… b/c while I am not a faithful follower, I do really enjoy seeing what you’re up to! We miss you guys!

    PS I’m not commenting for the gift, we already have a perfect little camel family on our shelf!

  17. mom May 10, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    I am shamefully going to petition, on behalf of myself, for the camel family. After all, no one invested more time (except you) waiting for Finn to be born. For 3 weeks I walked you up and down the streets of Maadi daily trying to get Finnshallah to pop out, talked to your stomach endlessly (or not), washed an endless amount of dishes while you put your feet up, risked my life daily at the hands of insane taxi drivers trying to jog that kid loose, lost 10 lbs during my time in Cairo not eating the food that made me sick anyways, lost several years off my life span trying not lose it when I saw the hospital conditions (LeAnn will testify to that one), and after all that, I only got to spend 24 hours with Finn before heading back! That camel family is mine people!

  18. Dre May 11, 2009 at 12:25 am #

    I, on the other hand, had to suffer countless sleepless nights listening to Finn – and Melissa – cry and cry and cry. I was the one banished to upper darkness in forceful Arabic at the hospital while bearing the literal burdens of the whole family. I was forced to eat the delicious meals of kindly branch members for nine – count ’em – NINE straight days while tasting not a morsel of Egyptian food. I had to watch as two new very nervous parents gave my darling grandson his first bath, all the while prepared to catch the slippery little thing as he squirted out of their hands. Didn’t happen, but I was at the ready. I think both grandmas deserve camel families.

  19. mom May 11, 2009 at 1:22 am #

    Not to mention the stress both these grandmas went through every time we saw pics of taxi drivers babysit our grandson while their parents were off exploring the insides of pyramids!

  20. Dre May 11, 2009 at 7:10 am #

    I’ll make you a deal, Luisa – you can have the camel family, I’ll take the souse.

  21. mom May 11, 2009 at 2:37 pm #


  22. Myrna May 11, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    I am Nancy’s mom, and want to thank you for being such good friends to her, Andrew and Rachel. Rachel will miss her “Sin”!

  23. Deirdre May 11, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

    Melissa, I “found” you on Facebook (we were high school friends, for those who are curious…I still have a picture of us making a human pyramid during Spanish [?] class…but I digress) and immediately visited your blog to see what you had been up to. Little did I know! Your descriptions of your experiences made me want to live vicariously through you, and so I played catch-up by reading from the beginning onward. You all have really had some amazing adventures (and more to come, I’m certain).

    I am shamelessly commenting today because those camels are just so dang cute.

    But I really also wanted to say to you and Patrick and Finn…thank you for sharing. I’m sure there are days when you think that what you’re writing is boring, but we wouldn’t read it if it were. I look forward to more adventures–of the U.S. variety.

    Happy (and safe) travels!

    P.S. You’ve also inspired me to start my own “family and friends” blog, hopefully to debut within the next few months. =) Thanks!

  24. Shabnam May 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm #

    Melissa your writing was fun – Patrick’s i cannot vouch for – though i loved your speech of the Inauguration Patrick and proudly circulated it to a lot of people here.

    It was great to have been part of your adventures. Egypt i guess is like any other country, you love it or hate it, based on your experiences. What i loved about the blogs was that Egypt might have had substantial history associated to it, but your writings gave it a soul. Your love-hate relationship with the city and its outskirts, travels, communication with locals of a diverse kind, has been simply delightful. Though nothing has delighted me more than watching Finn grow. Guess some day i will see him in person too 🙂

    And based on your experiences in Egypt i officially qualify you as ready for India….Whenever you can make it to this part of the world.


  25. Judy May 13, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    Am I too late for the prize?

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