Archive | February, 2015

Desperation Nugget #3

27 Feb

Click for Desperation Nugget #1 and Desperation Nugget #2

I didn’t feel like going into the market with three squirrely children today, so we are pretty much out of food. I’m getting a little tired of the city grocery model- only getting what you need each day. That’s fine if you stop by the store on your way home from work or whatever. But when you always have children in tow and the market is super narrow and always crowded? I’d kill for a Costco about now.

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Timisoara and Answered Prayers

22 Feb

We rolled into the Timisoara train station around 8 in the morning on a Sunday. One last unloading of bags, a quick walk across the tracks, and we were outside in front of the station, with no ride in sight. Someone from the university was supposed to pick us up but the place was a ghost town. Continue reading

The Midnight Train to Timisoara

19 Feb

Ok, now that we’re back in our apartment with a stable internet connection, let me catch you up on the last few weeks. When last we spoke, we were in a hotel in Bucharest…

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Second Day Panic

5 Feb


Hey, remember that time we moved abroad and everything was fine and dandy until I woke up in a different country and immediately panicked?

Yeah, apparently that’s a thing with me. Continue reading

Family Motto, parts 1 & 2

1 Feb

“Eh, why not?”

So I’ve joked before about our family motto being” eh, why not?” It does tend to be our go-to phrase when making huge life-changing decisions.

“Haha, there’s a job in Egypt, should I apply?”

“Eh, why not? I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids.”


“Hey, should we have another baby?”

“Eh, why not? We’ve got this one child pretty well handled, another couldn’t be that much more difficult.”


We’ve been settled in California for about four years now, albeit in three different houses. This latest one will probably stick for a while. It’s a great place in a great location and although we’re renting we’d like to hang on to it as long as we can. Even so, last summer we started to feel that familiar itch. Wanderlust. An impulse that Patrick and I share. And we are each other’s enabler.

And thus we found ourselves having a conversation that went something like this:

“Hey, remember our friends in Egypt who were there on a Fulbright award? We should do that.”

“We have a sabbatical coming up and we haven’t packed or moved in at least a year. Eh, why not?”

And thus we found ourselves looking up Fulbright locations and debating the merits of Austria, India and Romania. Apparently Romania is not high on the list of desired places for Fulbrighters, so the salary is a little more generous and the benefits for dependents a little more padded plus the cost of living is pretty low. We’re a cheap date so we decided to apply and a few months later got the happy news that we’ve gotten it. Yay! We were going abroad again! Another adventure! We love adventure!

And now I’m finding myself in part two of the family motto, which is this:

“What the hell were we thinking?”


Picture us sitting in a Cairo McDonald’s, jetlagged and confused, in a place that is so disorienting and chaotic that I spent two years trying fruitlessly to get a handle on it.

Picture us staring at an ultrasound screen, eagerly anticipating the revelation of whether we are expecting a boy or girl, as two kicking profiles come into focus.

And now, picture us surrounded by six suitcases packed to the brim, three small children who refuse to eat anything but Yoplait yogurt, me loaded down with homeschool materials for said children, Patrick with six book projects to work on, including one that requires he of no foreign language aptitude to interview Romanians. Go ahead, say it with me:

What the hell were we thinking?


My friends, State of D’Nile is back. We’ll be keeping you up to date from the trenches. Or gulags. Or vampire castles. Or whatever awaits us at the other end of a 30 hour journey. Here’s our schedule for the next few weeks:

Tomorrow we fly on no less than four legs to Bucharest. We stay in Bucharest for the remainder of the week, getting over jetlag and going to a church training for some responsibilities we’ll have in our local branch. Then we travel to Timisoara, our home base, where we’ll stay in a university dorm until we find an apartment to live in. Hopefully we find an apartment quickly because that upcoming weekend, we’ve booked a family vacation in a village in Hungary at a family hotel that was offering the perk of going to a pig slaughtering festival and making your own sausage. Then we may spend a few days in Budapest, we’re going to play it by ear. Finally back to Timisoara where I’ll settle us in to our new place (assuming we have one by then) while Patrick goes back to Bucharest for Fulbright Orientation and then returns to start teaching. It’s going to be a whirlwind month.

And we’re off!