What are we thinking?


Patrick and Melissa Mason are back in the international trenches. After not having packed or moved in a year, they got restless and decided to apply for a Fulbright to Romania. Now they’re settled in Timisoara, where Patrick is teaching American Studies to Romanian students, Melissa is homeschooling three small children and all of them are trying to navigate family life as strangers in a strange land.



Patrick and Melissa Mason are American expatriates living in Ma’adi (Cairo) Egypt with their new baby, Finn. After arriving in late August 2007 and experiencing several fits of panic and hysteria, they’ve started to learn the essentials of living in a place where everything seems just a little bit crazy and jumping out of the way of speeding cars is the national sport. This is their story.


Patrick and Melissa are repatriated and back in South Bend, IN. In February 2010 they welcomed twins Rhett and Lucy into the family. The peaceful American lives they had settled back into were once again thrown into noise, chaos and confusion. In summer 2011 they will be relocating to Claremont, CA.


6 Responses to “What are we thinking?”

  1. yvette November 14, 2007 at 1:59 am #

    Off the subject, send pictures of the preggy mom to be. I would love to go visit. I have told a few of my collegues, and they’re ready to drop in and camp out at your international address. much love—

  2. Andrew Heiss December 12, 2007 at 4:43 am #


    I’m a BYU student about to graduate in Middle East Studies and am highly considering applying to AUC for grad school. What are you studying, Patrick?

    I would hopefully start in Fall 2008 and would move out there with my wife and currently 4.5 month old daughter. Is finding housing in Ma’adi too difficult? We went to church there in 2006 while passing through Cairo and loved the neighborhood.

    Any other initial advice for a potential AUC grad student with a small, new, LDS family?


    Andrew and Nancy Heiss

  3. Nancy December 12, 2007 at 6:33 am #

    Okay, wow! I’m amazed with you and want to know all the details of the hospital you’re going to.

    I keep having dreams that we live in Cairo and I have a baby there and that thought scares me to the dickens! I don’t know why I’m so scared of that since we won’t be ready for another baby for a little while yet and I’ve lived in the Middle East and it’s just normal like anywhere else. Still…you are much braver than I.

    I do hope that we (er…just my husband anyway) get accepted to AUC. If we do, I definitely hope that you’re still there to show us the ropes!

  4. Patrick December 12, 2007 at 8:29 am #

    Andrew & Nancy – We’d love to talk more about our experiences in Cairo, and try to convince you to come next year. Send me an e-mail at pmason@aucegypt.edu, and we can continue the conversation that way.

  5. saeglopur January 6, 2008 at 7:09 am #

    Hey guys, it’s Jeff Carrier here, I just started a wordpress for my creative writing and possibly just to blog. Check it out.

  6. Brooke August 21, 2015 at 6:27 am #

    Hi Patrick and Melissa! My husband and I are moving to Cairo soon and I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog 🙂

    We are also members of the LDS church and I was wondering if I could persuade you to remove your blogpost with the church’s specific address in Cairo? We’ve been in the Middle East for about 8 years (4 different countries) and after coming across this post with a simple google search I was alarmed to see the exact address. I can’t help but think that it might put people at risk at some point. From your comments it has helped at least a few people, but I can see many ways it could go south. To say nothing about how it might be harmful to the church who doesn’t publish this information for a reason. I wasn’t sure the best way to say this, but I felt strongly that I should at least ask for it to be removed. I’ve seen so many cases where members have been jeopardized because of this kind of thing. I hope this message is received in the kindness with which it was intended. Just looking out for future members in Egypt.

    I had hoped to contact you privately, but couldn’t find an email. Go ahead and delete this once you see it.

    Thanks and good luck on your new adventures!!

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