Friday, June 1, 2012

Half-term break at the Red Sea

Readers may have noticed a certain lack of adventure in the blog this year.  The fact is, as the security situation in Cairo worsens, we have been sticking closer and closer to home.  Like most expat families now, we rarely leave the relative safety of Maadi.  

It's hard to know how bad things really are in the rest of the city.  Without speaking arabic, I only hear about what happens in expat-ville.  For a while last fall, there was a wave of purse-snatchings-- people driving by in cars or motorcycles and grabbing purses off of people's shoulders as they walked.  I heard about one or more every day.  Then it stopped.  Then there were a bunch of store/bank robberies, even here in Maadi.  One day I was having lunch, came out, and the bank next door had been robbed by a car full of men with guns.  They'd left, but there was a bunch of police swarming outside. That trend seemed to last about three months.  There is a theory that the army is paying people to commit these crimes, to scare people into not wanting too much change and freedom.  It's really hard to know whether that is a cockamamie conspiracy theory or actually true.  There have been more and more stories of robberies and attacks by cab drivers, even in broad daylight.  Most of us don't take cabs anymore and just stick to drivers that we know.  

At the same time, day to day life is still tranquil, and most people as friendly as ever.  Still, it wears on you.  We will be quite happy to return to the States in a few weeks.

Last weekend we ventured a little bit father than usual, out to the red sea resorts in Ain Soukhna, about two hours from the city.  The British school was on a long weekend for "half-term break."  I went with three other mothers and collectively, 7 boys and one girl.  We had a fine time.          

An audience of one: 

This is from the night before.  Emmett is enjoying the warm-up for a Fuuls concert at Maadi House.  We spend A LOT of time at Maadi House.

Emmett continues to be musically-inclined.  He's also added dancing to his repertoire, and likes to invent new dances, like the cookie-eating dance, and the chair dance.  

Here we are at the resort, taking a little golf cart train to the beach.

Hamming it up at the hotel:

Emmett actually didnt like the beach much.  He said the water made his legs itch, and did not like getting all sandy.

Here 5 of the seven boys attack the one man who came on the trip: Osama, the boyfriend of one of the mothers.

Here are two dragon eggs getting ready to hatch:



These are the Blairs.  Their Dad Edmund is the chief for Reuters in Cairo.  Alexander is just Thomas' age and William is about ten months older than Emmett.  Rania Blair and I often are solo with our two boys, so it is nice when we can be solo together.

We kept talking about getting a group picture of all of the families, but that's what happens when a bunch of single mothers go on vacation.  No one has a spare hand to take a picture!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


The boys congratulate the Muslim Brotherhood on their first round victory.  Yalla means go, and Ichwan means Brothers.

We sent this to Dave from the red sea, where we spent the long election weekend, so he would know we were thinking of him back in Cairo.