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Cairo Update

Date Written:
  7 March 1998
Subject:
  Some Details
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Hi,

Well Esther is now two days old and we're starting to get used to having two demanding attention! Actually we have noticed a difference with Esther already compared to Hannah at the same age. Esther is sleeping much more than Hannah. I think that maybe Esther is going to be quieter and more laid-back.

Alison is coping much better after the birth, she's not nearly as sore or drained as she was with Hannah, which is why she was able to leave the hospital about 8 hours after the birth. The labour time lasted for about 7 hours altogether (the worst time was during the last 3 hours). Loads of people have offered to bring meals round each evening so we are all being well looked after (we should do this more often!)

At the moment Esther is with me while Alison is having a sleep. Last night Esther woke up about every two hours to feed, Alison wasn't able to get some sleep during the day so she went to bed early tonight to get a head-start. Esther's cries are more like whimpers (I'm sure Hannah was much louder!) and I'm sure that she is going to be even easier to look after than Hannah.

During the night of the 5th Hannah heard that both me and Alison were up so she had a suspicion that something was happening. We didn't want her to see Alison having the contractions just in case it confused or frightened her so I stayed with her in bed. I lay down beside her to pretend to go to sleep, hoping that she would copy. I closed my eyes and started to do slow, rhythmic breathing as if I was fast asleep and soon afterwards she was doing exactly the same. As I thought about leaving I opened my eyes to see that she also had her eyes open and was only pretending to be asleep too!

She asked me where I was going and I said that I just had to go out and do something. I went out and checked that Alison was OK, then I put on my clothes ready to go to hospital when the time came. When I went back to lie beside Hannah she immediately asked me why I put my clothes on if I was going to sleep. Hmm, no fooling this one! I explained that Mummy might be having the baby and we lay down and talked about what was going to happen. We had already told her the plans about her being looked after by Fadia, my Arabic teacher, then afterwards to go to our friends Brian and Vivian who have four children of their own. Hannah already knows Fadia from previous visits. By about 5am Hannah went to sleep again (this time for real!)

We called Fadia at 6:30 and she was here at 7 while Hannah was still asleep. After we went Fadia told us that it wasn't long before Hannah was awake. She wandered into the kitchen to see who was doing the washing up and got the fright when she saw that it wasn't Mummy or Daddy! After Fadia gave her a cuddle everything was fine . . . they had a great day together! Fadia took her to her Arabic lesson where I met her after the birth. I picked her up then explained that Mummy had the baby and now she had a sister. I'm not sure that she fully understood until we acutally went into the hospital room. First of all she wasn't sure what to make of Esther, probably because she was so small (like a doll) and yet moving! After a few seconds she reached out her hand, touched Esther's hair very carefully and smiled. Afterwards we took some really nice pictures of them together which you will no doubt be receiving a copy of.

Well, since I started writing this I now have Hannah on my lap and Esther crying behind me, excuse me because I have work to do!!

Bye for now, lots of love,

Jason, Alison Hannah & Esther

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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It's a Fact!

Facts about Egypt:

  • Egypt's population is 66 Million

  • Egypt is four times the size of the UK

  • Only 3% of the land can be used for arable crops

  • Cairo has 18 million people and is growing by 1 millon each year.

  • Cairo is the Largest city in Africa and the Middle East

  • Official literacy rate is only 45%

  • A total of 11 languages are spoken in Egypt

  • Public Debt per person is $790

  • Average annual income is $630

  • Unemployment is estimated to be 17%

  • Religion: Approx. 85% Muslim and 15% Christian

  • Most Christians are affiliated to the Orthodox Church, less than 1% of the population are Protestant

  • There are an estimated 100,000 street children in Egypt

 

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