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Cairo Update

Date Written:
  11 June 1998
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Dear Friends,

Sorry there hasn't been much time to write. Everything is going well albeit busy. We arrived back about 1am 2 weeks ago. I was awoken at 9:30 the following morning by a plea to take a children's conference later on in the month . . . I can remember thinking "Welcome back!"

The calendar has started to fill up with engagements and I've had to try really hard not to overbook myself, this is quite difficult because the Egyptians are VERY persuasive and use loads of underhand tactics to get there own way. In this culture "No" doesn't really mean "No"- it means "Tell me a good reason why I should".

Since returning we have found our flat infested with ants, at night we are being eaten alive by moquitoes and I've had body lice (and judging by the bites they have been on steroids). We're making progress on all these fronts.

Today I took Hannah to the city centre (about an hour's journey) to go to the bank with the extra treat of going to MacDonald's afterwards. When it is crowded she likes to be carried, so I carried her all of the way there. On the way back she fell asleep in the Metro so I had to carry her all the way back too. Hannah is quite unusual in that she doubles her body weight when she falls asleep so I was shattered when I got back.

When I got back I was aching in my joints and realised that I hadn't passed water for a few hours as well as being exhausted. This means one thing- dehydration! I drank as much water as I could stomach but still after 2 hours I hardly passed anything. I had a last drinking binge then went to sleep at 6:30 in the evening and woke up a couple of hours later and finally went for a wee! It is so easy to dehydrate in this weather- specially for me since I have to force myself to drink water during the day. It's 11:45pm and although I must have drunk about 3 litres of water I still haven't been back to the toilet- I wonder where it's all going!

Esther continues to develop really well, she will grow up considering this heat as being normal. Hannah seems to be getting tired quite easily.

That's all for now,

Toodle Pip,


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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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