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Cairo Update

Date Written:
  05 November 1998
  Mosquito Season
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The weather getting cooler now, at night it has dropped down to about 20 degrees and now we've just started to sleep under the covers (not bad for November eh?). It still isn't cold enough to wear a coat outdoors, we'll probably have to wait for December for that. This is the nice time of the year where it's not too hot or cold. During the year there are three types of weather- too hot, too cold and just right. Running from about the mid-September to the middle of November is the "just right" phase. After this it starts to get a bit cold- but never below 10 degrees. Once you've acclimatised over the summer it actually feels colder. Then from mid-February to mid-April is another "just right" phase and after that it gets too hot again. Actually, I rarely find it too hot, it's mainly what other people tell me . . .

Unfortunately the "just right" phase is exactly the time that the mosquitoes come out! At the moment Hannah has loads of bites (they must like soft, white skin!) but thankfully Esther has avoided the worst of it. Since Hannah is now wearing a nightie most of the bites are on her arms and legs, and she has a nasty habit of scratching them until they bleed- yuk!

I've recently been attending a teacher training seminar for Sunday school teachers. They are full of enthusiasm to learn and it is good to see them starting to use their creative abilities. My translator mentioned the fact that she has big plans for me in the future! She wants to develop a children's video for use in Egypt and guess who's going to feature on it . . .

It's a good job that I never have problems with pride, the Lord always finds wonderful ways to keep me humble. It's amazing to see how things happen for her. She is a real visionary- she gets the big ideas and wants to see things happen but is lacking in the area of detail and finances but somehow she always finds ways around it. Already she has started off a correspondence course for about 800 children that she has started off from scratch. She and some friends used to write out by hand the 800 or so address for every mailing until I suggested that she should write them out once then photocopy them each time. She is in high demand across Egypt and like to take me to the big events- the next one in near the end of the month and she hopes to have 500 children attend it. I often have to tell her to slow down and think of the practical issues but so often it's like flogging a dead horse. I guess that I just need a bigger vision to keep up with her.

There are lots of people coming and going that we are responsible for, so please remember us in this. We've recently taken on a lot of responsibilities that keep us busy- maybe too busy at times.

Consequently it's a short update,

Toodle Pip,

Jason, Alison, Hannah and Esther

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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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