both been ill. There's a particularly nasty virus going round
at the moment that gives a sore throat, runny nose and stomach
problems. That's why this update is slightly later than normal.
family news- Esther is taking steps!! The first one was a couple
of weeks ago, she was standing by herself and lifted up her right
foot which went slightly to the side, but it was a step nevertheless!
Since then she has been standing independently more often and
has even put together 2 or 3 steps before falling to a heap on
the floor. if she is walking towards me or Alison her excitement
gets the better of her and she lunges forward into our arms. She
is still only 10 months old, and we remember that Hannah was 13
months old before she was walking confidently. So it may be that
Esther is one step ahead, if you forgive the pun.
Tuesday afternoon Esther gave us all a shock. She was sat on our
bed with her back to the edge, facing me. We were playing together
and she decided to turn and crawl away, not realising that there
was no bed behind her. I saw that she was going to fall so I grabbed
her foot, but it caused her head to swing like a pendulum and
strike the wooded floor with quite a thud. She cried a lot and
a big bruise and swelling appeared on her forehead immediately.
Fearing the worst we rushed her to the hospital to give her a
check over. In the car on the way there she had already stopped
crying and was actually smiling back at us. The neurologist at
the hospital gave her a quick check over and sent her for some
X-rays just to be sure. Actually, all doctors at private hospitals
always like to do things to be on the safe side, because it means
that they or the hospital will be paid more money as a result.
the x-ray we had to hold Esther perfectly still in a couple of
positions she had no desire to be in. It's surprising how strong
and determined she was to struggle free from our restraints, but
despite her struggles and cries we managed to get the x-rays we
wanted. We think that out of all that happened Esther thought
the x-ray was the most traumatic. The fall was accidental; she
knew that. But to be held down forcibly for the x-ray, that was
x-rays showed a perfectly healthy skull, with many teeth still
to come! (But still only two showing). The x-rays will be the
only souvenir of the event- the swelling disappeared by the evening
and the bruise is nearly gone now.
is playing a game with us at the moment. It's called battle of
the wills, and the winner is the person who gets their own way.
Of course it's always Alison and me who win but it's taking her
a while to realise it. Still, I suppose it's nice to know that
we have a perfectly normal three-year-old! She is getting quite
articulate in her protests. Last time we went to church she didn't
want to go to Sunday school. We think that it's because she once
saw a puppet there, which still freaks her out. While we were
still standing outside she was trying to reason with me about
the merits of NOT going to Sunday school. It went something like-
"But I don't want to go to Sunday school. I want to go into
the big church with you. We can sit together and I'll be very
quite while you listen. We'll just take a little peek at what
is happening in Sunday school then go back to the big church together
. . . " She made me feel like I was being quite unreasonable
to expect her to go. But since I said that she HAD to go to Sunday
school I took her inside. When Hannah realised that reason wasn't
going to work on me she tried another tactic- wails of protest,
enough to disturb the class. It worked, well sort of. We stood
outside and listened to what was happening. For us to both return
to the church would be an admission of failure on my behalf, and
of course I couldn't let that happen.
week I did another S. school teacher training conference, I'm
starting to loose count on how many of these I've done now. It's
great to see them learning how to be creative, but sometimes I
wonder how much of it they put into practice. Late last year there
was a group of them that came up with some really good ideas for
sketchboard messages and I've been meaning to catch up on if they've
continued with it. I've heard of one guy in Alexandria who is
going around and putting his own talks to some of my tricks. Great!
I'm not insecure! I hope the urge to be creative spreads.
a different note, the new crown on my tooth has had to be re-glued.
Despite the dentist's assurance that only 10% of the crowns come
off, mine has been dislodged two times in as many weeks. Maybe
he should replace the adhesive with some of the chocolate eclairs
that are the source of the problem. I'm trying to remember to
chew all such sweets on the side of the mouth without the crown.
recent news. It looks like we could be buying a car. There's a
couple from Finland that we know who are moving back soon, they
want to sell their Fiat. Like all cars here, it's not cheap- it's
a fairly low price for the type of car. Buying it is the easy
bit, but learning to drive a left-hand-drive vehicle in a road
full of maniacs is a different matter.
out Cairo, there's going to be one more maniac driver- and this
one gets confused as to where the gear-stick is!
Alison, Hannah and Esther
Return to Cairo
population is 66 Million
is four times the size of the UK
Only 3% of the land can be used for arable crops
has 18 million people and is growing by 1 millon each year.
is the Largest city in Africa and the Middle East
literacy rate is only 45%
total of 11 languages are spoken in Egypt
Debt per person is $790
annual income is $630
is estimated to be 17%
Approx. 85% Muslim and 15% Christian
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