busy few weeks have just passed and so now we feel that it is
catch-up time with our correspondence.
returning to Cairo Alison has kept her usual regular appointments
with her obstetrician to gauge the progress of our baby due in
January. In one of these routine appointments we discovered that
the baby has a heartbeat which occasionally drops from the usual
146 beats per minute down to 55 beats per minute (the medical
term is irregular arrhythmia). The obstetrician was uncertain
as to the exact cause so she recommended that either Alison returns
to England or we seek an urgent appointment at the only medical
establishment in Egypt which can do the necessary detailed scan
of the heart. Unfortunately the doctor here which we needed to
make the appointment with was on holiday . . . but after getting
advice from friends in the medical profession we decided that
Alison, Hannah and Esther should return as soon as possible to
felt that for the time being I should stay and complete some of
the meetings in my schedule, at the moment I'm not sure exactly
when I will return to the UK but it will depend on a number of
factors. Anyway, on Thursday we said goodbye at the airport. Hannah
said that she was looking forward to- "staying with grandma
and eating bacon sandwiches", well, I guess in her mind that's
probably two of the most important things there is in England.
I've been told that the girls behaved excellently on the plane
and were happy to see Alison's Dad at the other end.
there was bad news waiting for them. The previous Tuesday Alison's
grandmother had a stroke and was in hospital, and was semi-conscious.
Her condition has not changed over the past few days. The outcome
of stroke cases like this is apparently difficult to predict.
We would certainly value your prayers for Alison and her family
at this time.
Friday Alison had an appointment with a consultant who has referred
her to a specialist unit in Birmingham on Thursday next week.
Apparently this will be a complete check on the major internal
organs of the baby and will give a better idea on the cause of
the arrhythmia. It has been mentioned that it could be a hole
in the heart but there needs to be a detailed scan to confirm
addition to everything else I've had meetings to contend with
too. Yesterday I had two- one in the morning and another in the
afternoon. The meeting in the morning was for a children's group
from a poor area of the city called "The Olives". The
church's pastor is an ex-orthodox priest called Father Daniel
who was "defrocked" because of his evangelical leanings.
The meeting was a special trip for them to an amusement park.
Most of the children never go on holiday so it was decided to
give them all a special trip. Once in the amusement park all of
the rides were paid for- you can only imagine their excitement
at being able to play on the rides and run on the grass. I've
heard recently that in Cairo there is on average only 13 square
centimeters of grass for each person- no bigger than your hand!
This statistic doesn't reveal that it's actually the rich areas
that have almost all of the grassy areas, so children in the poor
areas hardly see any.
the children had expended most of their energy, they went into
a shaded area whilst I "performed". I used juggling
and magic tricks to communicate some "fundamental truths".
The great thing with the location was the fact that there were
a good few eavesdroppers who received the message too. On the
streets open-air events like this are forbidden, but I guess that
in a private amusement park if people want to stand and listen
then that's entirely up to them!
the performance I was reminded how hot the weather is still- several
times I was distracted by sweat falling into my eyes and afterwards
the black shirt which I was wearing was drenched with sweat too.
This dried off at home leaving quite a few salt tide marks.
this performance I returned home to prepare for the next meeting.
Fortunately this was within walking distance of our flat so I
had a chance to sit down and relax first. In the evening I managed
to do what I'd been trying to do for a few days- finish watching
the Shakespeare video "Hamlet" which I received for
my birthday from Alison, a good end to a busy day . . .
so, fare thee well
Return to Cairo