Sunday, August 22, 2010


My oldest, Jackie, should be starting Kindergarten tomorrow at the great elementary school down the street from us. Instead, she is staying home waiting two weeks before she starts Kindergarten in Cairo.

It's bittersweet for me.

The bitter- her best friend is starting Kindergarten tomorrow, along with her other friends, and all the familiar that Jackie is used to will no longer be.

The sweet- we are going on a once in a lifetime adventure and Jackie will experience things many kids will never experience and she'll make new friends and hopefully love her new school.

Such is the life of an expat kid.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Ariel returns from Cairo on Friday. The kids and I are so excited to see him after nearly 4 weeks but, I know from here on out it is go, go, go at breakneck speed. We have so many details to take care of and not enough time in the day. We also want to try and squeeze in some time to visit friends and family before we leave.

It is so surreal that in two weeks or so we will be living in another country (a whole other continent!)for the next three years. I just can't wrap my brain around the whole idea yet. We are trying to go into this whole experience with a positive outlook and hopefully we will learn a thing or two from our travels. I can't believe we are going on this journey!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Moving Across the World

Moving to another continent with three kids and a bunch of stuff is quite the undertaking. I am deep in the throes of packing and preparing for our big move. Moving is hard anywhere you do it but this whole moving-to-Egypt-in-a-month-thing really amplifies the whole process. The last few days my emotions have gone from stressed to excited to determined to tired to stressed again. I have to get rid of an entire house full of furniture, two cars, and a cat (who is going to live with my Mom in McAllen). We have had to get passports, travel vaccines, medical exams, and pre-departure health forms completed in the last few days. It has been a whirlwind and I know this is only the beginning of an exhausting few weeks. BREATHE, JOANA.

On a positive note, Ariel secured our apartment in CAIRO, EGYPT, PEOPLE!!! How crazy does that sound!???!! We ended up going with the smallest apartment but the landlord is fantastic and makes up for the size of the place. Also, Ariel will get a month of vacation off before the New Year and we have the option of flying home or somewhere else. Since Jackie will be in school most of December we are thinking of using the flights to go to Europe. How does Christmas in Italy sound??? :-)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Who are we missing here?

Yes, you guessed it. That little stinker Jacob! He cried, screamed, and practically ran out of that Walgreens today. Apparently passport pictures = pure torture for my two year old. I guess we'll try again tomorrow when he's not so grumpy. :-)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The West Nile Life

And here's the link if you can't view the video:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pros and Cons

We have narrowed down our apartment search to a few contenders. Each has its pros and cons.

Apartment 1: 3200 sq ft, 4 bedroom/3 bath
This one is probably at the top of our list right now.
Pros: 3 minute walk to Cairo American College (CAC)- the American school we have applied to for Jackie.
Big, newish, clean, 4 bedrooms is a plus
Cons: Unfurnished- we would have to buy all new furniture. While it may be fun to decorate our own place, it may be a hassle and I'm not sure how long it takes to order furniture in Cairo.
Apartment 2: 2800 sq ft, 3 bed/3 bath
This apartment is owned by a half Egyptian/half Italian man. Ariel had a heck of a time understanding him since he spoke very little English, only Arabic and Italian. He said he got the gist of what he was saying when he spoke Italian but the realtors had to translate most of the conversation.
Pros: new, nicely furnished, wireless Internet in place, landlord is willing to pay for the Satellite TV. Few minutes walking distance to CAC.
Cons: The landlord kept emphasizing the fact that all the furniture had been imported from Italy and therefore may be very anal about kids living amongst all his fine leather. LOL. Only 3 bedrooms.
Apartment 3: 2000 sq ft, 3 bed/2 bath
This apartment is owned by a very nice British couple, it came in well under budget but since the owners seemed very nice we kept it on our list.
Pros: Very nice furnishings, very clean, no lost in translation moments with the landlords. Good building.
Cons: About a 15 minute walk from CAC, so I would have to depend on our driver every morning to take Jackie to school. Smaller than I'd like, especially since we have to take into consideration we will not have a yard for the kids to play in.

So, any opinions?