With our first year under our belts, we’ve finally taken the opportunity to sit back and reflect on what we’ve experienced living in Cairo. It changes you. Sometimes in ways that you don’t even realize until further down the road. And even now as I write this, I probably don’t know all the ways that my life has been impacted and changed.
Our first year was filled with a lot of firsts. Most of them good, but I’ve got to be honest, some weren’t so great. It’s a challenge living in a place like Egypt. It’s rough, it’s raw, and it thickens your skin. A simple errand such as going to the grocery store takes twice as much energy as it would back in the States. The traffic, the pollution, the yelling, the heat– they all take their toll. All of that is to say, this is our home. These people are our neighbors, these streets are our neighborhood. We aren’t simply passing through but we are investing – building relationships with those around us, pouring our emotional energy into the people and making small ripples wherever we are.
We’ve learned to slow down. Showing up late is something that’s practically engrained into the culture. Punctuality and efficiency seem to be backwards ways of thinking. Things just aren’t going to go your way 100% of the time. So we say “malesh” or “nevermind” to the 101 little things that, if we let them, could grind our gears and frustrate us. We’ve learned that there is need– physical need, emotional need, spiritual need. People are searching for something to fill themselves. They are, after all, humans just like you and I. So, the revolving question that we are asking ourselves is, “What are we doing about the need that surrounds us?”
We are really excited about returning to Cairo at the end of August. There will be new opportunities for Becca and I to serve the people surrounding us. Becca will be stepping into a new role in partnership with an organization that hosts week-long medical trips each month. She’ll be able to finally put her nursing skills to work in communities that don’t have equal access to medical care. We are excited to see how she is stretched and challenged in this new position! While we will both miss being able to go to work together, we know that this is where she is supposed to be.
This summer is a bit of a whirlwind tour de America. We’re currently spending about 3 weeks in California before we start our slow descent east. We’ll fly to Colorado for a week with family in mid-July, followed by another week off the coast of Florida on a large boat with some college friends. Late July will see us returning to the Hoosier state for the remainder of our time. We’ll visit Virginia for about a week somewhere in there before heading back to Cairo on August 26th.
We really appreciate all your thoughts and prayers as we travel from place to place. It’s not always easy being so far away from the many people we love scattered throughout the world. We’re thankful for your support and words of encouragement. If it’s possible, we’d love to see you, so please reach out to us and we’ll make it work! In the mean time, enjoy this short video I made to sum up our first year living in Egypt. Until next time, “Ma’a Salama”!