Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our First Language Teacher

Peter and his wife Michelle set us up with a beautiful new apartment, but it needed a little cleaning. We hired a local woman to help clean and her 6 year old daughter joined us. As Paul and I scrubbed the kitchen, while the little girl watched. After observing for awhile she began to help, or decided that we needed help. As we began to clean together, she started teaching us some basic Arabic words, like how to count from 1-10. It was really helpful! We were listening and repeating, and we kept finding dirty things and saying “yucky”. This was apparently a fun, new English word for her and she picked up on it quickly, even making a song... “yucky, yucky, yucky-yuck”. After a long time, I completed a small part of the kitchen and stood up and cheered. She pointed and said “Not yucky!” We were all happy.

Then she pointed all over the rest of the kitchen and said “Yucky. Yucky. Yucky. Yucky...”

Saturday, August 28, 2010

In The Beginning...

We have spent our first few days with Pastor Peter and his wife Michelle and their family of three boys as we get oriented to Cairo and over the jet lag. They have been wonderful and generous hosts and have begun to orient us to our surroundings. We have reached several small milestones in these first few days: first taxi ride, first trip to the grocery store, first time riding the metro rail. All of these things will eventually become routine, but in the beginning each one is challenging.

Also, Peter and Michelle have secured us an amazing apartment! The inside is great, but the part to write home about is the view from the balcony. From 7 floors up, we look down upon an orchard or garden. It is huge, so there are no other big buildings around us, which gives the feeling of complete privacy in a very large and busy city. This space also allows us an unobstructed view of the city to our west. Looking out, through some of the buildings, we can see the Nile River! Looking out further, if it is a clear day, we can see the Pyramids of Giza!


Flying in, it was immediately apparent just how enormous of a city Cairo is. Even from the vantage point of the plane, there were buildings as far as the eye could see. And everything was the color of sand. The roof tops were all the same color as the earth, which is a light yellow color that one would expect to find in the Sahara.

We arrived safely in Cairo after a long flight and were welcomed at the airport by Pastor Peter, who is Paul's supervisor. As we were driving we were staring at the sunset; set against a collage of countless sandy colored buildings. The sun was large and bright red and the sky was white. We took a moment to praise God for the wonder and variety of creation. We are humbled that we are allowed this experience.