We’ve arrived in Cairo! The above shot is our approach to Cairo as the sun set. Blurry as I was leaning over a sleeping toddler and shooting out the window quickly with my phone. Sleeping toddler actually being a bit of an aberration on the flight as he screamed most of both flights. First flight was miserable with him taking maybe two 30 min naps the entire 6.5hr overnight flight. Nothing like death stares from the lady in front of you to feel really guilty. She was at least balanced by the grandmotherly woman who as we departed and then again when we crossed paths in the Paris airport spoke sympathetically. Second flight he fussed the first half, but slept the second half. Phew!
DD did a great job! She’s a flying pro by now and is thrilled by watching nonstop movies. I think age 2.5 is when it really starts getting easier, and by 4 it is a breeze. Movies playing a key role in all of this, plus the understanding of things like “why are we still sitting on the ground?” and “When is food?” Even better, she accepts that she needs to lie down and close her eyes for nighttime. We changed the kids into their pajamas before the flight and did bedtime routine in the airport right before boarding at 8:15 pm. DD managed to curl up in her seat with her head on my lap and once asleep, didn’t wake up for all of DS’ screaming. She might have been the only one who didn’t! Or maybe I was just hyper aware of it as I was mostly 2 inches from his face trying to calm him down.
In Paris we got food, though there were not many food options at our gate area. Our stroller we used in Dulles, but they gate check all the way through as Paris does not retrieve strollers. Sigh. They do have loaner strollers and baggage trolleys, but not til you change terminals and go through security again. Very glad we had our GoGoBabyz thing for DS’ carseat and DD was able to walk until we found her a stroller. Normally airport walking is fine for her, but she was beat on only 4 hours of nighttime sleep.
You’d have thought that DS would be exhausted after barely any sleep, but no. He ran all over the gate area in Paris and was thrilled by the planes outside the window. Second flight was delayed an hour after we were all ready boarded for various small things–air traffic delay due to the Paris air show and then a sick passenger who had to be deboarded and his luggage retrieved. At least the AC and video entertainment was working, so it wasn’t too bad.
Once in Cairo, we were met by an expediter who took us through immigration and customs and helped with baggage and then connected us to our sponsor who had the van for getting us to our house. Whew! Delhi didn’t do that, so this was great. Our sponsors are awesome and had pizza waiting for us and had set up the welcome kit, so beds were made and kitchen things put away. DS crashed right away and slept 11 pm to 10:30 am the next day straight! DD was a bit harder to get down and she was unsettled, so she ended up in our bed and then slept til 9:30. I was thrilled!
Monday was a holiday due to Eid, so we actually had DH home which was nice. Our sponsor took us to the commissary for groceries–wow! Great supply and I found almost everything I needed. Of course, now I have thought of more things I need and so will need to make another run. Restocking a kitchen from scratch is a pain! We’d already connected with some people ahead of time, so Monday night we had dinner at a new friend’s house and Tuesday our sponsor took the kids and me to Maadi House, which is the American Club. They have a pool, playground, restaurant, etc. We played, ate lunch, and swam. It was great. The playground has sand and trucks! DS was in heaven.
Today we had plans to meet up with another friend at Maadi House again. Having walked it yesterday with someone I thought I could figure it out today. Well, the 10 min walk took more like 40…We did a big loop, I finally found a street sign and realized we were heading down in numbers instead of up and then DD had to pee. So I got us backtracked back home, did a potty break, talked to our guards about directions, and set off again. It is actually an easy walk if you get onto the correct street the first time! DD was a champ being dragged up and down roads. DS was in the stroller and luckily I had plenty of practice dodging cars and bumping up and down over pieces of sidewalk and curbs in Delhi. Plus no cows, and so far, no dogs to avoid.
Had a blast at the pool. DD is a bit hesitant about getting her face in the water, so we’ll be getting swimming lessons for her. She might listen better to someone who is not mommy about that! DS loves the water and I am being way more proactive of getting his face wet by dunking him and blowing bubbles and whatnot. He loves being dunked and keeps signing more. He also tries to blow bubbles when I do, but so far only does his “fishy face” which is sticking his tongue out repeatedly.
Our apartment is great. Oddly furnished for now as we have all the big pieces the Embassy provides, but not many small things! Great bookshelves, but nothing on them! Fabrics are always hit or miss and sometimes can be quite odd, but I am fine with ours. Sofas are a dark blue which I like. The chairs are mostly shades of tan, which does show dirt easily but at least matches with everything! Dining room chairs are padded and tan, but after staining some in Delhi, I knew better and brought chair cushion covers with me in our suitcases! DS and DD weren’t allowed to sit in the chairs until I dug out the covers and tied them on! They are not a perfect fit, which is what happens when you buy covers for chairs you haven’t seen, but they work well enough and when the rest of my supplies arrive I might be able to sew them a bit better.
Kids rooms are oddly empty, but they don’t seem to mind. DD has a bed, nightstand and dresser and then random boxes I got from our sponsor to put some of her toys into so they aren’t strewn everywhere. DS has those items, plus a chair. The best part of our master bedroom are the two walk-in closets. I love having my own closet and it has a ton of shelving.