This past year...
- We had numerous encounters with stomach bugs; call it what you will--Mummy Tummy, Pharaoh's Revenge, or some other cutesy name--we've had it several times.
- We battled cockroaches and ants and other mystery bugs.
- We encountered balady dogs (and cats, horses, donkeys, cows, sheep, goats, and chickens).
- We suffered water shortages and power outages.
- Andrew has been grazed by who knows how many taxis.
- We sweated to death through the summer and shivered to keep warm in the winter.
- We visited Luxor, Alexandria, and Ain Sokhna.
- We traveled to Spain, Morocco, and Greece.
- We have taken planes, trains, boats, taxis, metros, and minibuses.
- We went horse riding in the desert and snorkeling in the Red Sea.
- Rachel and I visited the Leprosaurium for service projects on more than one occasion.
- Andrew completed half his master's degree.
- I made it through three-fourths of a pregnancy.
- Rachel learned to talk, made the switch to underwear, started sleeping in a big-girl bed, and entered nursery.
- We've had ten overnight guests, most importantly my mom, Andrew's mom, and David.
- We've been to the Great Pyramids three times.
- We've been on seven felucca rides. I think...
- We gave a devotional on a felucca in the Nile to the YSAs from Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt.
- Andrew went camping with the scouts, which involved riding horses from Giza to Saqqara and sleeping in the middle of the desert without a tent.
- We've gone on a few camel rides. Two or three, I think.
- We've gone swimming outside every month of the year that we've been here.
- We dined on gold-trimmed dishes and drank from crystal glasses on Thanksgiving, even Rachel.
- I took two sessions of belly dancing classes.
- We watched our friend Elisabeth get baptized in the Red Sea.
Before she left she mentioned that she wasn't sure she should have visited us in the middle of our time here, that she almost wished that the only exposure she got to Cairo was through our blog, and that she's going to worry about us even more now that she's seen the traffic and the way things work here and, well, the traffic.
Most everything else is forgivable here...but the traffic? It's horrendous. We've seen two dead bodies on the side of the road this year. I didn't list that in our highlights because, face it, that's not really a highlight.
Also, you can't buy things like sour cream sometimes. Or tortillas. Or vanilla. Or brown sugar. Or any number of things.
But we're being careful and are loving the adventures we're having. We're definitely looking forward to what the next ten months have in store for us--that's right, we're "Statewardbound" in ten months or so. We don't really know what that entails yet but have rough sketches of plans A, B, and C, so I'm sure something will work out for us, wherever we end up!