Adjusting to Cairo?

I have lived in 8 countries. I have worked overseas before. This time, however, “adjusting” is taking longer.

Why?

Other times I was less (or not!) reliant on computers, the Internet, or anything else electronic!

This time I am. And it is a game changer.

As I have limited to no wifi at home, my life revolves around my phone and/or my school computer. Both have their good days and their not so good days.

As a result, any ideas of “perfection” when it comes to my blog and/or keeping in touch with other bloggers through their blogs, have sadly gone down the drain. At least for the moment.This has been my first lesson in adjusting.

Adjusting is hard work. In fact in Egypt it can be very sweaty hard work.

I literally sweat all day! Living on the third floor and working on a fourth floor means walking up and down stairs all day long. Especially when you teach Grade 4s who need to be taken and returned to the classroom numerous times throughout the day. So the gym has become my flat and my classroom. It saves money and it saves time!

I have been teaching for one week now. A typical day begins early for me (my choice!) as I like to beat the sun and get to work before I officially become one hot sweaty mess. Walking to work is minutes away so I am very fortunate in that regard.

The teaching day is busy, loud, slightly chaotic and sometimes resembles what I have previously experienced in Canada. And sometimes not. It depends on the day.

I have a classroom with desks and 22 students. I have 22 students, some who love to talk and others who don’t. Those who love to talk are entertaining at times but of course, need to be managed. All teachers know the thrills and the lows of September teaching but how is it that I tend to forget what September feels like each year?

As my school has a Ontario curriculum this means some changes for me as expectations and procedures are of course different. And of course, this school is set in a desert like setting in the suburbs of Cairo.

Students get to swim each week in the school pool! For those who teach like myself in schools without pools, this feels like a weekly field trip! Our first visit went fine until the girls needed to primp after to get ready to return to class. Yes, another adjustment for me and one that will involve some creative solutions in the future.

Each day after school, Jade comes to my classroom. For the first time, I am teaching at a school that she attends. We love this! Her adjustment is extraordinary. She was meant to do this. Her classmates are curious and friendly. A perfect combination for a teen in a new country. Jade even loves her uniform and the food in the cafeteria. And of course, one week into school and she is already sleeping over at a friend’s house. Can you hear me sigh with relief and gratitude that she loves it so much already?!

Usually after school, we walk to our local market and stores to run our errands. We have our fruit man and our bread man that we buy from daily. We have our store now that delivers our water and our heavier groceries to our flat. Delivery for the cost of less than a dollar! We have our pizza take out place and our Italian restaurant for more relaxed occasions.

We are slowly but surely finding our rhythm.

And as we do, we will change it all up next week when we fly to Sri Lanka to backpack for one week. Now that is the adjusting that I can get used to pretty quickly.

Take care all and thanks for bearing with us as we find our Egyptian feet.

Cheryl and Jade

52 comments

  1. Nancy · September 25, 2015

    I like ur classroom. I can see how it would be an adjustment, though. Aren’t teens amazing the way they adapt sometimes (not to say there won’t still be challenges!) Thanks for the glimpse of you life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 28, 2015

      Yes, my teen has had an easier time than myself but that is mostly job related. High expectations but with logistical challenges in the classroom make for some added stress!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. fifi + hop · September 19, 2015

    Sounds to me like you are adjusting really well! Jade sounds like an adventurous trooper. Sleep over first week a very good sign! (with two girls myself trust me I know!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 28, 2015

      Thanks. The adjustment period is still ongoing but becoming a bit easier each day.

      Like

  3. Sounds like you are integrating well. Don’t worry about us. Just thrilled to see a blog appear from time to time and find out what you’re doing. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 16, 2015

      Thanks Elen. Hope you had a good end to your summer. Somedays I really miss the weather back home as I sit here sweating in my air con classroom at 7 am!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Soso · September 15, 2015

    Hi Cheryl! I think that you are adjusting very well, don’t be so hard with yourself. As for the web and blogging, I am completely with you! To be honest I am scared at the idea of not having a reliable connection at home in Nairobi. These last years I have become so dependent that I quickly feel isolated if I don’t have it. Wow!! I am so happy to hear you are backpacking in Sri Lanka!!! I spent 3 weeks there back in 2013 and fell in love with landscape and people! Which region have you planned to go????

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 15, 2015

      Wonderful to hear from you. It has been a challenge adjusting to having limited Internet that can be so unreliable. I can’t wait to see the “green” landscape of Sri Lanka. We are going to Kandy and Ella areas as we only have one week this time. I am sure we will want to return.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Soso · September 15, 2015

        Sure you will! If you want breathtaking views and a bit of sport, when in Ella, get someone to take you up to Ella Rock hike!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · September 16, 2015

        Thanks for the info!!

        Like

  5. Cindy · September 14, 2015

    You are my hero..If you can adjust to Cairo..I darn well better be able to adjust to Charlotte! πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • lovetotrav · November 7, 2015

      Hey Cindy. Sorry it took forever to respond. My crazy Egyptian working life has taken over. I hope you can adjust to Charlotte. You must be moving then?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cindy · November 8, 2015

        HEY!!! How are you? I was thinking of you this week what with the whole sad situation that happened. I hope all is well over there. We’ve been up in Charlotte for about 2 months, bought a town home and are in the process of cleaning and updating…fun, fun.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · November 10, 2015

        Oh my Cindy you have been a busy person!!! But still in a hot climate so no big change that way for you. We have been doing well. If I didn’t watch CNN I wouldn’t know anything was happening at this end at all. Life seems the same for us so far. Safe and friendly so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cindy · November 10, 2015

        I’m so glad. How’s your husband holding up without his girls? Has he been able to visit yet?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · November 11, 2015

        He is missing us a lot and is counting down the days until we meet at Christmas. We are meeting in Bangkok and heading to Cambodia for Christmas holidays.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cindy · November 11, 2015

        You guys are incredible. Time to write a book..suggested title? “Christmas in Cambodia” …of course!!! πŸŽ„Before you know it you’ll be boarding that plane for the most memorable and romantic holiday ever..cue the Bing Crosby ❀️

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · November 11, 2015

        Ahhh you are so sweet Cindy!!

        Like

  6. Kat · September 13, 2015

    I’m glad to hear that Jade is adjusting. It sounds very exciting and different. I’m not sure I could handle the heat part. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 14, 2015

      Jade and I just said last night that we can’t for the winter here!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kat · September 14, 2015

        I bet! πŸ™‚

        Like

  7. snowsomewhere · September 12, 2015

    Sounds interesting! Happy for you! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 14, 2015

      Interesting.. yes… frustrating…yes… exhausting… yes… it is an everything.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. de Wets Wild · September 11, 2015

    Pretty soon you’ll have settled into your groove!
    Safe and happy travels to Sri Lanka!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 11, 2015

      Thank you so much. I hope the South African wildlife is treating you well. I am pretty limited to camels, stray cats and stray dogs and donkeys at the moment. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. barnraised · September 11, 2015

    What an adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. unfinishedtravel · September 10, 2015

    Sounds like you’re adjusting quite well! Glad to hear that things are going smoothly and I hope you have a blast in Sri Lanka! I’ve never been, so I’m interested to see what you think of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 11, 2015

      Thanks so much! I can’t wait! I have only ever heard positive things about the country and its people. Hopefully it won’t take me years to post about it!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. joanfrankham · September 10, 2015

    Glad that you are settling in, everything will get sorted out in good time…you are on ‘Africa time’ now!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 11, 2015

      Yes, so true!! Egyptian time is really its own time zone πŸ™‚ but I am getting used to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Paula · September 10, 2015

    So glad to hear from you! I’ve been wondering how it’s going…thank you for sharing this process with us, and don’t worry about frequency, etc….In fact, just don’t worry, eh? Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 11, 2015

      Thanks Paula. You are so sweet! Between the school work, the settling in and the high expectations to accomplish what I usually do without the support from working Internet etc. it has had its challenges. However Jade is happy and for a teen to adjust so quickly, what more could a mom want? Take care, Cheryl

      Liked by 1 person

  13. ruthstanton2014 · September 10, 2015

    Best wishes in this new venture. My daughter recently returned from teaching in Cairo. She was able to buy wifi for her home, so much at a time. I wonder if you are at the same school, teaching the some of the same children she taught. However, she taught English as a second language so she had more than one class.

    I visited her in April and had a wonderful time. We had an excellent guide whose wife taught at the school. He seemed to know everything to be known about Egypt, both of long ago and today.

    all the best, Ruth >

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 10, 2015

      Hi Ruth, Nice to meet you! We may be at the same school. I am happy you had a lovely visit.I can’t wait to get out and explore more. I am hopeful with time I will get the Wifi figured out. We bought a monthly package and it lasted for 5 days! So I am waiting it out to try something new instead! Take care and thanks for commenting. Cheryl

      Like

  14. uncle gerry · September 10, 2015

    Hey Cheryl and Jade
    So happy to hear from you guysπŸ˜€
    I was wondering why I had not heard from you / yes adjusting to a new environment can be challenging but happy to see you are both up for the challenge !! So happy to hear Jade is adjusting so well πŸ˜€/ first sleep over , how exciting !!
    I knew it would not take too long for both of you to find your favourite eating places ( I was waiting to hear about that ) lol
    I think the pool would be my new best friend lol

    uncle gerry

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 10, 2015

      Yes, the pool should be ours too! I need to get in it and use it. Have been too busy working!! It is a tight schedule that I am on with limited free time when I have any energy. I hope it changes in time!!

      Like

  15. Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld · September 10, 2015

    Lovely to hear about your adjustment to a new place and the good and not so good things that come with it. Keep going πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 10, 2015

      Thanks Marcella. I can use the encouragement at times. πŸ™‚

      Like

  16. wifeabroad · September 10, 2015

    Adjusting can last so long. I’m traveling to Sri Lanka nest week also! Have fun there! Its a first time place for my husband and I.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 10, 2015

      It is a first time place for us as well. Enjoy too!

      Like

  17. Anabel Marsh · September 10, 2015

    Lovely to hear from you again, and glad you are both starting to adjust.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 10, 2015

      Thanks Anabel. I miss reading about your daily walks. Hope you are doing fine πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Anabel Marsh · September 10, 2015

        I am, thanks! Still catching up with my holiday blogging, it’s a long process.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Solveig · September 10, 2015

    It sounds ad if you two are adjusting really quickly.
    Don’t worry about visiting back or replying to your comments quickly, you are busy and you now have great stories to tell all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 10, 2015

      Thanks Solveig for understanding. My world of blogging has changed a lot and I have no time and no WiFi to really read or sit back and relax with. Hopefully that will change!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Solveig · September 10, 2015

        Well you can use the time to write, live the moment and enjoy life. You’ll be back to reading and blogging, I am sure of it! It happens to the best of us even with wifi and a computer…

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · September 10, 2015

        I hope. My life feels really full but who knows… it may settled down. Stranger things have happened. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Lucy & Marty · September 10, 2015

    I am glad to hear you are adjusting (even if slower than expected) and I can’t imagine how hard it must be to handle a new school, new city, new country, and a whole new routine! I am glad that your daughter is doing so well – my neice (who I think is about the same age) would freak out and never be able to handle that. I saw an article that made me think of you titled “3 days in Cairo is 3 days too long”. I thought that was a bit extreme but hey, I have never been there. Good luck and keep your head up! I am sure you will adjust more and more each day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · September 10, 2015

      Thank you so much. It is the most challenging adapting I have been under and for my daughter, I think she is just gifted in this area thank goodness. Cairo is a different place and may be more on par with India… one that you love or one you find challenging. Thanks for the good luck. It will come in handy!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lucy & Marty · September 10, 2015

        Well if it is anything like my time in India you will love it one day and hate it the next!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · September 10, 2015

        You said it!!! I think that could be right at times.

        Liked by 1 person

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