We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s a strange thing to celebrate a national holiday outside of your nation, and I’ll have a longer post on this over the weekend, but I’m very lucky to have Thursday off from work as well as lovely friends who have invited us to share their Thanksgiving feast. And I’m really lucky that this woman has been baking for days. Also, I’m quite pleased that Mr. Four made his favorite apple pie. Yum.

I’m looking forward to the long weekend (only one extra day, since we go back to work on Sunday, but I’ll take it), and, as is the tradition, I want to note that I have much for which to be thankful, especially my family. Living in Egypt has given me a keen appreciation for being an American woman, a luck of birth. It’s also given me an extra keen appreciation for the man I was smart enough to marry. (That’s Mr. Four, in case you were wondering.)

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and family.


21 November 2007 - Posted by | family, food, holidays


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Wish I could send you all the snow that’s forecast for Thanksgiving Day here in New York – bet the boys would love it!

    Comment by Mom | 22 November 2007

  2. Sorry I’ll take the Egyptian balmy winter weather over the lousy snow I had to clean off my car this morning. It doesn’t sound like you are enjoying Egypt much. I’ve spent a bit of time there and I want to say that you really sound like you are missing out.

    Here’s a quote I think you should read:

    “People who travel to worldly countries, but only associate with their own people and culture – may change their location, but not their thinking. They will return home with traveled bodies, but untraveled minds. When you go to a different land – BE THERE. Get to know and enjoy the people and their customs. You will return enriched and unprejudiced”.

    From http://www.ethos.ca Hope you take this to heart or move back to where you are from.

    Comment by N. American Princess | 22 November 2007

  3. Mom, thanks for the nice message!

    To NAP: you’re just a merry sunshine, aren’t ya? Why don’t you leave Quebec if you don’t like snow? (For the record, the weather is lovely here right now.)

    To my other readers:

    I’ve decided not to delete the above comment, but this is the second really negative comment from this person, a stranger to me. The first time she ranted about Egyptian bureaucracy. Now she’s telling me to enjoy it here.

    We are enjoying Egypt. Just because we want to celebrate a secular American holiday with American friends doesn’t mean we’re not enjoying Egypt. Giggle is celebrating his first American Thanksgiving as our son, and so it’s very important to us that he understand it. And Bug is still learning all this too. Many people who move to other places continue to celebrate their national holidays. How weird would it be to give it up just because you’re in a new country?

    And, by the way, about half the people at our Thanksgiving dinner were Egyptian. And I do spend a lot of time with Egyptians at work. Our Eid was spent at a resort catering to Egyptians, and almost all of our travel companions were Egyptians as well.

    Do folks who know us think differently?

    Now, to NAP: I’m not sure why you are reading my blog if you don’t like what you’re reading… but, if you don’t like it, you are free not to read. Tone down your comments or I’ll simply delete them.

    Comment by egypt4 | 22 November 2007

  4. I don’t know you either, other than meeting you briefly in Ethiopia, but I support you in celebrating Thanksgiving and wish you a happy one.

    We don’t find it strange or objectionable (or at least I don’t) that ex-pats, immigrants, and ethnic/religious minorities in the US speak their own languages, go out of their way to connect with others like them, and celebrate their own holidays and customs. Why should American ex-pats feel guilty for not being any different? You don’t stop being an American just because you leave American soil.

    Comment by Jonathan | 22 November 2007

  5. NAP – Ouch!

    Having lived in a foreign country for an extended period of time and as one who has traveled I feel qualified to add a few comments about life abroad.

    The rush and excitement of transporting one’s self and family to a foreign country is very complex ….at first one certainly feels like a tourist – how could you not? Everything is new and exciting and it is, after all an adventure. As time goes on you settle in and adjust to the new country. It can be a slow adjustment – especially if the culture is so vastly different from your previous life.

    It would be easier for an American to adjust to a new life in Canada, England or similar countries where language and lifestyles “seem“ like home. Despite research and previous travel experiences – what one discovers as a resident is not what one finds as a tourist. Life in Cairo is not the same as moving to New York, Chicago etc.

    But I don’t think that the type of person who enjoys the social, economic safety or convenience of a fixed lifestyle would even apply for a foreign job. It isn’t a decision one makes on a whim, especially when children and a spouse are part of the equation. Knowing the work that Egypt4 is doing, she has to interact with Egyptians and other nationalities – eventually friendships will develop and from those one becomes more involved with local culture. Should she have celebrated Ramadan and skipped Thanksgiving? Of course not.

    Comment by JS | 23 November 2007

  6. JS and Jonathan, thanks for your comments. I hope you both had a great Thanksgiving.

    Comment by egypt4 | 25 November 2007

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