We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Three paths

There’s always plenty of time to reflect over the holidays here in Egypt. Which is usually a good thing. Here are the options in the months and years ahead.

1. Stay here for at least another full year (leaving no earlier than summer 2010). This would likely include taking a fantastic trip to East Africa this summer. It’d have Giggle in his great school for another year, and it’d get Bug through preschool. The downside: another full year of this air. Another full year in a place we don’t love (a problem of the privileged, I know). Another year where I wonder if my job skills are growing obsolete. Another year I risk getting stuck here, professionally.

2. Look for a job back in the States. Be closer to family. Live someplace we love–or at least a place we understand. Someplace where people won’t stop us to ask if we are a family and then insist we can’t be because of the differences in our skin (sadly, this was not an isolated event). The downside: the end of the adventure.

3. Take the adventure another step and look for a job in eastern or southern Africa. Live someplace were we can travel even more easily to places we love. Be someplace where the boys blend in. The downside: a career shift for me that might be harder to bounce back from if I don’t love it.

Path number one is also the path of least resistance, and probably where we’re headed.

What would you do?


4 January 2009 - Posted by | africa, expat scene, our life in egypt, race


  1. I’d do option 3 and come to Dubai. But that’s me being selfish and thinking it would be great to have PA friend here. Thing about option 3 is that it probably adds at least 2 years to your adventure, whereas option 1 sounds like you can extend in 1-year increments.

    If you’re still seeing this as an adventure. Then I’d go for 1 or 3. The climate back home is shifting dramatically this year and I wouldn’t be looking to go back into the midst of that in 2009. Don’t worry about obsolete skills – there are a lot of folks in the US who will be in the market come 2010 who have been out of work for 12 months. So, the competitive landscape will be totally different.

    Comment by Juju | 6 January 2009

  2. Juju, I think you are right. Sometimes all I want is to go home and settle, but most of the time this is still an adventure. Of course, we won’t go anywhere without a job to go to, so staying is the default (because I do have a job here for, I think, as long as I want it).

    Comment by Ms. Four | 6 January 2009

  3. If you don’t like the air in Egypt I don’t think you’d like Nairobi but other East African cities (Mombasa, maybe Dar-es-Salaam or Kampala) might suit.

    Comment by katie | 7 January 2009

  4. I would go for number one. After all you get to remain close with Super Maya and her fantastic family. I think having a stable academic environment for the boys is a good one at this time especially if you feel the school is good. How great that you can travel to East Africa as well!

    P.S. – How did you go about finding work overseas?

    Comment by Nancy | 19 January 2009

  5. Ha, thanks Nancy! But, Super Maya and her family probably won’t be here forever either.

    Finding work overseas in my field isn’t too difficult if you’re willing to/interested in the Middle East and Egypt. I suspect this is true of many fields right now. There are a lot of opportunities for Americans in the Gulf (and I don’t mean anything that has to do with Iraq or Afghanistan or other less stable areas).

    Comment by Ms. Four | 19 January 2009

  6. […] ahead to summer Despite grand plans to take the trip of a lifetime through East Africa this summer, it looks like we’ll be […]

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