Friday, December 3, 2010

MAKING HIJRAH 14 "Not Home. Sick"




All my thoughts for securing a future in Egypt had to stop so I could deal with the issue at hand.

I was sick again.

I didn't understand it! 

How could I be sick again?!  I had taken the medicine and wasn't eating or drinking from the street vendors any more.  I had started filtering my water.

I went on-line and did more research.  Turns out that filtering didn't kill one blessed microbe.  I had to rapidly boil the water for a minute.  Then, and only then, would my water be safe to drink. 

I went to the darkened door of my kitchen.  I hadn't actually spent time in it.  The refrigerator was in the entry way--ya, wierd---so I had made that room for food prep.  Between the restaurants and the iftar invitations, I really hadn't made the kitchen "mine".  I didn't want to.  It scared me!  The previous tennant's empties were still cluttering the counters.  There was a greasy rug on the floor and stains on the wall.  The window panes were painted over so no natural light came through.  It was a cave of despair.  "A-failure-pile-in-a-sadness-bowl" kind of room (which needs some swearing...just like the video). 

Ick.

But I tackled the room, boiled the water, and let it stand for eight hours so that the massive amounts of cholorine evaporated.  I decided not to keep filtering the water.  I had to draw the line somewhere.  I did start feeling better once again and really prayed that this would do the trick.

It amazed me how much I had to plan in order to drink water.  I couldn't just turn on the tap.  Nope!  I didn't have the funds to continously purchase bottled water.  I had to do this daily task of boiling water, pouring it into open glass containers and refrigerating it once it was done.

I looked around my recently cleaned kitchen.  I had now placed colorful fruit stickers on the tiles encircling me.  I laughed at myself.  It wasn't garlic warding off the dracula but it came close.  Gone was the rug.  Gone were the ancient grease splatters.  The trove of old plastic bottles had been donated to the two young brothers recycling on their donkey cart.  My Walgreen's melanime party plates were sitting pretty.  It was my kitchen.

Dealing with the here and now of Egypt is constant.  There isn't a lot of time to think about the past (which was good for me) or about the future (which is probably good for everyone).  However, being a working mom in Egypt caught me off guard a bit.

I had assumed that I would simply bring my kid with me to the school when I started back to work.  Imagine my surprise when this didn't go as planned.  There were a ton of meetings during which four-year-old boys tend not to sit quietly.  I couldn't stay in meetings.  I couldn't run around since I had to bring him in tow everywhere I went on the large campus.  I couldn't do enough preparation in my dusty room since I had to constantly be looking out for Mr. Boo. 

Where was he?  What?  He had grabbed the garden hose and gotten all wet?  Are you JOKING me?

Where was he?  What?!  He had gone all the way to the exit gate and was trying to crawl under it? 

Oh my God!

The Assistant Headmistress offered an alternative to chaining him up (tempting though it was).  There was a local nursery she could recommend.  My boy could go there, play with other children, and leave me in peace so I could get ready for school---whenever that would be.

We had now gotten a later start time than before.  Kindergarten would be starting the second week of October.  I would have no student for weeks and weeks.  I would therefore not be able to have my son start as a student in the other kindergarten class for weeks and weeks.

Yes, we could check out the nursery.

Luckily, the money was OK and the location was good.  It seemed good enough.  I signed up for a few weeks.  That's all it would be.  I mean...what's the worst that could happen?


Chapter 15




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