Things have settled down for us in Alexandria. It is mostly the mundane everyday things like cooking, cleaning, and fighting the mosquitos. No school as of yet but that is coming, Insha’Allah. I’m sure after we get settled and start classes things are going to be very busy for us. I’ve seen more of the city and it is official, I like every neighborhood more than the one I came to live in! I’m getting more used to Mandara, but we decided to move anyway Insha’Allah.

We are shopping at the local stores and the community grocery store here in Mandara more. I’m cooking again regularly which is a good thing. I just discovered a neighbor has a great blog called Makin it in Misr where she describes how she makes substitutions with what is available locally to cook what her family likes. I plan to read her blog and make use of her great ideas.

Ahmed got our visas renewed last week. It only cost 12 pounds for us both to get a 3-month visa. Americans can only get 3-month extensions while citizens of other countries like France can get up to a year’s renewal, so that is something we’ll have to do on a regular basis to keep it all legal.

We are living in a construction zone. There is construction everywhere here as this is the side of town where expansion is happening and buildings are going up in every available space. I can’t imagine where all the people are going to come from to fill the many, many different apartment buildings being built. Most of them are over 10 stories high. The building I am staying in used to be quiet but that is because it is mostly empty. The apartment next door to me is not finished and neither are the 4 stories above me. So, the owners have decided to finish more of the building and every morning around 7 am the construction guys come and start banging. They cut off the water without any notice and pile construction material in the lobby. The guys working on the buildings down the street pile all the construction equipment in the road blocking the street from people trying to come and go. Many times we have had to walk around the block to get back to our apartment. It is like that all over Mandara, construction and new buildings and more “corner” stores popping up everywhere. Ahmed had a guy hand him a flyer as he walked out of his favorite “corner” store advertising a new “corner” store opening up down the street and told him he should shop at his store and not this guy’s store. The competition around here for business is cut throat!

The mosquitos are driving me crazy. Because of the rains, the construction workers dumping water in the roads, the lack of drainage, etc, there is a serious mosquito issue. Ahmed and I are trying everything we can think of the limit the damage these blood suckers are doing, but we are slowly loosing the battle. We went to Fatallah and got some liquid mosquito killer that you plug into the outlet and it diffuses into the air. It is made by Raid, so we figured this might work. I got it on the recommendation of a neighbor. Insha’Allah, this will help us cut down on the blood suckers and keep me from turning into a walking happy meal!