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We have spent almost 4 months here in Alexandria and the realty of what we have experienced has not met with expectations. Even though I reminded myself to keep my expectations within reason, and I thought I had, the reality of the situation here just did not match up. There are many reasons for that and I believe that the political and economic situation has contributed to a great degree. We have diligently looked for an apartment for 3 months and have been unsuccessful. We had certain criteria that needed to be met in finding a longterm living situation, and because we are living off of savings and did not want to work we had to make sure we did not get ourselves into a bad situation that would lead to us loosing money.

It is important when on a budget to try to make the best decisions possible financially. We made istikkaarah and dua and really looked for a good situation. Al hamdulillah, we are not displeased with our situation. We learned a lot being here in Alexandria. It was a good experience for us to have. Not many people get to live in a different country at all, so 3 months being somewhere different and new was good. It will prepare me for the next time, inshaAllah. I will be more confident should we decide to come back to Egypt and better able to cope. I won’t have to deal with the shock of being somewhere so different from home.

So, we are preparing to return back home to the US. Not with heavy hearts but with more information and a better understanding. Whatever happens next I’m looking forward to unpacking and hanging my clothes up somewhere!

DSCF0870 We drink bottled water here in Alex and what we have been doing is buying two 6-liter bottles each time we purchase and that will usually last us for about 7 days, depending on how much we are drinking. For the last 4 or 5 days we have not been able to get our normal brand of water, we like the Baraka brand. All the stores in the neighborhood have been out and at first they were telling Ahmed they would have it later that evening or the next day.
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For all the unrest that is being reported on the news I have not seen any of it with my own eyes. Here in Alexandria there is not that much going on. Ahmed saw some protestors in Alex once when he went to renew our visas a couple of weeks but, but he said there was not a lot of people. He also saw some protestors in Tanta when he went to check out that city, which is about 2 hours by train from Alexandria, and he said that was more rowdy with a police presence. But, again, there were not a lot of people. The protestors go to certain areas for maximum impact even if there are not a lot of theme and the rest of the cities seem to move on about daily life with very little interruption. From what I can determine most of the upheaval is in Port Said, hours away from where I am and it has more do to with a soccer hooligan trial that has morphed into political unrest.

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.
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my bag

I had to rethink what I carry in my purse for outings here in Alexandria. The first few times I didn’t take anything and just put my phone in my pocket. I learned the hard way that that just wouldn’t work. So I rummaged through my luggage, because we still are not unpacked, and now I’ve got my cute cross body purse that I can wear and it is secured across my body instead of just on the shoulder. It is not heavy and I can get all the essentials in it. So, what’s in my bag?
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I have some pictures uploaded that I wanted to share. I’ll be adding more in the comming weeks inshaAllah. Enjoy!

Yunus 10:18

And they worship besides Allâh things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: "These are our intercessors with Allâh." Say: "Do you inform Allâh of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?" Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him!



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