Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cairo - Still Our Pie in the Sky?

 Recently, I noted that a fellow foreign service family referred to their next hopeful overseas assignment as "Pie in the Sky".  And until this last week, that is exactly what Cairo was for us.

After months of discussion (actually, it has been more like years for us!), we poured over the bidding list, weighing the pros and cons of each country.  I want sun, a large expat community, family-friendly neighborhoods, and the occasional Starbucks sighting.  The hubby wants a historically interesting assignment and easy flights to Europe. Cairo easily fit the wishlist for both of us; and for Jason it is actually a dream assignment - he's always wanted to travel to Egypt.  I had never really thought specifically about Egypt, but was excited about the prospect.

Everyone we'd spoken to LOVED Cairo.  I've even made a new friend who was there when her hubby was assigned to Cairo and they have small children as well.  She had nothing but fantastic things to say about their time in Egypt.  Great housing, great neighborhoods, lots of things to do, excellent schools, strong foreign service community.

And now.  In the blink of an eye, it has changed.  Chaos, turmoil, violence.  I'm not sure what to think.  On one hand, I understand why the demonstrations have erupted.  Cairo alone is a mega city - 18 million people.  Egypt has a total of 80 million people.  So many live in poverty that most of us can't even begin to fathom.  A 'president' who has been in office for 30 years.

And Egypt is one of the strongest allies to the U.S. in the delicate (un)balance of the Middle East, making it an issue for the U.S. to tread lightly around.

Perhaps, the turmoil is in fact most likely expected.  But the people will just as likely continue to suffer.  And we don't know what the final outcome will be - I worry it could as easily become a stronghold of democracy as it could become an instrument of a different, unpredictable autocrat (or even a dictator).  And where does the radical Islamic movement fit in?  Will it unfortunately gain strength in the aftermath?  So much at stake and so much left up in the air.

Our 'Pie in the Sky' may no longer be Cairo.  I am selfishly upset about it.  I get it - Egypt needs change, and democracy rarely rides in on a quiet train.  But I am still upset.  It wasn't supposed to be like this.

And so we may very well be back to square one - until stability (of what form?) is returned.  Thankfully, we have seven months until the big move is scheduled.  Will Cairo be our family's home next year?

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