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.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Home Sweet Home and Adjusting to Life in Cairo

Maadi, Cairo at sunset.  I love the skyline.
Cairo.  Two weeks later, I'm still jetlagged.  No idea why, but I am.  2pm is like the death knell for me.  I want to sleep so baaaaaad.  But I grab a latte and chug through it.  Or I work out at the gym (since running here is more a game of chicken than running).  And later in the night, it's all I can do to stay up past 9pm.  Makes me feel old.

Other complaints?  I'm gonna throw it out there - "Mummy Tummy", "Tut Gut", "Pharaoh's Revenge".  All of these amusing slogans do NOT do the local stomach bug justice.  It is horrible, it is painful, it is gross.  We've all served our time and served it so well that I hope we never have to serve at the whim of the porcelain god again.

Running.  It's a bust here.  Like I said, it's more like a game of chicken.   Or Russian roulette.  Or Frogger.  The cars here don't look out for pedestrians; there are no traffic laws (as in NONE - no stop signs, no street lights, nothing).  It's dangerous, especially if I get lost and end up in the wrong part of town (and that's happened).  So, I'm looking into other options.  The gym at work is great and the kids' school has an outdoor track.  There's a running group that meets weekly and goes out to the Wadi Degla (dry river bed) for a run.  It'll work out somehow.

So, how about some good stuff?  Our house.  (Thankfully, three bathrooms!) Gorgeous hardwood floors.  Lots and lots of space.  The kids take the baby for a walk in the house.  In his stroller.  Or they chase the dog all around, who scooby-doos across the hardwood floors (very amusing).

Our housekeeper/nanny is the top of awesomeness.   I have no idea how she gets it all done.  The house is organized, spotless, and the kids adore her. She'll take the few groceries I have left in the kitchen and come up with an actual meal (when I would have looked at what we had and just ordered out!).  She is amazing and makes life with our kids and two full-time jobs manageable.  I don't know what we would do without her.  Our time at home is enjoyable and not spent catching up on laundry or trying to pretend to cook.  Really good stuff.

Our community.  It's tight and close-knit.  There's a community center here with a pool and playground and a restaurant (that carries American foods - which we were craving; you know - nachos, chicken wings, etc.).  There are lots of families with kids our age.  And the people I work with at the clinic are great.  We've made some great friends already and it's comforting having so many people we know living nearby.

And the city.  It's beautiful. The people are gracious, the customs are often beautiful.  I love exploring the area and seeing the different types of architecture on the buildings.  I love the fruit stands and the bakeries, and the cafes.  The food is amazing, and you can get anything delivered to your door.  Jason and I are planning some day trips sans kids so we can explore some markets and do some tromping through history.

The weather.  I love it hot, the hotter the better, and it's nice and dry and sunny.  Some people complain about the air quality but it doesn't bother us.  We've lived in L.A. and I did a 4-month stint in Bakersfield, CA - home of the worst air quality in America, so no biggie to us.  I'd actually say the noise pollution bothers me more than anything...what exactly are they honking at at 11pm at night!?  But the weather rocks, all the time.

And so there you have it.  We're settling in, meeting people, and getting out and about.  We didn't get lost AT ALL this week, and I'd call that success.  Here's some photos of our gorgeous home, as previously promised.  Sorry, no outside photos for security's sake.  The master bedroom is not in these photos - the awesome hubby was catching up on some sleep while I was taking photos.  And please, please, look away from the generic linens - our UAB is in-country awaiting customs, and should be to us next week.  But for now, these are all we have.

Still, how lucky are we?!  We've only been here 2 weeks and we've already got word on our UAB!  [Happy Dance] And our HHE and car are set to arrive around early/mid-October, so we'll have that soon enough.  [Insert Another Happy Dance Here]

Massive.  Both Owen and Kellen are in this photo.  Oh, and more
lamps than we could ever use.   Plus there's not enough outlets to
plug them in to.  So.  We're sending them back to housing.


Little area off to the right will be Kellen's play area.
If my freaking baby gate would ever arrive!!
I mailed it just before we left Ohio.

Everyone who's ever worked for State recognizes this table and hutch.

The storage capabilities are awesome.

One of the details I love here.  This is the light fixture in the
downstairs' bathroom!

Downstairs bathroom.

Love the kitchen!

Staircase rules require shoes.  Because if you wear socks,
you slide and fall on your tuckus.

Gawd, it's so huge.  It's fun watching the pup scooby doo across the floors.

Second living room.  We're turing this into guest room and office.

The upstairs landing.  More sleek wood to slide on and fall on your tuckus.
You can guess what I've done, huh?

Abby's room.  Perfect for our little princess.

Owen's room.  Check out the amazing storage closets.  We have them
in every room!

Owen's rockin' lego projects.  He can't wait until our UAB arrives with
the rest of his booty.

One of our three bathrooms.  No more fighting!  We only
had one in home in Ohio.

The baby's room.  Obviously a work in progress.  Note the
car seat on the left.  K-Man has been sleeping in this since
we've arrived (waiting for a safe crib from housing).  He's
honestly never slept so well.


Another gorgeous sunset view - this of Maadi Towers.
The Nile River is on the other side of the buildings.


  1. Awesome, Heather. I need to get my tush in gear and write a post on my blog but I feel kind of overwhelmed by it all. Running here is impossible too...boo!

  2. Thanks for sharing... loved the ceiling lamp, BTW... :o)

  3. Sweet digs! Hope your tummy gets better quick. OMG< I looooooove your dining room table. I wish I had one just like it.

  4. Nice. We have the same stair problem. I'm not actually going to admit how many times I've fallen down them. Andrew loves them though. He slides down them feet first on his belly. It's hilarious.

  5. Gorgeous pics of Cairo. Sounds like it is going well. So happy for you guys!