Sevcik's Blog

A year in Cairo Egypt

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Care with Love, Fayoum, "farm smell" and prayer request

On Sunday we were invited to participate in the graduation of Care with Love students. Care with Love trains people to become home health care providers (HHCP). This is a relatively new concept in Egypt, as it has only been in the past few years Egypt has experienced the socioeconomic changes that have affected the structure of urban families (leading to family members not readily available nor having the skills to provide care at home). The demand for these services has been overwhelming, and the program is expanding. Jay Reinking, a fellow missionary, will be working with this program here in Cairo as well as the new site in Alexandria. As I learn more about it I will inform you.

Today we traveled to Fayoum, an oasis city in the desert of Egypt, southwest of Cairo. Again, we were honored guests at a very important function laying the cornerstone for a new secondary school (adding to the primary school) sponsored by the church. We were warmly welcomed and soon became the spotlight in the crowd with news cameras following us everywhere. We were the only people asked to stand during the entire ceremony! It took us off-guard, as we were patiently listening to incomprehensible Arabic for 25 or so minutes when suddenly the speaker switches to English and we stand up. I can say without a doubt I would never wish to be famous! Also, as we toured the primary school I noticed that EVERY classroom had a picture of President Mubarak up front and center. Hmmm…it comes to no surprise that there is no separation between church and state here!

On our ride back to Cairo I got a whiff of what I would term “The Farm Smell”—you know it, the cow poop smell you experience driving through Iowa or Nebraska. J I have to admit, when I smelt it I became quite excited—it was home! I can’t explain Cairo’s smell well, but just know it’s a strong mixture of exhaust, trash, more pollution, and sometimes feces (of the human kind). I’d prefer cow smell any day!

Please pray for our group regarding Arabic lessons. I literally cried today after hour 3 of class—it’s very stressful, intense, and demanding. Our teachers are wonderful people and teach well in the Egyptian standard of teaching (very different than America), but the material is so foreign to us (duh) and I for one am not picking it up well at all. Please pray for patience and my ability to learn and retain!


  • At 9/07/2005, Anonymous Allison said…

    Hey Sevcik! I am at work and I am reading everything you have written so far. Internet has not been working in my apartment - so frustrating - so I just got your emails for the first time today! I am so excited to hear from you - I just had felafels yesterday and I was telling Adam about Felfallas - it was so good! I was telling him about how wonderful their lentil soup was, and that they have soft serve ice cream that we used to eat all the time! It is so wonderful to hear from you, and how great that you have a blog! I can't wait to read it every day.

    I also love the farm smell, and I'm not even away from home. I think it is sweet, and it is nostalgic to me.

    Good luck with the arabic - new languages are so hard. I remember the first couple of weeks at my job - I was so unfamiliar with how PACER worked, and all of the people and the names to remember etc - I was totally frustrated and I couldn't remember anything. It got better though and I'm sure it will become easier and easier for you as well too.

    I'll try to send you a nice letter or email later on when I'm not supposed to be working - I have so much to do today!!!

    Tomorrow is Adam's birthday! I am going to take him to the French Meadow Bakery - if he is feeling better. He is sick today - he's staying home from work and going to the doctor. Hopefully he'll feel better tomorrow!

    I love you Sevcik! Take care - have fun - be safe!



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