Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Goodbye, Grampa.

My Grampas funeral was today. Here is the obituary that appeared in a local paper. I will miss him so much. A phrase from one of my favorite movies, Forrest Gump: That's all I have to say about that.

ARTHUR J. GARCIA NOV. 24, 1928 - FEB. 24, 2007 Arthur Garcia, 78, passed away Saturday, February 24, 2007 in his home after a short battle with cancer. He was born on November 24, 1928 in Turlock, California. He graduated from Rustic Grammar School and Manteca High School, after which he farmed sweet potatoes with his brother and father. Later, he worked for the Manteca Post Office, and Lou's Termite Control from which he retired. He was a member of the YMI with St. Anthony's Parish, and was active in The Boy Scouts of America with his sons. More recently he was a member of the Men of the Sacred Heart at St. Patricks Catholic Church in Ripon, where he and his wife, Donna, were active members. Mr. Garcia, beloved husband of Donna Garcia, loving father of Cynthia Smedley, of Stockton, Dennis Garcia of French Camp, Gary Garcia of Modesto, James Garcia of Manteca, and Brian Garcia of Ripon, as well as Michael Smedley of Stockton whom he thought of as his son. He was also a loving stepfather to George Azevedo, Jr of Stockton and Kathleen Riley of Manteca. He leaves many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and will be sorely missed by all. Mr. Garcia was very active in his church, and loved nothing better than to spend time at home with his family around him. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Barbara Garcia and son Mathew, and stepson, Cliff Corder, as well as his parents, Frank and Mamie Garcia of Manteca, brother Frank Garcia, Jr., sisters Dorothy Mendes, Mary Von der Heide, Adeline Dice, and Florence Gomes. He was the loving brother of Madeline Azevedo and Eleanor Andrada. The Rosary will be recited Wednesday, February 28, 2007,at 9:30 a.m. with services following at St. Patricks Catholic Church, 19399 E. Hwy. 120, in Ripon, CA. Friends are invited to attend a gathering in the Church Social Hall. Donations are requested in lieu of flowers to the St. Patricks Church Building Fund, or the Hospice of San Joaquin. 3888 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95204

New Arrival....

Amr's brother Ayman got here today from Albania. This is the first time I have met him in the five years that Amr ad I have been married. When I came in '04, his plane got stuck in Greece, so I missed him by like, one day.

Here is a few funny tidbits regarding the first time I met my brother in law. First off, he was wearing the same shirt my husband has at home. Jacket too. Let's not forget shoes: they were almost the same as Amrs, just a darker color. Then, when we came home, we were getting out of the car and I said to Jennah, "don't cry," and Big Ayman popped off with, "Don't cry for me Argentina." Now, for those of you who know Amr, you know that he does this type of thing all the time. It seems my husband and brother in law share the same weird, dry sense of humor. The above picture of Big Ayman and Little Ayman is the best I can do right now, Little Ayman is being kind of a flibberty-jibbett. You get the idea though.

I Love Baby Wipes

I don't know what it is with Jennah and baby wipes, but she loves them. She will crawl all over the place with one hanging out of her mouth, just as happy as a little clam. Here she is at the Al Rehab Mall, partaking in a lavender scented, sensitive skin ,Pampers baby wipe. Cheers, Jennah.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This is too cute to pass up

This post is basically for my mom, so she can get her Grandma fix.

They were having so much fun in there, I had to take some pictures. This trip to Egypt will be commemorated in bathtub pictures. Also here is a weird tidbit: Ayman walks around singing "cra-zy Apple-sauce, cra-zy Apple-sauce" For most of the day now. Were he got this, I have no idea.

This is a cool action shot. If you click on the picture you can see it more closely, I got the drops of water hanging in the air. They were splashing around like crazy.

Tea at Uncle Saids after the Katb el Kitab

Uncle Said lives in Nasr City. He built the building when there was nothing around. It was literally out in the desert. Amr tells me people were laughing at him because of this. Well who is laughing now, People? The apartment itself is beautiful, and 2 floors. The upper floor are more causal living in the Western style, and the lower floor is a formal area for receiving guests. The furnishings and decor were beautiful-- and very Middle eastern style, gold trimmed furniture, large oriental rugs, cloisonne vases, very formal.

3ola (i can not pronounce this name, closest think i can pronounce would be Ola) Ahmed, Kooki, and Ayman on Uncle Saids balacona.

The kids being kids....(picture taken by Uncle Maged)

Kooki helps Jennah out with her bzaza. Kooki loves to mother Jennah, it is so cute.

Uncle Maged- a Nasr kid favorite since 2003.

random pictures from Saturday the 24th

Family picture-why Amr doesn't smile, I have no idea.

Self portrait of Jennah and I. No one bothered to tell me all day that i had a stripe of unblended makeup on my face. Kind of like walking around with spinach in your teeth all day long....

Here is a nice picture of Amr, his mom Lilah, and Jennah.

After the ceremony was over, they passed out individually wrapped chocolates and jordan almonds. The chocolates had little stickers on them. Aymans cousin Malak, (or Kooki, as everyone calls her) loved the stickers. she put them on her forehead. It reminded me of how when I was little, I would go insane for the sticker from the bunch of bananas. Not the bananas so much though....hahaha

They also passed out juice, kind of like a toast it seems. Since we are talking about almost all Muslims, at a room adjacent to the mosque, there was no champagne. This is a picture of (from left to right) Tanta 3ayda (the closest pronunciation of this would be Ida), Tanta Zooba, and Aymans Tetah Lilah By the way, Tanta means aunt, and Tetah is Grandma. All three are sisters.

Katb el Kitab (The Paperwork)

On Saturday the 24th We went to the Katb el Kitab for Amrs cousin Noha. For those of you who don't know, ( I am thinking that is everyone, in the US. The Egyptians who read this are good to go,) This means the paperwork. Noha and her fiance are now technically married. This ceremony is done as the religious portion of the contract of marriage. It is a contract literally, in that paperwork is signed by the bride, groom, the brides father and two witnesses. The two are now considered married. They will have a wedding party in April from what I understand, and will live separately until then. Amr tells me that this paperwork can be done 2 minutes before the wedding party, two years, or whenever. This is the real wedding. The party is just for fun.

(L-R) Mo3taz (the grooms father, no, the three is not a mistake That represents a letter I do not have on my keyboard), Noha (bride) Khaled (groom) The Imam of the mosque, Uncle Khalil (father of the bride), Uncle Said (witness, mother of the brides brother), Abdelwahab (witness, father of the brides brother)

Khaled, and Khalil shaking on the deal so to speak.

The brides family with the groom.
(L-R) Khalil, Cousin Ahmed, Cousin Walid, Khaled the groom, Noha the bride, and her mom Tanta Faten, after the ceremony.

When in Egypt

....Dress like the Egyptians. Here I am in the brand new fancy abaya (uh-BYE-yuh) my husband bought me at the Genena Mall in Nasr City. Let me tell you first, that I hate to shop. My dear sister in law Nancy, went traipsing around to two malls with me to find this pretty thing. First we went to the mall in the town we are living in. The El Rehab Mall #1
I don't know where El Rehab Mall #2 is, but this mall is OK. Needless to say, we went all over it to find something for me. Since I am so fat from the squeezing out of children, I dont have the best body image, so I don't like hardly anything. I don't even want to shop. But I had to. So Nancy took me hither and yon. We ended up at the Genena Mall, and went to like a dozen shops. I tried this abaya on like, second, and I didn't think it fit right. They didn't have a size bigger either. You know when you find something you like, nothing else quite measures up? Well that is how it was with this abaya. I tried it on with my clothes underneath, and it was snug up top. We went to all the other shops, and then came back to the one that sold this abaya. I tried it on with out the clothes underneath, and voile. We can say it fit better, so I bought it. Or Nancy bought it. The transaction was all in arabic. Anyway, thank you Nancy for all of your patience. It is an abaya halwa. (beautiful abaya)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sad Day.

Well, sad news today, about 2 weeks after finding out my Grampa had cancer, he has passed away. He was so sweet and kind, and I will miss him soooo much. It sucks to be so far away at a time like this. It is weird, and I really don't want to sound kooky, but here goes. This whole time he has been sick, I haven't dreamt about him. Except for last night. When I got the email from my Mom that he passed away, I knew what it was going to say before I opened it. Sure enough, there it was.
I love you, and will miss you Grampa.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Apartment exterior, Lessons learned, and Huh?

Here is the outside of the apartment building. It is nice, the only real drawback I can see is that there is no elevator. It would suck to live any higher up than the second floor.

Lesson Learned: Living in Egypt with a new car is not worth it. It will look like crap in like 2 days, observe the above picture. This Kia Rio was new and in great condition when we got it. Last night we made the 7 mile trip to Nasr City (no relation) to deliver some stuff to some dudes fiance. Anyhoo, being as how everyone drives however the hell they want here, some taxi driver made a left turn in front of us from the extreme right hand lane. He was driving the same direction we were, two lanes over to the right, and he made a left hand turn, in front of us. Not to make generalizations, but this is why middle-eastern people are cab drivers when they come to the US. (and this is not rude; i personally know 2 people right off the top of my head that are cab drivers in San Francisco that came from Egypt as recently as 5 years ago.) If you had a regular ole drivers license in Egypt, and you actually drove here, you can drive anywhere. Seriously, it explains so much. That is why they tend to drive so insane. I had a friend from Egypt, the same friend who introduced me to my husband. We used to ride to work together. The first few times I rode with him i was totally white knuckling it. Made lanes where there were none he drove too fast, he swerved in and out of traffic. Now that I have sen the driving here it is so clear as to why he drove so badly. Everyone here does. You have too. Hell, most people don't even use their headlights at night because, "there is enough light on the street." Rant concluded.

This is a picture of a restaurant in the marketplace. It is called Watermelon. If you click on the picture you can see that it also says underneath the name, Watermelon, "The Real Taste of China" OK, Is it just me? What in Gods name does a watermelon have to do with China? Please, if Iam missing something let me know. Feel free to comment.....

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Yes, People, KFC

It has come to my attention that some of my readers are disturbed that I traveled halfway around the world, only to eat KFC. I have to tell you it is delicious here. I don't know what they do with it, but it is 100% better than what we are eating in the US, and they don't do any of that awful beak snipping or hobbling to the chickens. So you can feel morally good about it too. But, 'nuff said. Don't even get me started with KFC and animal cruelty, but I will try to show you guys other foods too, of course. In case you haven't noticed, we aren't doing a whole lot of tourist stuff. We did that on the trip in '04 and will do it again next time, when Ayman gets it. So you can call this a local color trip. I am like Anthony Bourdain without the booze, cigarettes, camera crew, or tv show, with two kids and a husband.....hahaha. If you would like to see some touristy pictures you can check here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,here, here, here,here, and i think that is just about it for those. Enjoy, i snuck a little unrelated in there too. a favorite of mine, if you will.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Curse of the Pharoah

Doesn't that sound so dramatic? It isn't really. If I was in Mexico, this post would be called "Montezumas Revenge" Yes, folks, I got travellers diarrhea. With the vomiting. Which is really a keen bonus. Yesterday at approximately 330 am I woke up with an ominous rumbling in my gut and narrowly made it to the toilet to enjoy about a 15 minute emptying of the bowels. From there on out, it was in the bathroom every 1/2 hour, then at around 0600, I started harfing. Luckily for me though Egypt, as I stated earlier is 24/7 for the most part. The pharmacy near us delivers 24 hours. All you have to do is call them and tell them what is wrong with you. No pesky doctor middleman writing you a prescription. They got here in 15 minutes, and with the help of my Ambien, I slept through most of this 24 hours of unpleasantness.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Here is the view from our rental....

Observe, Egyptian KFC three piece meal. See that can over there? For all of you who never saw this before, in front of it is one of those old style tops with the ring you pull off. It was all delicious.....

Half of the (right) view from one of the two balconies.

The other half. (left) It is very American style.

Self portrait on the right half of the balcony. Not the greatest shot but hey, it's a self portrait.
Jennah was sleeping in our room so i didn't go out on to the other balcony. Poor thing is still all congested. I wish it would clear up, both kids are snotty. British Airways located the baby's' crib, but the baggage retrieval desk at the airport is run by the "Egyptian Baggage Service" and is only open from 9 am to 2 pm, needless to say we are still struggling with jet lag, so Amr didn't wake up until I woke him around one and the kids at 1:30. This would be cool but at this rate, they will never get on a schedule. Not that i am a nazi for it, but they can't be staying up until 2 am every darn night.
So this little gated community we are in is really cool. They have a strip mall type thing and we got everything we needed to be at home today. Peanut butter, (jif was 35 pounds! 35 pounds! that is paying 7 dollars for peanut butter folks. We bought local.) Jelly, some fresh bread, decongestant for the kids, some pieces of cake that i can't wait to tear up, and of course the above pictured, KFC.
Ayman is on the toilet producing an anaconda with the help of a suppository right now, and it is making my mother-in -law nervous, so i have to go.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I plan on taking you all on a tour of the apartment we are living in. If all goes as planned i will post it on YouTube with a link directly to it here (or something to that effect.) The area we are in is called Al Rehab City.
you can check it out there. It is only about a year old. I can tell you that it seems to me that they have landscaped the areas here, and in true Egyptian fashion, not put a system in place to water it, so some of those areas are pretty crispy now or in the process of getting crispy. The cool thing is Egypt is pretty much 24/7 so you can get good fast food, not crap, delivered at just about any hour during the day. Except KFC and Pizza Hut, because their delivery services don't commence until the day after tomorrow. And the pizza hut and KFC are good food actually, because most here won't spend a lot of money on stuff that tastes like crap, as we do at home. But anyway, i am waiting on the light of day for the video tour so expect that soon. as I write this it is 0617 on Sunday morning to your 2017 on Saturday night. So i can tell you guys the future. hahahahahahahaha. I am an idiot! gotta go look for Pinky dinky doo- I am out.

First pictures from Egypt....(totally not exciting)

Aymans first bath at the apartment. He went outside with his daddy, and in classic ayman fashion, not watching where he was going and walking anyway, tripped over a planter and fell in mudd and pretty much biffed it on his face. When they came back in he had to be stripped and bathed so here it is. The hot water lasted for about 30 seconds. The water heater is only slightly bigger than a microwave, so i am not surprised.

Jennah totally passed out on her cousin Nada so they put her in bed. Amr Maged and I were shopping for some provisions at the time. She woke up starving. I mean her stomach growled and Amr heard it from across the room. poor baby. We fed her, and now i will give her her bath and cold medicine then it is bedtime for all.

Friday, February 16, 2007

We made it!

We made it to Egypt, short only one baby bed. I will get online with British Airways to see if we can find it.....but it is late and i want to sleep. The kids did great on the flight over. Jennah had a diaper full of pee, so we let her go freestyle at the apartment we are renting. She then promptly pooped on the rug. That sucked....What doesn't suck is this apartment. We don't have a phone but i am grooving free wireless internet right now. Woo Hoo.
More later.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

lots of stuff goin' on over here.

My grampa is really sick. he has tumors on his liver and apparently on his lung as well. He goes to an oncologist on Tuesday, but we can safely say that this isn't a good situation. More to come on that.

I have applied to a local college here for respiratory school after getting dicked around for a month. So now i have to go to a couple frantic appointments before i leave for the Egypt. Uggggh.

Ayman is doing good at preschool and talking a blue streak of late. I am fast approaching the time when i will curse the day I ever said "I wish he would talk already!"

Jennah sleeps in her crib now. She loves it. Her Daddy and I love it. We waited to long to do that. She is a little sweet pea when she is all snuggled in that thing, and she hardly wakes up during the night at all.

Still havent started the packing process for the trip, and my week will go like this: Friday, Dr appt for Jennah. Friday night, work. Saturday hair appointment for me, Saturday night, work. Sunday, Haircut for Amr, Sunday night, work. Monday seems free but i am sure i can book it. Tuesday i have to go back to school and work my financial aid and final contract. My grampa also has a cancer doctor appointment so we should be getting news on that day as well. Wednesday i have to go to a stupid blood breath alcohol class at work for 6 hours, and pick up a Rx, pack suitcases, then Thursday we will send Ayman to school, he comes home at 1230 or so we will pack his carry ons and everything else left over then god only knows what else before we make our way to the bay area for our hellish flight around the globe (or over the pole? hell i really don't know at this point.)

I'll keep everyone posted.