A Family Reunion

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April 26, 2013
Isaac Friesen and Wanda Wall-Bergen |

This post first appeared on Isaac and Wanda's blog Life in Egypt

Less than a week ago we bid farewell to my parents Tim and Johanna. They came to Egypt for two weeks and saw the world that has become our home. As we look back, we are once again amazed by how quickly time went with our beloved guests. After all the anticipation prior to their visit, it is suddenly over. But ilhumdulallah we have many memories to look back on and – thanks to my dad – multitudes of photos!

Since Isaac and I were working, the bulk of our time was spent in Beni Suef. Although by tourist standards Beni Suef is a relatively unimportant city, it is our home. Thus it holds many humble pleasures my parents had heard about and were eager to experience. We showed them our favourite cafes, introduced them to our closest friends, and gave them a taste of sumptuous local

As we were busy with the English courses, my parents were able to meet our students and participate in our classes. This was a real pleasure for our English learners as they got the chance to converse with more native speakers and hear about my parents' first impressions of Egypt. Topics of Cairo traffic, sunny/snowy weather and traditional Egyptian foods caused much laughter on both sides.

After a rich and relaxing time in Beni Suef, we traveled to the country's capital and spent a couple days touring the major sights. We visited the Egyptian Museum, Tahrir Square, Coptic Cairo, Islamic Cairo, the Khan El-Khalili, Mokattam and the Giza Pyramids. Not an ounce of energy went unspent! As always, epic Cairo did not fail to entertain and awe us with her sights, sounds and smells.

In addition to being exciting and captivating, Cairo is also exhausting and overwhelming. Therefore, we went from the noisy capital to Anafora for a couple days of respite. The Coptic retreat center of Anafora is a parallel universe. It is a bougainvillea paradise in the eye of a dust-storm, a sanctuary for the soul. We spent an incredible time there, catching our breath in the fresh air. This was the perfect way to unwind and soak in our company before our parting.

And so my parents' visit ended and they returned safely home to snowy Kitchener-Waterloo. Isaac and I appreciate the unique time we shared with them in Egypt and the host of new memories we now have together.

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