Unexpected Turn of Events

I am gonna call this divine intervention.

So I moved to Cairo, Egypt fall 2022. It was gonna be an amazing school year. I was on the continent of Africa. I was living in an Arab country where I know what to expect. The school was amazing. I was out of the classroom. Elise was settling in nicely. She made some friends and she genuinely liked the school.

Then God said…This was not my plan for you.

In October a financial crisis hit Egypt which meant it hit my wallet. I am talking cost of living went up to the point I was struggling like I was in America. Um not what I signed up for. So I cut back unnecessary expenses. We were gonna be okay no worries.

God said….you weren’t listening were you….I said this is not my plan for you.

Work started playing with my money. In other words financial crisis came knocking at my source of income. They legit with a straight face looked at us and said the money runs out in May. We are gonna try to honor your contracts but if the Egyptian pound keeps going up we won’t be able to afford it. Then we get hit with your contracts are next school year and you are taking a 10% pay cut. But don’t worry.


I spent 7 days agonizing over what to do next. The plan was stay here for four years. Save some money. Get a house. Climb out of debt. Not worry about money. Yet here I am worry about money and what to do next.

Being a single parent making all these decision by yourself sucks. Like if anything goes wrong it all falls on you. You don’t get to bounce ideas off of anyone or have someone in your corner telling you WE got this. Just me. ALONE!

So I hit the ground running and start applying to new schools.

I wanted to stay but God started yelling at this point. Elise starts pointing all the things wrong with the country. We both agree the school is good but not the country.
We go on a trip to Abu Dhabi of all places and she is beside herself comparing.

WORD FROM THE WISE: the moment you start comparing your current life to an old life or what could be in a new life, it’s time to move on.
When you are in another country and people who obey road rules is exciting for you, it’s time to leave. Let’s not discuss the liter or clean air. She was excited about people driving in their lanes and not rushing. Me I was happy for fresh air.

When we got to the airport to leave and head back to Egypt I instantly got sad…for a number of seasons but I was sad to return to Egypt.
I have struggled to adjust and feel comfortable and home. It feels like a long visit.
This is that country that is good to visit but not live. Some people have found this a great place to live and work or even retire to.
Personally I don’t like the country. I stay indoors a lot because going out is stressful. Between the dust, trash and impatience of others around me I can’t deal.

Now my school I love. The people are amazing and supportive and I wish I could stay but I rather bounce now while I can and give Elise three years at one school instead of two.

So I am back to the drawing board making my list of what I need from a school AND country. I didn’t factor the country in when making my choice. I was thinking solely about the school. I didn’t make bad choice with the school but I fumbled the ball on the country.

I don’t regret it but I did learn from it.

I decided not to return for several reasons
1. I currently am not able to save
2. I honestly do not like the county Egypt as a whole
3. Things will get worse before it gets better
4. I am not growing as a professional.
There are other reasons but those are my top four. So now I am back on the hunt looking for a job. I don’t know what the future holds for me but I am trusting the process.

On to my next adventure.

Where will Carmen San Diego end up next?

Surprise…Inflation comes knocking

Okay so beat…

Someone said there is turmoil between Russia and Ukraine. This placed a strain on certain countries who are dependent on them. Currency fluctuates.

When I came to Egypt 1 USD was worth 19 EGP. Now it is up to 25 EGP (December 2022). What does this mean? Well, inflation hit Egypt. My grocery bill has gone up. My salary increased, but the school cannot afford the pound to go up.

Why can’t the school afford salary….well when you hire 87% foreign staff it gets costly. Tuition has been the same since 2016. This is a problem. I have never worked at a school that did not increase tuition every year. Something about the government not approving it. Something in the milk ain’t clean on that one. Not my monkey, not my show, and definitely above my pay grade.

We sat in a staff meeting where we were told the owners are covering our salaries out of their pockets and they hope to honor our contract until the end of the school year. My man took a breath and said as calmly as he possibly could “the money runs out in May”

Excuse me sir how can they honor our contracts if the money runs out in May and school ends in June and you pay through July. The math ain’t mathing sir.

But wait the conversation keeps going.
Next year salaries are changing to a fixed rate. It does not matter what the pound does everyone will get the same rate 21 EGP. Salaries will go from 75 percent USD 25 percent EGP to 70/30. Now on paper, this may not look like much but in reality, it is a pay cut.

But wait there’s more.
Homeboy then says I would not work for a company or school that gave their staff pink slips without warning.
Twenty-five percent of the staff found out via email that their job was being cut next year, salary being cut, or they are moving from foreign contracts to local contracts. Um sir that is a pink slip without warning. They didn’t pull anyone into a meeting to warn them or prepare them for the changes.
Moving from a foreign contract to local contract is more than salary being EGP only, they lost all their benefits. Now some were offered the opportunity to apply for a core classroom subject position. Everyone is allowed out of their contracts.

January update:
Since I didn’t post this yet I figure I would give a January update and keep this going until the end of the school year because I got a feeling this will get worse before it gets better.

So the pound goes to 30…..

Now let me pause because there was a meeting in which folks was told they don’t have a job next year. I am talking they decided to stay on a local hire contract or go into the classroom as a core subject teacher…..BAM nope sorry not gonna happen. Positions were cut all together. Literally even after contracts were signed.

Okay so we know the pound is now sitting at 30. What will salary look like this month. Here comes the email. We are sorry to inform you but the board cannot afford 30 pounds so everyone, you are locked in at 24 from December.

Email 2: here are the positions for next year. But first let’s thank those that have done an amazing job but are leaving us.


Now let me explain that to you: so here you have an “international” school with local hires. Local hires tend not to know about education. This is essential the equivalent of hiring a warm body. This is also a business move because local hires are cheaper. They don’t get the same benefits nor the same pay. Fine whatever. The problem also is not every position needs to be local hire. Example: my position as student support with a focus on literacy. Um English kinda needs to be your first language at the very least Literacy should be your degree. Literally a warm body. Intervention is more than memorizing or reading. Again whatever not my monkey not my show. If you want to hire locals go for it.