With just two days left in Cairo, we all started doing our last-minute tasks. Reid wanted to see the AUC campus, and Nancy hadn’t been there yet, so they took off with Andrew & Miriam on a little adventure. Since it’s a secure campus, they weren’t sure anyone but Andrew could get in, but they did it and had a great time. Jacob had no interest in going; he just wanted to wander down to Road 9 for some final souvenir shopping. I would have gone, but Rachel just seemed too out of sorts to want to travel anywhere. I think she could sense a big change coming, and she didn’t really like talking about Grandma going back to America without her.
I had been trying for weeks to prepare her for my departure by talking about going on an airplane to America and telling her about Utah and Grandma’s house. Whenever she told me she wanted to come with me, I would tell her she could come to my house in June and that would satisfy her for a while. So Rachel and I just spent some precious time by ourselves, and we both had a nice late-afternoon nap.
After we all ran some errands (including a visit to the House’s to use their clothes dryer) and another shopping trip to Seoudi’s, we sent Andrew to our favorite Egyptian Mexican restaurant, La Sombra, to pick up dinner.
Rachel had a particularly rough evening; I don’t think she liked seeing everyone starting to gather belongings and pack suitcases. Reid and Jacob each brought a suitcase full of food and Christmas presents to Cairo, so now we had two empty suitcases for Andrew & Nancy to pack with their stuff to send back with us (in anticipation of returning to the U.S. in June). Poor Rachel didn’t like the fact that Grandma was leaving without her, and she was just antsy about everything. Bedtime was difficult, but she did ask me to “sing at her” again. I crawled into her mosquito net so I could lay by her side and proceeded to sing our favorite Primary songs. The more I tried to sing, the more the tears flowed. It’s a good thing it was dark, because I didn’t want to upset Rachel, so I just whispered the songs and kept crying. This was the last night with my sweet Rachel, and my heart was breaking. You’d think I could be stronger, but all my emotions just turned to mush. After I left Rachel’s room, I think everyone could sense my sadness, but I tried not to let it affect the rest of the family (I really did try!).