A few days ago, Kathleen had brought up the subject of people who live in Cairo. They're called Cairenes, I told her. 'Oh,' she said, 'so we're Cairenes, too.' Brandon snorted at this point and said something about not quite being the same Cairenes.
However, when one thinks about it, Sophia and Edwin, by the end of our time here, will have lived in Cairo longer than they have lived anywhere else in their life. And if that doesn't qualify them as Cairenes, what does?
In primary today, a visitor was introduced. Eli, a very talkative boy, asked where she was from, and she said New York. Excited to have found a kindred soul, he shouted across the room 'Awesome! You're from America! I'm American, too!!'
Living overseas on a permanent basis while moving every few years leads to a strange situation of nationality versus residence versus culture versus ethnicity. My friend Mirza is Mexican but lives around the world attached to U.S. Embassies. Our friend's baby Miriam was born in Egypt but is not an Egyptian national, but American and required an entry visa on her passport - what does one put for 'port of entry?'
When new acquaintances ask where we, as a family, are from, I claim North Carolina, Brandon claims Missouri/Arizona, and the children... well nobody asks them yet.
For now, the girls are happy being American and Cairenes at the same time. I suppose we'll have to get to the details later.