Nelson To Cairo : Mom Watches As Events Unfold : Update 2.1.11

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Photo Courtesy of Helene Dodge : Brooke Welborn and husband Ryan Welborn (on far right) in a 2009 vacation photo when they were in VA away from Egypt visiting Helene Dodge ( Brooke's mom 2nd from right) and Helen's husband John Dodge on far left.

Cairo, Egypt &
Nelson County, Virginia

As shown in the comments’ section of this post, Helene told us Tuesday of some good news:

“They are now safely at the resort area of sharm el-sheikh on the Red Sea. They will stay there for a week or so in order to make a smart decision on where to go from there. Many thanks for the article, Tommy, and all the well wishes and prayers, Helene”

Great news and we are glad they are safe and doing well!

Original post from 1.30.11
By now most of us have heard about the uprising of citizens in Cairo, Egypt against their government. But for one mom right here in Nelson, word of the uprising hits very close to home. “I think on Thursday there was no contact and Friday I didn’t see her online at all and I was starting to read the headlines on the internet and I went, hmmmmm. This doesn’t sound like it’s going very good. This is definitely going downhill, let me try to contact her by phone. I tried calling her and I could not get through. That was Friday,” Helene Dodge of Nelson County (featured in this 2010 NCL story) told us Sunday afternoon about her daughter Brook Welborn and her husband Ryan who have lived near Cairo, Egypt the past three years.

“Her husband who was a high school teacher down in the Tidewater area always wanted to teach internationally. So about three years ago they made the decision. They picked Egypt. He is teaching in Cairo as a history teacher in sort of a college prep setting. Brooke was working in Colonial Williamsburg. She’s been subbing in Cairo for the past two years and this year she became an administrative assistant so they are both employed at the school,” Helene continued.

Brooke and her husband are ironically enjoying a visit from her father who lives in Charles City County, VA. So the three are now near the unrest taking place in Cairo about 45 minutes from where they live. “She said the neighborhood they live in, Heliopolis, some of the locals set up barricades to protect everybody in that neighborhood. They had barricades last night.They’re going to finish up tonight and then head out first thing in the morning.”

A decision was being made over the past 24 hours as to whether or not the trio would stay in Cairo or head elsewhere. “Yesterday morning at 5AM our time she called me. The phones had come back up. She said I’m fine, we’re okay. We can’t feel any effects of this. But, we’re going to go into school today. Sunday. That’s their first day of school through Thursday since it’s a Muslim country. They were going into school to see what the principal was going to say. That’s when the school decided they were going to bus everybody out of town over to the Red Sea indefinitely until they make a decision what people are going to do. Whether they fly out to Cypress or they come back into Cairo depending on what transpires,” Helene tells NCL.

As you can imagine staying in touch with her daughter has been tough. The government in Egypt cut off all phone service and internet last week and only sporadic messages have been able to get through. “I’m just very happy they are getting out of town. Obviously, we’d rather them be close to home and have babies, but that’s their choice. This is very scary this is happening and who knows, this may be time for them to move on or come home. But as long as they’re safe,” Helene says.

So Brooke and Ryan’s friends know what’s happening, Helene has been posting information to their respective Facebook pages to update everyone since there was no internet available in Egypt as of Sunday evening here in the US. But for Helene right now it’s about focusing on the upside. ” I’ve got a real strong Christian family and church here. They’ve been really supportive with a lot of good friends. That’s been really helpful to keep this positive. Cause if I don’t stay positive you can get kind of wigged out thinking about the ramification to you family.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Tommy, They are now safely at the resort area of sharm el-sheikh on the Red Sea. They will stay there for a week or so in order to make a smart decision on where to go from there. Many thanks for the article, Tommy, and all the well wishes and prayers, Helene

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