A Travellerspoint blog

Day 236 – Got Any Work?

15th May 2012

We journeyed again through the metro only to find a Libyan Embassy closed to the world. We’d return on Sunday, let sleeping dogs lie, for a while at least. We found an internet cafe and began to make plans for our extended stay in Cairo.

We had still to do any voluntary work in the whole of Africa, largely because the southern African countries wanted to plan our assistance six months in advance and charge us for it. There are plenty of vets, it would seem, who will pay for their travel to work for a month at a charity and pay a thousand pounds for the privilege. That had meant that we would find no good use for ourselves. It had played on our minds though and we’d missed a good equine charity in Luxor as we’d raced through in an effort to free some time for acquiring our visas. It had been a wise decision but now time was in our hands.

On the internet we found a charity called Brooke. It was an equine hospital that ran free out-clinics for the horses of Egypt. We took the address and headed across town to find it.

Ahmed was the public relations officer and showed us around the hospital; patients receive free treatment at the expense of little old grannies, mostly in the UK. The injuries were mostly traffic or harness related and some were pretty nasty. As always the horses seemed fairly stoic despite having gaping wounds in their necks or expansive facial injuries. Our time was never going to be enough to be entirely useful but Ahmed appeared very pleased for us to be there and arranged two days at an out clinic beneath the Pyramids with a vet named Ammr. We could meet him the following day.

We left the hospital building with a charity booklet under one arm and a sense of satisfaction tucked neatly under the other. We found a falafel cafe and ate fantastically well. The hospital wasn’t far from Old Cairo and the citadel built by Salah al Din back in the day when defences were needed against marauding crusaders (1180ish.) His son turned it into a royal residence and since then Mohammed Ali built a rather imposing, but dirty looking mosque between 1824 and 1848. The imposing and spectacularly high walls of the enclosure were an impassable barrier to most and the citadel must have been quite the fortress in its day.

Posted by ibeamish 12:12 Archived in Egypt

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