So I'm packing to go back to the US. I don't know where to start. I don't remember how I got all this stuff over here. I seemed much more organized then. Could it be I'm slipping in my old age. A good deal of my clothes will be given away. When I stand in front of the closet, I'm tempted to just give it all away. Need to get myself motivated and just finish already. Three weeks till I leave. Will miss my husband and the dogs for sure.
Are you visiting Egypt in the next few months from the US? Are you flying to the US from Egypt? Are you flying KLM, Lufthansa, or Air France? Then you can help Josh get his dog. *********************************************************
I recently came across this video posted on Facebook:
It was shot by a guy named Josh from Kentucky who had visited Cairo earlier in May. He was heartbroken by this Baladi dog who was in front of his hotel. Josh contacted ESMA - an animal rescue here in Cairo, and they successfully caught the dog. Now, Josh is going to keep his promise to adopt the dog who he has named Sphyncus Nagat.
By the time I saw this video the dog had been caught and ESMA was posting it looking for volunteers to transport this dog to the US. I happened to by flying at the end of June - I even had an extra dog crate in my possession - so I contacted ESMA. I told Mona that I would only take the dog with me if the adoptive parent lived within a 200 mile radius of Evansville, Indiana - the place I would be flying to, or if the adoptive parent was willing to fly or drive to Evansville. I wondered to myself what the odds of that would be. Much to my surprise I found out later that day that the his name was Josh and he lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky (that's pretty darn close to Evansville). I should have played the lottery as well. It sounded like things were going to fall into place nicely and Josh started a fundraising project to raise money needed for the crate and the cost of transporting the animal. I would show up at the airport, check the dog as a piece of luggage, and Josh would meet me with balloons and streamers in Evansville to pick up his dog.
Well, not so fast on the sighs of relief and the applause. It seems we have a slight problem. Anyone who knows me knows I always fly Delta. Yes, I am a dedicated Delta patron. Even more so since Delta started flying direct between Cairo and JFK in New York. Sure, I can still get my air miles on Air France or KLM - but why go through the hassle of hanging around in European airports when you can be in NY in 12 hours. So, I'm booked on Delta for the end of June. We found out the bad news today that Delta is unable to fly an animal as luggage between May and September. (Note: as of this writing I have yet to confirm this with Delta or verify the reason. I suspect it has something to do with an embargo in place restricting flight for animals in cargo when the temperature is too hot or too cold. I was aware of this previously but thought it only applied to certain breeds that were more susceptible to heat stroke.)
So now Josh is seeking assistance from anyone who might be flying from Cairo to the US in the next month or two. If you are, and you can help - please contact me through my email: email@example.com or contact Mona at ESMA. All expenses will be paid.
If you can help Josh out by making a donation, please visit his ChipIn Page.
This is hardly a scientific observation, just an informal one made as a result of many conversations with friends and other expats living in Egypt. It seems that Americans have a harder time adjusting to life in Egypt than any other nationality. Americans seem to complain more and longer about living here. The length of time Americans stay living in Egypt is far less than that of other nationalities.
What are your opinions, theories, and observations about this?
So I know I'm being a really lame blogger lately. My apologies to my fans who keep checking the page faithfully. The thing is I was back in the States again from March 10 to March 17 (one week in Evansville and St. Patty's Day in New York City!). I brought my son back to Cairo with me for a 2 week visit. He left on March 31. It was a 2 week whirlwind tour of Egypt and quite honestly it exhausted me. I went to some places in Cairo that I had never been to even after living here for 2 years. My son had a blast and I'm finally caught up on my sleep. The weather is hot and getting hotter. I'm glad we had a cold winter this year and I got my fill of rain in Cairo and also in Evansville (it rained the whole week I was there). But now I must busy myself with cleaning the remnants of sandstorms from my apartment. I'm so tired of dusting books and stuff that I just decided to pack everything in boxes. See you when the work is done.
I recently viewed the film Cairo Time. This film won all kinds of awards in Canada. Not being all too familiar with the Canadian cinema, I have to ask a pressing question: What other movies did Canada produce in order for THIS one to be a winner?
I won't even bother giving you the premise of the movie. If you are interested you can check out the website.
Here is my review:
I'm so glad that movie finally ended. Am I the only one who hated it? I must have paused about 19 times to refresh my Facebook page - which turned out to be more exciting than the movie.
First of all, the chick walks out of the airport with no luggage. All she has is her handbag and a second slightly over sized handbag. Yet from that bag she manages to pull about 9 different outfits, 3 pairs of shoes, an Apple laptop computer, and a day planner bigger than a Stephen King novel? What was that some kind of Mary Poppins bag?
And why did she go through the whole movie speaking in a breathy whisper? It had me constantly turning up the volume to hear her over the noise of Cairo. There was just one too many dramatic pauses in her delivery.
He was no better. The chemistry between them was unbelievable and unrealistic. Speaking of unrealistic - I laughed my ass off at the way they portrayed the group of guys that followed her the first time she went out alone. What, the guy walking in the other direction just automatically makes an about face and follows her? It reminded me of the scene in Andy Griffith where Opie was walking down the street with a wagon full of fresh meat and all the dogs started following him. What, did she have a pound of bacon under her dress? I have never seen it actually happen like this in all the time I've been in Cairo. It would be more like the guys would be chatting her up trying to guess what country she was from and then telling her about all their relatives who just happened to immigrate to that country. But I guess if they gave all those guys speaking roles in the movie they would have had to pay them more. The one that lingered outside the shoe store when she ducked in there to escape them was quite comical.
When her husband finally showed up I almost wished he had stayed stuck in Gaza. There was even less chemistry between them. I started rooting for Tariq at that point. Granted they've been married for years and years, but I don't see what ever brought them together to begin with.
And who in their right mind wears that severely low cut, too much cleavage revealing dress and high heels to go visit the pyramids? Surely she could have pulled a pair of flats and a t-shirt out of her Mary Poppins bag. But at least she got to see the pyramids when there was not another single living soul in sight - twice no less.
This had the potential to be a good movie, but in my opinion it fell flat. Don't waste your time on Cairo Time.
This is a cave Church carved into the side of a mountain at the base of Moqattam in Cairo. The video posted below is not my video - I found it on YouTube, but it has some footage of when this church was built.
Nicholas LaDuca is a 17 year old young man in New York who is living with the debilitating effects of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). I don't know Nick personally, but I know his sister, Nicole. She is also my son's half sister. She was 4 years old when my son was born and that was also the last time I saw her. In the early part of February 2009, thanks to Facebook, I was able to reconnect with Nicole. We saw each other in New York last September for the first time in 21 years. She is a remarkable young woman. Currently, Nicole has undertaken a fundraising project to help her family improve the quality of Nick's life as his disease progresses. The family is in immediate need of a stair lift for their home and a wheelchair accessible van.
These 3 puppies - Roly, Poly, and Oly - are in a foster home in Maadi, Cairo. They were orphaned at 2 weeks of age and were bottle fed. Now they are 5 weeks and weaned from the bottle. They are looking for new homes. It would be great if they could all stay together, but they will do fine on their own. If you are interested, please contact my by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We finally had a day that I have been longing for. It rained on and off all day. We went out to Carrefour tonight and heard banging noises on the roof. I thought the roof was going to collapse, but then people coming in said it was pouring out. Thunder and lightening and the works. Although I did not see it, there was HAIL! Imagine that. When we left Carrefour the rain was coming down hard and heavy. It is freezing again also. It is pretty awesome to say say the least. My husband thought it was going to snow. Most people on Facebook were saying they loved watching the storm.
I wish it would snow in Egypt. Seems to be snowing everywhere else in the world right now. How about you - would you like to see snow in Egypt?
HOW TO MOVE YOUR DOG TO EGYPT FROM THE UNITED STATES- It's not as hard as you think.
Note: This information is for large dogs that need to fly as checked luggage in the cargo hold. For cats and small dogs the information regarding flying is different, however the process of getting the forms is the same. For animals travelling un-accompanied (without you on the same flight) some of the forms may be different as well.
BOOK YOUR FLIGHT There are several factors to consider when booking your flight - cost, time of the year you will be flying and length of flight. At the time I moved with my dog my only options were: Egypt Air, Lufthansa, and KLM. Currently, Delta also offers direct flights to Cairo. I don't recommend flying through England on British Airways, as England has some of the toughest policies on travelling with animals. You want to choose a flight and airline that works best for you, but keep in mind doing direct international flights with pets is harder. Some of the airline websites suggest it is best to fly direct, but it all comes down to personal preference and how well you think your pet could handle being in a crate for up to 12 or more hours. At the time you book your flight, you must inform the airline or your plans to travel with a pet. They will usually ask for the breed and weight of pet, plus the exact measurements of your crate. They may be able to estimate the cost for you, but final cost will be determined once the crate and animal are weighed at check-in. I was quoted $750 on KLM for up to 145 lbs. (weight of the dog + weight of the crate = total shipment weight). Once you book your flight, look at the airlines website to see their pet travel policies as well as to download any forms you may need.
Egypt Air: this is a 12 hour flight between New York and Cairo. While Egypt Air offers great rates for humans, I was quoted (in 2007) a cost of $1,000 for the dog.
Delta: As of summer of 2008, Delta now offers direct flights between JFK and Cairo. Excellent rates for people, and good choice for travelling with carry-on pets. They also accept pets as luggage.
Lufthansa: Human rates are higher than many airlines, but supposedly they are excellent at handling animal transports. Flight time between the US and Germany is approximately 8 to 9 hours (depending on where you leave from) giving your dog time to rest between flights.
KLM (also see Northwest): I can highly recommend KLM for people as well as animals. My dog was picked up by a Northwest employee from the check-in counter and was taken to a climate controlled holding area prior to boarding. Northwest/KLM have Priority Pet Services at the airports in Memphis, Detroit, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. It makes checking in with a pet much more efficient, so if at all possible, try to schedule your departure from one of these hubs. As soon as I was on the plane and in my seat, the flight attendants brought me a receipt that showed my dog had been loaded in the cargo hold. The flight time for me between Memphis and Amsterdam was 8 hours. Upon arrival in Amsterdam I was not allowed to have any contact with my dog, but she was taken to a "pet motel" animal holding area in Schipol Airport where she was fed, her water bottle was refilled, and her crate - which she had soiled - was cleaned out and lined with shredded newspaper. Not only was the staff at the Schipol Airport animal holding area fantastic, the flight crew was outstanding. The whole experience was handled professionally right from the gate agent to the flight attendants, who alleviated my fears by checking to make sure the dog was on board right away - even letting my know that the captain assured me he was a dog owner and he would keep the temperature in the cargo hold up (it was February).
It is important to consider the time of year you will be flying because the airlines have regulations about flying dogs in cargo during certain temperatures. The temperature at departure and arrival destination must fall between their safe guidelines. So it might be best not to try to fly in August during a heatwave. Also, certain breeds that are more susceptible to heat stroke and temperature extremes are not permitted to fly cargo during these times of year. It's best to get on the airline website and see what their policies are regarding weather restrictions and embargoes.
It is also prudent for me to point out that depending on the size of your dog and crate, you might not be able to take certain regional flights because the crate won't fit in the cargo hold. This was a problem I ran into having a Rottweiler in a giant crate. I was not able to fly out of my local regional airport of Evansville, Indiana for this reason. I had to make arrangements to drive to Memphis and fly out of there. You will usually only run into this problem if you are using the extra-large or giant sized crates. You will have to travel to your nearest International Airport.
GETTING THE RIGHT CRATE Once you have your flight booked, the next step is to get a crate. The earlier the better. My dog had been crate trained as a puppy, but I still had to purchase a new crate for her for two reasons - it was a little too small for her and it did not meet standards for international air travel. Be very careful when buying a crate that says it meets airline standards, because the requirements for domestic and international differ. Most crates that are sold in pet stores in the US only meet domestic requirements. For international, the crate must be made of a harder plastic, must be ventilated on all four sides, and must be put together with bolts rather than the flimsy plastic clips. I searched every pet store in the Evansville area with no luck. Depending on where you live, you might not have any luck in pet stores either.
Futurepets.com has a product called SKY KENNEL. These crates are approved for international travel and are the best best price you will find around (believe me I shopped around). The quality of these crates is better than most you will find in stores. This kennel is worth the investment not only for moving your dog, but for those interested in crate training as well. The website also sells replacement doors and hardware. Make sure you get the right size for your pet. The dog must be able to sit, stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably in the crate. Pay close attention that you don't get a crate that is TOO LARGE for the dog as well. This could cause the airline to reject the crate as the dog could become injured by bouncing around too much.
Once you have your crate you need to also get a water bottle , a crate pad , and a food bowl that can attach to the crate. If you have not already done so, get your pet used to being in the crate and drinking from the bottle well in advance.
Quarantine information: Again, you can look here for information on required quarantines. As of my entry in 2008, Egypt DOES NOT require any quarantine for pets arriving from the US or the EU with the proper paperwork. If you will be entering Egypt via a different country it may be up to the discretion of the Ministry of Agriculture in Cairo to determine if a quarantine is necessary.
THREE WEEKS BEFORE YOU TRAVEL Visit your vet and ask him/her to photocopy all your pets records so you have them for the vet in your destination country. Also schedule an appointment to see your vet 10 DAYS before your flight. Inform your vet of you plans to travel and the countries you will pass through so they have time to gather the US Department of Agriculture APHIS International Health Certificate forms they will need when you come back for your appointment. Most vets have these forms on hand and many have experience with filling them out. Here are some useful links for the USDA and other useful links that you can begin to look over prior to your vet appointment:
Immigration forms for pet travel (If you are passing through Europe you will need to get the EU998 form on your own as most vets in the US might not have it. It is available for purchase here or you can just google EU998 and the name of the country you are travelling to and you might find one you can print out for free.)
10 DAYS BEFORE YOU TRAVEL This part of the process cannot begin sooner than 10 days prior to your departure date. It recommended to begin exactly 10 days prior to departure. Visit your vet and have him/her fill out the APHIS form 7001 (United States Interstate and International Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals), along with the EU998 if you plan to fly through Europe.
Take the completed forms and Express mail them along with a money order with the appropriate fee for EACH form to be stamped, and a self-addressed stamped envelope (again I would use Priority or Express Mail) to the USDA APHIS VS office for your home state. I will not post the fees here as they are subject to change or vary by State. (In some rare instances, the animal may need to be examined by a vet at the USDA APHIS VS regional office although I think it depends greatly on your destination country. It was not necessary for me to do this to take my dog to Egypt.)
Once you mail off your package, you should have it back within 5 to 7 days. As soon as you receive your package back make 4 photocopies of the stamped certified forms, along with your pet's rabies certificate, pertinent medical records and microchip certificate. Get 8 1/2 x 11 manila envelopes and place one set of photocopies in each one. Do not fold the forms.
- One envelope will be taped to the top of the crate. - One envelope is for the gate agent at the airline. - One envelope is for the receiving agent in your destination country. - One extra copy is for you. Also, keep the originals with you in your carry-on luggage.
ONE THE DAY OF DEPARTURE Make sure you have the forms, live animal stickers, airline checklists, animal feeding instructions, and "Arrow Up" stickers attached to the crate. Since feeding regulations may vary depending on airline, check with the airline about how soon before your flight you need to stop offering your dog food and water. Animals are required to be fed every 24 hours so if you have a long international flight, you might want to feed your pet at least 5 hours prior to departure time. Just make sure you write the time of last meal down on the feeding instructions.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT GIVE THE ANIMALS ANY SEDATIVES EITHER PRESCRIPTION OR OVER THE COUNTER. THEY CANNOT FLY IF THEY ARE SEDATED - THIS CAN BE DEADLY TO YOUR PET.
It is a good idea also to type up a small bio on your pet including his/her name, temperament etc. I did this with my dog and had it translated into Arabic and Dutch as well. I also put her picture on it. Attach this to the top of the crate as well, so it can be easily seen by those handling your dog.
Take a Ziploc bag filled with one serving of your dogs dry food and attach that to the crate on the ledge just above the door. This location is easily located by those who may be feeding your dog during a layover (you must provide your own food if you want your dog fed). Make sure food and water bowls, and water bottle are attached.
(Note: I will try to upload photos of this in the next few days and will update the post accordingly when photos are ready.)
Make sure your crate is lines with absorbent bedding - blankets, crate pads, towels, or shredded newspaper. The airline can reject your crate if they feel your dog is not comfortable or potty accidents might leak out.
Make sure you have your dog supplies packed in your carry-on. I packed a small bag of dry food as well because our flight was scheduled to arrive in Cairo at 2 am. In addition to this remember the leashes, food/water bowls, toys, etc. Also, carry some small Ziploc bags with you. These will come in handy for holding the nuts and bolts in case you have to take your crate apart to get it into a car and re-assemble it at the airport. You don't want to lose any of the hardware because the airline can reject the crate for missing screws.
When you arrive at the airport keep your pet on a leash while you go to check-in. Don't have your dog in the crate yet as TSA will need to do a swab inspection of the crate. It's also a good idea take your dog for a walk before going inside to check-in. Once TSA inspects your crate and the animal they will instruct you to put your dog in its crate. Remove the leash before doing so and put it in your carry on (you will need it when you reach your destination). Once your dog is in the crate you will no longer be allowed to have any contact with it. You cannot touch the crate or the dog. The gate agent will call someone to come and take the dog to a holding area and then they will finish checking you in for your flight. Remember, you can't have any contact with your pet during any layover either.
Once you are seated on the plane, the flight attendants should bring you a card shortly before take-off letting you know your dog is safely on board. This will happen for each connecting flight you have as well.
ARRIVING AT YOUR DESTINATION EGYPT
(Note: I can only share my experience with the arrival in Egypt. I cannot guarantee that it will happen exactly this way for you, nor can I talk about arriving in any other country.)
Arriving in Egypt was easier than I expected. I thought the dog would be sent to the Veterinary Services Department of the Ministry of Agriculture (they have a special place in Cairo Airport for this), and that I would have a hard time locating her and getting out of the airport. Much to my surprise the crate was wheeled in on a cart and deposited to me by the baggage claim area before the rest of the luggage was even coming out on the belt. As I said: much to my surprise. Furthermore, I was holding my envelope of paperwork anxiously searching for the proper authority to hand it over to. No one seemed interested in taking it - or even looking at it. The customs agents at the airport exit were more concerned with what I had packed in the boxes than they were with the big dog in the crate. I breezed out of the airport, took her out of the crate, put on her leash, broke the crate down and had it in the trunk of the car all within a span of 10 minutes. I was quite impressed with the ease at which that process happened.
I can't say for sure you will have the same experience arriving in Cairo. But by all means, get all your proper paperwork in order. Even if Egypt doesn't want it, the airline does. And it's better to be safe than sorry.
I hope that you find this information helpful in your plans to move your dog overseas. Don't worry - it's not as complicated as it sounds. And in the end - your dog is worth it!