Thursday, January 8, 2009

Funkengroovin - Animal Village

After VB received the "stambed" passport for Doggie, she proceeded to make plans for the trip to Animal Village, located at the Cairo airport. Again, this was not simple. She was told by one person to bring the pet out in her crate, and leave her there at 1:00 PM. They would then transfer Doggie to Lufthansa later. VB's flight took off the next morning at around 5:00 AM. They wanted VB to leave her pet, in the late July heat, unattended, at the airport for over 14 hours! Bullshit!!! From experience VB knew Doggie goes directly to the Lufthansa counter for check-in, even though she would be riding as cargo. So VB called Lufthansa to confirm this, since you never know if countries impose different rules for handling. Indeed, Lufthansa does check the pet in at the check-in desk, as usual in Cairo.

Early in the morning, VB went off to Animal Village, with Doggie. We were told Animal Village is located at Gate 3S, in Cargo Village, at the airport. When we arrived, we just asked around, and eventually found someone who thought it was in a small abandoned looking building, and pointed to it.

Inside, there is no air conditioning. They did not need to see Doggie, so she waited in the air conditioned car. The driver translated for VB. The customs rep held up the certificate from the Cairene vet and asked loudly, "What is this?!" I told him it was a certificate from our personal vet in Cairo, who told me to take it to Animal Village. The customs officer declared, "This is worthless! What else have you got?" VB decided to see if she could get away with just the documentation from the States. Our driver had to run out to make copies of VB's passport, US Vaccination Certificate, and the chip documentation (Doggie has a chip.) This took longer than anything else.

The customs official then proceeded to write down all the specifics onto a sheet eerily resembling the USA document VB brought with her. At the top of the certificate is the title: "Arab Republic Of Egypt Ministry of Agriculture And Land Reclamation. General Organization For Veterinary Services Under - Secretary Of State For Veterinary Affair Veterinary Quarantine Department. Quarantine Dept: (handwritten in - Cairo Airport). Veterinary Health Certificate For Living Animals." At the bottom it states he collected "6 Fees." It wasn't expensive at all (50 LE), but he produced three separate forms, for separate charges, which were untranslatable or too confusing to translate. And even though he didn't speak English, the form was filled out in English. It stated (just like the American version) that Doggie was in good health, and had a Rabies Vaccine December 2007.

That was that.

(Below): Sights from the trip to Animal Village. It was early in the morning, when we left. The first two photos are of trucks ferrying men to work - it's a usual scene in Egypt. The air was thick that day.

(Below): This was actually a double cab truck, which VB didn't catch fast enough, as we passed. It was broke down on the highway.

That "stambed passport" - did VB ever need it to begin with? And, how did that certificate from Egyptian customs work out? What happened when VB and Doggie arrived in The USA?

Stay tuned.

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