Thursday, 8 November 2012

Of Local Remedies and Taxi Drivers...

Written on 18/11/2006

Hello everyone.

Hope this finds you all in better health than Christine and I...Yes we have flu but are recovering without taking the advice of taxi drivers,shop keepers,street sweepers,the guy who sells green feed... everyone means well but I swear if you listen to all of them you'll end up at the funny farm!

We are stillllllll in Marsa Matruah! I cannot stress enough what a blessing it was meeting Dr Hamid Khalid the man who invited us to stay at the scout camp run by Mr Hamza Gahin. Chami's life was probably saved by it!

His recovery from dreaded laminitis is incredible to see... of course his recovery is not complete but at least he is out of danger! Still a very long way to go... The funny thing about laminitis is that I have seen mild cases succumb and terrible cases survive. It comes down to the horses determination to survive....!

Feeling good again!
We are fortunate to have obtained 3 good quality horses who can be "meak and mild" when required and "fiery steeds" that look as if they have just been brought in from the wild! We have seen their mental toughness and Chami's "will to live". Seeing them sleep up against each other every night for comfort moves something in you that is hard to describe. I can only reiterrate how blessed we are to be doing this journey!

Bed time!
I have to go to Cairo again to see if my visa has arrived, just a 1000km's there and back... Christine's visa is until 25\02\2007. It seems South Africans and possibly all Africans face thorough security checks because of working without work permits.

So before I went to Cairo last time I met a taxi driver called Younis. This is his second job after teaching. He teaches at school, comes home, sleeps for 2-3 hours and then drives a taxi until 4 or 5am. This is very usual for everyone to hold down more than one job. They can't believe that all I do is farriery. I can't believe I do farriery!! I mean what guy in his right mind would chose such a hard job and then be controversial as well...

So the scouts check out Younis and tell me he is a scout as well and also a good bloke, take his number and call him when you need a taxi (Yes all in Arabic). Younis tells me his brother, Rissik, has a horse. (Yeah yeah, think nothing of it...I have only seen donkeys here...)

Rissik and his little mare!
We buy green feed and phone Younis to see if this system of phoning for a taxi actually works... So I'll be there in 10 minutes takes 45 minutes after more phonecalls between "green feed guy" and Younis... Taxi stops and strange guy says he's Younis' brother, Rissik. Younis is working later but stops by to introduce us. I take Younis aside and ask him to bring Christine green feed while I'm in Cairo (I don't want her traipsing around town on her own) No problem, Rissk will do this...

We climb into Rissik's taxi...He doesn't stop talking on his phone from the time we met him until halfway home...then he doesn't stop talking long enough for me to say I don't understand when you talk so fast. He is full of exuberance and is exited when explaining his mare to us. He stops talking long enough to make a phonecall...then promptly hands me the phone..."speak,speak".

After a long winded conversation in Arabic and then coming to an abrupt halt when discussing his horse's problem, he breaks into faultless English...Khamies has 2 mares and a foal... So we've had a wonderful dinner with them,ridden with them, been invited to the cousins wedding where there was a horse parade and finally met our first horsemen!!! (all from catching the right taxi...) ...and yes Christine got green feed at 6.30pm (Rissik's 3pm!!!)
Rissik, Christy and Khamies!
Wedding Parade!
Congratulations to Rissik who has a new born son!


William and Christine

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