This project to help my Egyptian friends is far from over . There were plenty of skates and sticks but they need more protective gear . Right now my goal is to keep my GoFundMe page going www.gofundme.com/Egyptianicehockey and continue collecting as much as I can to collect some more gear from friends around the globe to help get the sport going over there . More then likely I will make another trek through England to visit my friends there and collect more gear to take over . I would also like to pick up some goalie gear to leave for my friends there to finalize the kit I left .... the skates didn't quite fit and I didn't leave a goalie jock and the pants also didn't fit my friend Ahmed there who is now The Egyptian Goalie ... I dubbed him with that moniker . Man do I miss it over there . At the moment I am looking at trying to make my way over there later this year but I might have to push it back a few months pending on how things go . I am hoping to get another 100 kilos of gear again to take over and I'm pretty sure i can get it easily from what i heard and i do know there is a full kit waiting at my buddy Karl's place in Birmingham which will surely disappear next time ... hopefully Karl is around next time too and lets me crash at his pad again , really i wouldn't mind sleeping on that couch if you have a tenant next time :)
Now you are probably wondering how safe it was over there right ? I know a bunch of people expressed concern over me travelling to a country that our Canadian Travel website says to exercise extreme caution ... that freaks people out . Here's the thing ok ... if you are scared to go somewhere then the terrorists win . I wasn't scared but I was cautious and I was lucky to have the opportunity to stay with my Egyptian friends but that put me in areas where I didn't see any other "tourists" . That all being said it is what I actually prefer as I'm not a tourist loving person and I rather be with locals over tourists ... I mean I can be with Canadians every day of my life so why bother when travelling right :) Back to the safety of it all and I would say I felt 100% safe all the time except for when I thought I was gonna get punched in the face by the "professional photographer " near the Sphinx . That is the only thing I would warn people to steer clear of is the leeches that are around historic sites waiting to make a buck off you .... don't let anyone take pictures of you and try your best not to respond to anyone , seriously pretend you are there alone and ignore people ! Aside from that everyone I met was very friendly and it seems the norm for us Canadians to be referred to as AHH Canada Dry but when you ask for a ginger ale they have no clue what you are asking for so don't bother hahaha !!! Obviously don't put yourself in bad situations like getting drunk publicly or doing anything to sort you out as a stupid westerner . And the main thing to remember when in Cairo is to get used to dodging cars as you are crossing roads and basically walking on roads all the time .... yes there is a sidewalk but for some reason people don't use them very much ? don't ask cause I couldn't figure it out :)
Before you do decide to go to Egypt if you are Canadian don't bother buying a visa through the Egyptian consulates website !!!! They have a link on their site that leads you to a private company and the one in Toronto had told me that I must buy a visa before flying over and it was over $100 CDN ... I was told by my friends in Cairo that I can get one upon arrival for $25 USD and that is a big difference in cost . When I arrived I received my visa as was told and you have to have USD as they won't accept anything else not even Egyptian Pounds . So don't fall for the scam . When you arrive all you have to do is hit one of the banks in the terminal before you get to security and you can buy your visa there and it is very easy , just give them cash and they give you visa and the customs officer will stick it into your passport so don't try to stick it in yourself :)
This all being said I really hope that more people start going back to Egypt , I am definitely going back as I have so much more to see ... there are another 8 or 9 rinks across the country that I have yet to visit and I'm hoping Ahmed and Ayman will take me on a road trip the next time I'm over and we can share some good stories about more of Egypt . Definitely some of the wildest most historic jaw dropping stuff I have ever seen and I really want to see more . The Egyptian pound is really low now which makes everything really cheap so now is the time to visit if you have ever dreamt of visiting .... if you are a hockey fanatic like myself you should contact egypticehockey.wixsite.com/egypticehockey or look up www.facebook.com/EgyptAnubis/ and they will definitely help get you some ice time .... the guys there skate at least 3 times a week at 3 different locations my favourite so far is the rink at Maadi Family Land www.facebook.com/pages/Maadi-Family-Land/235092160001502 . If you have any questions just leave a comment below and I will do my best to help you get in touch with the guys over there . The sport is growing there and hopefully it will grow to the point that someday we might be cheering for an Egyptian National hockey team at the Olympics .... I am hoping to see this in my lifetime . But for now the guys really need help developing the sport so if you want to help then please get the guys equipment or some money for protective netting or actual glass for their boards ? At the least go there and leave your gear for them after skating with them . And don't be shy to make a donation to my GoFundMe page :)
Do yourself a favour and go to Egypt ... its amazing .