After an enjoyable weekend in Amman while basically living out of Book@Cafe, I took a bus to Aqaba and ended up waiting 10 hours for a ferry across to Noueba, which left at 4am, and unloaded at 1pm. That was the worse experience of the trip so far, and if wasn’t for the fact that a friendly Syrian (who also happened to be a Druze from Souada, go figure) helped me out, I may have just totally gone nuts.
Cairo has been an enjoyable experience, as after spending some time here each summer I am finally mentally prepared for the insanity that is Cairo before arriving. Cairo is essentially the same size as New York, only you take away the infrastructure and add heat.
My host last week was the morning DJ for Nile FM, the largest english radio station in the Arab world. After a few days, she invited me into the studio to talk about the hospitality club we are in for such hosting (www.couchsurfing.com), and I also got to talk a bit about the chapter we are working to start in Cairo for World Faith. It was funny to do an interview on the radio that wasn’t focused on World Faith, but rather talking about someone else’s project. The interview will be posted on the World Faith website soon.
So after getting settled here, I met with Mustafa Abdullah, the leader of the World Faith chapter in Winston-Salem, and with Catherine Manfre, who is going to be our new Regional Director for Egypt. After some meetings we came up with our plan of attack, and are hosting an interest meeting for the chapter this Tuesday at Pottery Cafe, across from American University of Cairo (Where Catherine had studied). We already have quite a few interested people, and I think it will be a very interesting meeting… these sort of things get me re-inspired and remind me why I even do this in the first place. More to report as afterwards.
Finally, after going to the Sudanese Embassy, I found out that my application for Sudan has to be personally signed by President Bashir, who was indicted by the ICC the same day I applied… I have no idea if I am going to get this visa or not. Furthermore I have spent most the money I set aside for this trip already, so I am digging a little deeper than I feel comfortable with, but c’est la vie. STILL reaching out to funders and seeing if we can get some real funding behind World Faith, as we still have done all that we have on less than $20,000 in the past two years. I apologize that most of my blogs right now are commentary, but I hope to expand into more exploratory discussions when I am not traveling… Right now I am using the blog to keep people updated that I haven’t been able to single out and update. More to come, as usual… 🙂