Look ma…I ate all my vegetables

Greetings from Cairo gang,

While other teams are toughing it out with there five star breakfasts and their fancy-pants dinners, team egypt is taking it to the streets of Cairo.  We kicked off today at with a 6am team meeting, 2 hardboiled eggs, and some cheese.  By 7am we were on the road to Sekem Farms in the team van, which has become our home away from home away from home.

Understanding Egyptian traffic requires a certain familiarity with big city life, real big city life.  There are 20 million people in Cario, they all have cars, and they all think that you are in their way.  We’ve been pretty lucky to spend on average about 5.5 hours in traffic per day, pretty reasonable considering mostly all our driving is around the city (insert sarcasm here).  We have realized that it truly impacts the speed of business and have factored it into our problem.  Needless to say, its quite the hassle but interesting nonetheless – the variety of car horns make the radio obsolete.

When we arrived at Sekem Farms, we were greeted by several employees and were given an unbelievable tour of the facility.  Sekem Farms is a real success story in Egypt.  Its a massive organic farm that is a leader in CSR practices within the region.  The Sekem Group provides healthcare and education for employees and their children.  They also have theaters and other forms of entertainment available to employees as well.  Their holistic approach to employment has really set the standard in Egypt.  As a company they are wildly successful, exporting to the EU and US, providing high quality produce and other items.  We were lucky enough to sample some produce right from the ground during our tour.  They offered Stevia, Egyptian Rocket (which we were told was very useful), fennel, celery, and even fresh broccoli – they all tasted amazing, and I don’t know if you know this but I’m not one for veggies.

Then we met with CARE after a 2.5 hour drive that normally takes 15 minutes according to our driver.  CARE is another leading CSR NGO in the region, and surprisingly enough they focus on agriculture.  They are helping implement a great program that like Danone (Dannon for us with a country code of #1) with local dairy producers.  It was a great experience.

Tomorrow is real big day for team Egypt…we’re sleeping in for one.  We have a 9am departure to Giza and the pyramids.  To celebrate, our stellar photographer/reporter/hero Ed “the honey badger” Cohen took us out for a traditional Egyptian dinner.  Everything on the menu looked awesome, particularly the beef leg with rice that Joe Sweeney and I ordered.  Well, turns out beef kneecap isn’t as tasty as it sounds…lesson learned – next time I’m splurging and ordering the stuffed pigeon.



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