Trip of a lifetime |

Trip of a lifetime

Did I ever tell you about my trip to Egypt and Morocco? No, well here goes.

Back when I was young and working for Agweek magazine, I was invited to go on a trip with the U.S. Wheat Associates.

We went to Egypt and Morocco to see where U.S. wheat was going and what it was being used for.

It was a very educational trip. We got to see the first grain bin that was built there, toured a couscous plant visited with Egyptian dignitaries, including the person who purchased U.S. wheat for Egypt. In our conversation he asked me why I wasn’t at home baking bread for my family? I told him I wasn’t really into cooking. Thought he was going to have a heart attack.

We also visited the Egyptian agency that is akin to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and went to the American Embassy.

Then I drank a glass of iced tea with ice in it. Big mistake. I was pretty sick and had to take some medication. Luckily the sickness only lasted for a day.

In addition to the educational part of the trip, we also got to do some sightseeing. The pyramids were cool, but my claustrophobia prevented me from entering them. Outside of the pyramids it was pandemonium. People were constantly pestering you to buy postcards and other touristy items. And camel and horse riders were offering rides. We were forewarned not to accept any rides from strangers because they would probably take you out to the dessert, steal your money and abandon you.

But we did get to ride camels through a man that was trusted. While I was on my camel, another rider passed us and said, “Hey, haven’t we met before?” Seems one-liners are no different in Egypt than they are in the U.S.

When we were in Rabat, Morocco, we toured a Kasbah where we met a man who was drunk and insisted on leading our tour, so he could get money for more beer. We turned him down so he followed us around insulting us and telling us we were sure to get lost.

Then we met a man with no legs who was begging for money. I tossed him a few Moroccan coins and he threw then back at me, cursing me for not giving him American money. Oops.

We also got to ride in a felucca boat on the Nile River. That was so cool, until we were stopped by some soldiers wanting to see our passports. That was not so cool because in Egypt the soldiers carry rifles and look very imposing. Also, giving your passport to anyone is scary. But they gave our passports back and we continued our ride.

All in all it was a great learning experience and great fun.

Then I had to come home and write like a maniac and go through the thousands of photos I took.

I wish I could go back there again when I’m not on assignment. ❖

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