Talented Egyptian students speak at Ag Technical School near Luxor using PowerPoint.

Tonight I’m watching a beautiful sunset overlooking the Nile with a clear view of the 3,500 year-old Giza Pyramids in Cairo. My last evening here includes the sounds of water lapping at the shores of the longest river in the world as the Muslim call to prayer is playing over the city and the din of traffic echoes off of the high rises above it all. In a city of 18 million that loves their horns and believes driving lanes are mere suggestions, this country girl has yet to find a time of day when car noises aren’t the dominant sound here. (more…)

Have you ever thought about thinking? If you’re in North America, you’re likely wondering why I ask, but this isn’t a trick question. Whenever I work in developing countries, I am reminded about the privilege of free thinking – and that it’s not available in every country.  It’s nearly impossible to understand this until you experience mindsets that have been shaped in controlling environments. (more…)

Working with a great group of Egyptian ag faculty members

Working with a great group of Egyptian agricultural faculty members in 2008.

As I write from JFK, it’s my last hour on U.S. soil for a couple of weeks.  The remainder of the month will find me working with MUCIA and Agricultural Technical Schools in Egypt for the second year in the row. I consider it a privilege to assist with the training and development of agriculturists through projects like this one.

When my impending trip came up in conversation with U.S. friends, the most common reaction was “why Egypt?” – the same question as when I’ve worked in the Ukraine and the Baltics.  The answer is always the same; I enjoy helping agriculturists in developing countries. And, frankly, I think Americans need an expanded global perspective to appreciate our own fortune.  These trips always give me far more lessons than what I deliver. (more…)