Our friends from ViandantiSì have been organizing trips to SEKEM for more than a year now. In the past months they also brought guests to SEKEM’s farm in Wahat El-Bahareya to experience the pure and wild nature in the desert. ViandantiSì collaborates with NaturaSì, one of SEKEM’s distributors in Italy. For the SEKEM News, Ilaria Vudafieri, the manager of the Italian travel agency, writes about the first visit at the Wahat-Guesthouse in the Western Egyptian Desert.
Three friends and I took the highway across the Western Desert and drove 500 km in the direction of the oasis Bahariya. We passed through sand dunes of different colours, iron mines, above us blue sky with scattered clouds. Only a few cars and tracks were riding on the dusty road. After the Bawiti village, we finally entered the SEKEM Farm in the desert, which is known as Wahat-Farm. We sat on the grass under a straw shelter in the middle of the living quarter of the farm and had a black tee. In the calm and silent surrounding we talked about ideas and projects we could co-create in that place, where agriculture is still at its very beginning. We also walked on the arid sandy soil to see one of the three pivots built in the frame of the “Greening the Desert Project”.
A few months later, in October 2019, I started again the journey from SEKEM Guesthouse near Cairo to the Wahat Farm in Bahariya; this time with a group of 21 other Italians. I was very much surprised when seeing the new building, which wasn’t there only a few months ago. The house is designed with great accuracy and attention to details; the rooms are equipped with beautiful hand-made wood furniture, colourful curtains and fantastic paintings. From the terrace you have an awesome view over the fields and to the sunset in the evening.
From the Wahat-Farm you can easily visit the so-called White Desert with its marvellous big chalk rocky formations shaped by wind and thunderstorms. In the evening we had a delicious dinner with the workers and members of the community, a local band played for us traditional music and we danced together.In Wahat, embraced in the stark beauty of the desert, we perceived the pure and wild nature, similar to the one that hosted SEKEM around 40 years ago.
Ilaria Vudafieri, manager of ViandantiSì