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Africa Selection Camp – Day 3

Woke up to a full day of the Mercedes-Benz eco-driving experience. But first of course we were in for some early morning exercise. Up at 6:30, ready to go at 7.  We took a short jog led by Luke to a mysterious location in the middle of the woods. Turns out we were going to an off-road fitness park for some varied exercises. Everyone worked hard and completed the drills (chin-ups, dips, aerial rings, foot-fires, slalom) to the best of their ability.

Next, back to Hotel de Ville for a quick shower, then breakfast. After our morning rituals, we went upstairs for our introduction to Mercedes-Benz eco-driving. We were introduced to Michael and Dirk, split into two groups and we alternated between driving and learning about Eco/Blue future technology. This was all very well for nine of the people in the group but unfortunately the two of us (among others) don’t have a driver’s license! So, we sat by idly and watched as they had fun experimenting with these amazing cars. (Not that we didn’t learn our fair share so we’ll be able to apply once we finally do become legal!)

We were initially introduced to two different models and we awaited the chance to drive (or ride in) the F-cell car. For those of you who don’t know, the F-cell is a Hydrogen fuel cell system and emits zero carbon dioxide. This is very exciting stuff as the F-cell isn’t yet on the market and there are only around 15 F-cells in existence, only for testing use!  But Mercedes has begun production this year and although they are rare, what’s even more exciting is their readiness for the streets!

In the afternoon we compared the efficiency of each driver’s fuel consumption from the morning with the afternoon test drive. After learning about the six silver rules of eco-driving all but one driver (not naming any names!) improved their efficiency. On top of more test driving we built mini fuel cell cars in two groups. It was extremely fascinating to see how this top of the line technology works.

Just before dinner, we settled down the Geberit presentation. Therés Meyer told us about Geberit’s unique sustainability projects and their loyal relationship as a major sponsor of the PANGAEA program. We saw the importance of their work and got to view some footage from India Expedition, where they worked with Geberit on site for water sanitation and conservation.

To conclude the evening’s events Dr. Heid Johng gave us a morbidly fascinating presentation on Eco-Fitness and “glob-e-sity”.

A personal highlight of ours was the amazing dinner that Chef Debbie made consisting of baked potato skins stuffed with the mashed potato insides plus tuna and cheese. Scrumptious!



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