A Trip to Africa: Day 2 – Dancing, Mango Trees & The Dry Mill

In January 2014, CEO & Co-Founder Paul Katzeff traveled to Africa to meet with two of our producer cooperatives. In this blog series, Paul shares his experience in Uganda and Rwanda.

Mango Trees in Uganda

Our first day in Uganda was a real experience. The farmers met under a giant Mango tree that had just produced over 1,000 pounds of ripe mangoes and was beginning to flower for next year’s fruit. These trees grow wild and can be found everywhere. In the shade of the tree people danced and celebrated. The heart of Rock and roll and the Blues came from these people – I could feel the rhythms vibrate my body and I was moved to dance … but just couldn’t get in there with them. I felt the beat but didn’t feel I had the moves.

The kid who was drumming was good! (see below)

 

 

Roadside Crossroad in Uganda

Back on the road north to our primary Destination, The city of Mbale, the home of Mirembe Kawamera Cooperative. This is the famous interfaith cooperative of Jews, Christians and Muslims working together in a small outlying mountain village in the shadow of Mt. Elgon in the northeastern part of Uganda. This photo shows a typical roadside crossroad. Hard to say what is going on there but in the background is another Giant Mango tree and to the left down the road a couple of hundred feet are banana trees.

 

Roadside store in Uganda

This homestead along the road had solar electric panels right in front of their house.

 

Solar Panels in Uganda

The two hour trip from Jinja to Mbale was filled with a life force so different, visually. These pictures show how western culture mixes with people who have too little but need the same things we need. Food, clothing, shelter and commerce. This little store sells what is needed, not what is wanted. The difference narrows the selections down to what is available to sell.

Carrying Coffee Sacks in Uganda

This was our first destination in Mbale, The “dry mill” where our coffee is readied for export after being received from the primary cooperative in the mountains. This is where the coffee is graded (sorted) for defects and the parchment is milled off of the coffee and the burlap sacks are filled with 152 pounds of green coffee beans. Yes, those guys are carrying 150 lbs of coffee.

To be continued…

-Paul

A Trip to Africa (series archive)
Intro – I’m going to Africa
Day 1 – Arriving in Uganda
Day 2 – Dancing, Mango Trees & the Dry Mill
Day 3 – On the Road
Day 4 – Transparency, Trust & Relationships
Day 5 – Coffee Quality & A New Mystery
Day 6 – The Mystery Coffee’s Story

Comments (8)

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    Susan Hofberg

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    Thanks for the photos and stories. More please.

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    Pamela

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    Thank you for the incredible pictures and detailed descriptions. I am really enjoying your stories.

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    Dorothy Self

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    I love the pictures and the description of what was going on there! Can’t wait to see more. Looks like it was a good trip for all.

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    Dobie Dolphin

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    Love reading about your trip. There’s a woman’s organic coffee company in the mountains a few hours from where I live on the coast of Mexico. Their “coffee forest” also has lots of huge 100 year old mango and mamey trees.
    Happy travels,
    dobie

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      Sandy Bradley

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      Dobie! Please get in touch with me. I’d like to visit.

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    Jack Dingledine

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    Enjoying your posts and photos. As I sit at my desk, on my computer and enjoying a fresh brewed cup, it’s good to stop and think about where it comes from. Given the boom in coffee culture in the US, it’s my hope that the farmers and producers can share in the wealth it’s created.

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    Gerald Oliver

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    Thank you for sharing these thoughts, experiences and photographs. I wish I could have been there. You are doing a great job. Your small kindness is benefitting thousands.

  • Avatar

    Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Tote Norge

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    Much thanks. I am always looking for awesome WordPress tutorials to share with my readers and this is one of the best Ive seen. Again, really well done!

Comments are closed

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