I met Paul when we traveled to Seesee, Uganda, a little village outside of Jinja. We were doing Shalom training for the coffee farmers there, a form of faith based community development. I had never liked coffee before, but Paul roasted, ground, and brewed the coffee in a French press for us to taste. I mentioned that I really didn't like coffee. My family and friends all drink it black, so that is all I knew. Paul told me not to let the coffee snobs determine how to drink coffee. He added hot milk to a cup of the Robusta coffee and handed it to me. That was all it took. I have been drinking Thanksgiving Coffee ever since. My favorites are Delicious Peace and Pony Express (see below). It's a Uganda thing. Also, I know the stories of the coffee farmers struggling to make a better life for their communities there. Working with an ethical and compassionate coffee purchaser like Paul makes a difference. I have photos and more stories about the coffee farmers if you would like them.
That trip was my first time outside of the US. I was there as a trainer who would train the local people to become trainers in the Communities of Shalom Assets Based Community Development. I worked with Rev. Dr. Michael Christensen, my mentor. It was Michael who had reached out to Paul. He knew about the cooperative in Mbale that Paul worked with as was hoping that Paul would come to check out the coffee cooperative that was forming near Jinja. Paul checked out their beans, said it was some of the best Robusta he had ever had, and gave them tips on keeping the quality high. We celebrated big time when Paul decided to buy their beans.
Read more about our Ugandan efforts here: https://thanksgivingcoffee.com/blogs/blog/evolution-of-change-clean-water-project