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

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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.

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)

Trip to africa

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.

Trip to africa

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

Trip to africa

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

Trip to africa

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...


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

Day 7 – All Things Revealed

Day 8 - Making the New Transparency Work

Day 9 - The Final Entry