Saturday, January 31, 2009

almost back to my other home

Currently I'm sitting in Bent's office to discuss export options for the tiny amount of coffee I have from my farm.

This trip has been pretty amazing. Antonio was happy with how the farm looked and he is caught up on his own garlic crop on his farm. So it was pretty low pressure. We just walked the farm to check the progress. Later we picked out a place to plant taiota. I did some pruning of the shade trees on the second day. Quite peacefull as usual.

There were some great moments when I stopped thinking so much about the-next-step and was actually present. More on that later. Now if I can just learn to do that in the States. . .


Sunday, January 25, 2009

home again

My M.O. for entering or leaving the Dominican Republic usually involves the heaviest Dominican accented Spanish I can muster. It usually leads to nice converstaions and less grilling ¨How long are you staying? What are you doing here?¨. Yesterday the immigration offical saw all the DR stamps in my passport and asked if I had a girl friend here, nope I answered. She stamped my passport and tossed it back to me.

Per usuall I have loft goals of things to accomplish and little time to do it.

Yesterday I went to visit two of Antonio´s kids, Diokin and Bella, who live just outside Santo Domingo, Quita Sueño. Most people would describe it a as a shanty town or poverty stricken barrio. Most of the housing seemed imporvised and there where pot holes every where. And there were a couple homeless people. But the barrio felt alive with community. Nobody approached us. This vibe of ´life is hard but we are going to stick together´resondated from the loud speakers blaring reggaeton. I´m sure plenty of bad things happen in Quita Sueño, but bad things happen everywhere.

My DR cell phone for this week is 829.719.1323

till soon.

Monday, January 12, 2009

coffee is a virtue, not a vice - me.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Noche Buena + Harvest Updates

I talked to Antonio over the Holidays. Things are well in Los Frios. It seems there is always gripe, a cold, being passed around his family.

Dominicans don't do much for Christmas it is Noche Buena, Christmas Eve, that they get excited about. Usually the entire family gets together and they feast. Some of the seasonal foods are: habichuelas con dulce (sweetened bean drink) cha-ka (sweetened corn porridge) both are really tasty! They are best when cooked over firewood for long periods of time. You can taste a little bit of smoke in the sweet dishes.

In Los Frios where there is no power, hence no refrigeration; it is hard to do anything too fancy. So the rest of the meal is all about the usual foods: rice & beans (cooked together: moro, cooked seperate: guisa'o), tubers (yucca, platano, yautia, rabano, guineo, ayuma) and something fried (chicken, soft salami, tostones, beringjena). [To the right is a hearty breakfast on the farm: Yauita-taro root, guineo-green banana, yucca and sardines.]

The last picking of coffee already happened. Last week the pulp-natural or cafe miel was being moved up from the raised beds on the farm to the raised beds in town with more sun exposure.

I'm traveling to Los Frios from Jan. 24-Feb. 1. The plan is to gather up my coffee and 1,000 lbs that a co-op owes me and send it to my dry miller/exporter-Bent. He will process it and send it to me. Anybody wanna buy it?