Over the passed week, I had the opportunity to travel to Colombia on behalf of Cuatro M. For the first four days, I attended an event that consisted of lectures, workshops, discussions, one on one meetings, and evening social gatherings; some of which I have shared in previous posts.
As that event came to a close however, I was invited to participate in a smaller trip of sorts, for three days, to visit a Colombian Farmer and exporter, under the name Cafe Granja la Esperanza, located in and around the town of Caicedonia, Colombia.
On this trip, I would be accompanying two coffee importers from Sustainable Harvest, named Adam & Katie, both of whom I have known and worked with for just over 8 months now, as well as a collection of coffee roasters and buyers, from various corners of the United States.
But first, while I will not go into great detail of their lives and work, I will take one quick moment to express a tremendous gratitude to Adam and Katie for the opportunity, and as always, address my continually growing respect for their hearts and work. Managing 12 other human beings over the course of 3.5 days is no easy task, considering all the opinions, diets, and desires to grab a quick beer 15 minutes prior to airport departure; so I admire the way in which they held themselves, and each of their guests, in order to make for one hell of trip; certainly one I'll not soon forget.
So on that note, four lessons I'll not soon forget. The first....
1. Bees may make terror, but they'll also make friendships:
A 2 pm photo op, became one of the funniest moments of our trip, as we stood with our backs to a ledge, overlooking Finca Potosi. Within an instant, those of us kneeling on the ground were nearly sprawled upon by those standing in back, who'd been the first to hear the sound of a giant swarm of bees flying up the side of the hill.
We were told to not move and remain silent, an easier thing to shout out, than do, as it seemed like their wings were clipping our eardrums; meanwhile Jack of Caffe Ladro, attempted to make a break for it, only to stop a few feet in front and likewise tuck his head down with his knees and hope they'd continue on with their "freshly collected pollen," as claimed one of our guides.
All that to say, sometimes the moments of worry, become the ones we laugh most with when looking back on, and thereby make for the fondest. We were terrified, and for it we clenched each others shoulders and backs, and hollered our warnings much too loudly into one anothers ears; such is the way of friends.
To be continued....