A bike whips down the hill rattling as it goes with a passenger and a pig on the back of it. I am standing on the road in that village in Burundi, East Africa where we have a coffee washing station. I think about people and stories. About how we all have stories, even the pig on the back of that bike.
It's funny how the strangeness of a place can slowly become ordinary. Once when we arrived home in Durban, South Africa after 9 months of being away, the smell of that tropically-heated-world hit me like walking into a wall would have. It was a physical smell that I felt just as much as I smelled, but when we were in the midst of living there I barely ever noticed it. That smell was our strange ordinary, but it was extraordinary once I had been away from it. What will my kids think is extraordinary about Burundi if we ever walk away from it?
There are several reasons why I think you should care about where your coffee comes from. From the coffee hills of Burundi, here are some of the most important...
I grew up with carpet between my toes and deep winters as my backdrop, and my children are growing up with bare feet on hot gravel and the equatorial sun imprinted on their hearts and bare backs. The things they see as children I never knew about when I was their age. Machine gun toting soldiers, hippos growling noisily in the lake, hot melons bought off the street corner, the Muslim call to prayer in our ears at 4:45am.
What if all our African escapades make them feel disconnected and rootless? What if they aren’t capable of connecting with a home culture? It's a real thing people, Wiki says so! It's called Cultural Jet Lag.
One of the little baby girls in need of care was just 13 days old. During the massacre she had taken a gunshot to the elbow of her left arm and both of her parents had been killed. Doctors were scrambling to stabilize the 116 living victims of the massacre and, because it was the most time efficient way to ensure the tiny baby kept her life, her arm was amputated.
Today I pulled out my first grey hair and last week one of my best friends dressed up in a banana suit and went out in public in DAYLIGHT greeting the world. These two things might not seem like they have anything in common, but they have gotten me thinking about what it really means to be truly “awake” for this one life we have to live, no matter where we are living it.
Are you camping this summer? Visiting the in-laws? Attending a picnic? Road-tripping it with the fam? With these coffee brewing methods you can be sure to have great coffee, hot or cold, practically anywhere at any time.
Things don't always work out nearly as well as I see them going in my mind, that's for sure. I thought a spur-of-the-moment family photo shoot in the rural coffee hills of Burundi would be a great way to end off our afternoon of collecting coffee from village drop points. Not exactly.
This post is sponsored by Disney Story. To find out more about this brand-new story-creation app – and how it puts the power of storytelling in your hands - click here. We let our three year old play hooky from pre-school last week so that he could come to work with his mom and pop. So while dad was MORE »
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