The Group is Coming the Group is Coming!!!!

The group is coming! I have heard from Jonathan that the 8 people I will lead next week has arrived in Brussels and will arrive in Kigali tomorrow evening. I still can’t believe I’ve been here almost a week. Time certainly flies when you’re having fun. Today was mostly a day or preparation although Mike and I did have a great experience at dinner in a local spot that didn’t speak much english. We got a great meal of Pizza (because what country doesn’t love pizza) and watching the World Cup. It’s still strange to me to be 6 hours ahead of EST. I called my wife before dinner and she didn’t have lunch yet.

After waking up to an amazing view of Lake Kivu we got some delicious breakfast. Fresh fruit, a cheese omelet “real” coffee aka not Instant. We then got to listen to Manu explain the history of coffee in Rwanda. Before the genocide it wasn’t very good and didn’t get much money. This is mostly due to the processing method. It is known as ordinary coffee. The farmers would process it themselves using whatever methods they could. After the genocides individuals from the University of Michigan and Texas came to Rwanda and taught them how to produce “Specialty Coffee” they now have using the fully washed method I explained a few days ago when I was able to go to our washing station on Ruli Mountain. This has been able to impact the whole economy, even the government helped to produce the Bourbon variety of coffee tree to help farmers excel and export coffee. Currently the country buying the most coffee from Rwanda is Switzerland followed closely by the US.

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After hearing Manu talk about the history of coffee we made our way back to Kigali where we began to prepare for the group. We have checked into our hotel apartments, bought extra mattresses and then we did some coffee excellence research at the National Agriculture Export development Board (NAEB). We recently received a sample of coffee still in the parchment (a thin layer encompassing the green coffee bean, almost like an egg shell). We had it milled and then sent to be roasted so we can taste it on Wednesday with the group coming into town. I’m continually amazed at the work that goes into bringing us quality coffee. Each time I think the work is over, it isn’t. The last few days have brought that more into focus especially today watching a few guys sort the coffee we will taste on Wednesday.

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First they milled it and then started to sort by screen size. This is basically when you have a screen with a certain size hole, the coffee that is too small will fall through and then you know how big the coffee bean is. Next they touched each and every bean making sure they sorted out all of the possible defects associated with coffee. The most common defect in Rwanda is known as the potato defect. This is mostly infected by a spore that is able to get into a cherry when it has a hole dug in it by a bug or insect. It produces a very unsatisfying aroma and flavor, mostly like a potato, hence the name. After watching our coffee be prepared we headed back to the hotel and had a great meal. The people of Rwanda continue to amaze me. On the way back from dinner we met Lucien. He is the security guard working the night shift. When he is not working he is studying mechanical engineering at University in Kigali. I asked him when he sleeps and he said he tries but most of the time he can’t. This also reflects the attitude Manu told us today. That in Rwanda they work hard and they know that is rewarded, he told us this after a man sorting the coffee mentioned he hadn’t eaten since breakfast (it was around 3pm at the time). Weather it is with food, education, or money, they are rewarded for their hard work even if the results only come from God in heaven.

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I couldn’t imagine working a 12 hour shift as a guard, maybe sleeping and then going to class. I couldn’t imagine not eating lunch because I was sorting coffee seeds and preparing them for export. I can’t imagine loving more than these people love. Mike and I talked with Lucien and mentioned the different countries we had been to, mostly on vacation. Yet each of us could easily say Rwanda is our favorite. Not because we were talking with a Rwandan but because we have experienced something here that can’t be explained with poetical words or even a picture. Rwanda is a land of thousands of hills and unbiased love. Part of me wants to keep this experience for myself, to continue to meet with people and not have to show a group around. Yet the things I feel and experience are not meant for me alone. they need to be shared and known by the world. My hope with a group coming is that I am able to help them see and experience this formation of community. Coffee is what brings us together but love will ensure we are never separated.

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Rwandan Sunday

This morning we packed up our bags to leave our apartments in Kigali. When we go back tomorrow we will be staying at a new place closer to downtown. We drove through Musanze where we were a few days ago stopping for more potatoes and beautiful views along the way. Soon we were off the paved road on onto rougher terrain on our way to Kiryamo Parish to attend a church service and visit with the Forgiveness School orphans and Pastor Ildephonse. He was an amazingly humble man who blessed my soul. As we passed churches on the street a joyful noise was erupting inside.

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The path also brought us to a point that Manu had us get out to just enjoy the true and real Land of a Thousand Hills. Hills that stretched everywhere and made me believe the word beautiful was created at that exact spot on the Earth.

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We arrived late into the service but the Pastor interrupted his preaching to welcome us offering celebratory singing and dancing to God for our visit. Manu was able to interpret some of the service including Mike and I introducing ourselves and offering thanks to them expressing how much of an honor it is for us to be there.

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I had no idea what they were saying but I knew exactly what was going on. The singing and dancing had tears welling up in my eyes and absolute love emanating from each person in that church. After the service we toured the school The partnership Land of a Thousand Hills has with the parish connected us in a special in which our partners in the US financed the building of the school, a bathroom, and a house for orphans which currently has 7 living in it. As we walked around children followed us like we were rock stars, never using too many words but watching what we would do.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPastor then treated us to some fellowship and a delicious meal prepared by his wife. We ate fresh chicken, rice, fried potatoes and coca-cola. Pastor had such a sweet heart, praying for us and having Manu translate so we knew how much he cared. He prayed thanksgiving for Americans who love them so much and asked for God to bless them to love us more. I kept thinking that it is us who need to love you more Pastor. Rwanda has shown me more than just peace, love, and hope. They have shown me that hard work pays off in fantastic ways. They have brought me to realize more than just to be grateful for what I have as many people expect to be confronted with when leaving the comfort of our privileged lives. They have given me hope that I can change the things in my life I might be struggling with. That I can be a better person than who I am today.

Tonight I am better able to reflect on that fact seeing the spectacular Lake Kivu. I feel like when I am describing this place I need a better vocabulary or at least a more exhaustive set of adjectives. We are staying on the lake at La Palm View and sitting by candle light at their restaurant. Tomorrow we are able to record a few video’s of Manu, head back to Kigali and prepare for the group to arrive here on Tuesday evening. Part of me wishes to keep this to myself, to enjoy my time without worrying about leading a group of people. Yet this feeling of wonderment and love for these people can’t be kept to my self but spread around the word. Once they arrive I have the privilege of sharing this place with them, none of us to be the same.

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Sacred Work

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I was anxiousness as I woke up today. I didn’t get much sleep but that was okay, today I was going to live a dream. I can remember years ago, speaking with coffee colleagues about how beautiful a trip to a coffee origin country would be. We spoke about what it would be like to meet a farmer, to see coffee as a red cherry and not a brown roasted bean. My journey has taken many paths, including abandoning the dream of ever meeting a farmer or seeing a tree. Yet today I woke up and the 2 hour drive up Ruli Mountain to our washing station felt like it took 10 minutes, these were moments to be cherished. We drove on our first dirt road as we passed all different kinds of houses. Today everything in Kigali was closed until 1pm because it is a nationwide community day. Manu told us that even the President is doing community service today. We passed some of that work being done. We received screams from children calling out “Muzungu!” which pretty much means white person. They don’t see them too often in the upper hills of Rwanda.

The commute was beautiful, we passed a river that Manu affectionally called “Sarah Lake” After the Kula Project Co-Founder Sarah Buchannon which is doing amazing things with coffee farmers in Rwanda. Sarah used to stop every day on their commute up the mountain. Along the river were people washing clothes, gathering water, and others farming.

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Soon after the stop… BOOM There was the sign I had been waiting to see. We made it! Aime who is in charge of fermentation and Geraldine the accountant quickly greeted us with open arms.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Washing station is also next to land that our company owns with around 5000 coffee trees. These are young trees about 2 years old and won’t start producing a crop until next year but they had several green unripe cherries on their branches. After about 3 years a tree is able to produce Coffee Cherries and is in full production after about 5 years. Every few years the trees will be pruned and will remain healthy upwards of over 30 years. After taking some pictures of the beautiful sign I had seen over and over again in other photo’s we began to explore the coffee plantation going higher and higher. Each tree needs to be planted about 2 meters apart and can even have other plants like Banana trees in the plantation as well to help with shade when necessary.

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I studied each aspect of the tree. The leaves were stiff and almost leathery, branches were tough but flexible. Some of them had green cherries that were tough, some ripe cherries that were hard. I found a cherry that looked appealing and I knew I had to do it, I popped it in my mouth and enjoyed the sweet pulp and mucilage. It wasn’t like pure cane sugar or the more commonly known cherry. It was more like a sweet green pepper with green coffee beans (seeds) on the inside that were hard as stones. The density is a good sign. The more dense a coffee bean the more developed the flavors and the more potential roasting can bring out those flavors. Manu, Mike and I walked around talking coffee science and farming techniques. I soaked up all the info I could.

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As we moved back down the hill we got into the complicated yet ultra important step of the fully washed processing method of coffee. Manu walked us through each step and how the coffee is sorted. First in the cherry to make sure no foreign objects are found along with defected cherries. Next the cherries are put in a floating tank and the floating ones are skimmed off the top to make sure they are not processed together. After it goes through the de-pulper it is separated by size into A1, A2, A3, and A4. A4 is not processed with the rest and the always are separate. As the cherries move down the station the next step is fermentation. In Rwanda They practice dry fermentation to make sure that water does not wash out the good flavors or pass along possible defects that were missed. After 10-12 hours the cherries are ready to be rinsed of their sweet mucilage and held in the dump tank. Once the coffee is ready it goes to a shaded area for further sorting. They sort them to make sure everything is the way it should be. For 3 days the coffee is dried in a shaded area to make sure the sun does not suck out all of the good flavors of the coffee by drying it too quickly.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter those three days they are dried on raised beds for about 3 weeks until they measure 12% moisture levels. Early in the morning they are uncovered and allowed to dry in direct sunlight before being covered again during the hottest part of the day and then uncovered again for a few more hours before being covered for the night. At least once an hour these drying beans are raked back and forth by hand to ensure even drying. The last layer before reaching the green coffee bean in known as parchment. This is a very thin light layer of the coffee that when dried is incredibly delicate. Once the bean is in it’s parchment the coffee is then taken to Kigali to be milled before being packed and shipped to the US to be roasted. The water used throughout the process is always from a clean source to make sure unpleasant flavors and aroma’s won’t be passed on to the coffee. The coffee nerd in me rejoiced with every conversation. I got to listen to Mike and Manu discuss how defects are formed and other forms of coffee excellence. I saw first hand how coffee is made extraordinary and how sacred it is to produce.

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During the busy season they have over 100 employees working almost 24/7 to ensure the coffee is perfect. Soon after receiving my school lesson at the washing station the education and elation of my spirit continued as we drove to Mbilima, a region we buy a lot of our coffee. This is where we met Chuma. He has been farming for over 20 years since he was 12. He has over 1500 trees and has a beautiful plantation. We walked through his forest of coffee trees and enjoyed tasting more coffee cherries. It’s kind of slimy and a bit of a crunch on the skin but it was definitely a dream come true. Chuma followed us to Laurent’s plantation of over 6000 trees most of them being very old.

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I was amazed at the simplicity of the tree. I wasn’t expecting something mind blowing but it seemed so uncomplicated. A few leaves and each branch carrying plenty of coffee to go around. Sitting in the middle of Laurent’s plantation we talked with Manu and Chuma discussing farming. The view couldn’t have been more beautiful as I continued to admire the coffee cherries.

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Before leaving back for Kigali and a relaxing rest of the day I stopped and prayed. Holding the branches of the coffee praying for the farmers and their families. Thanking God for their sacred work that brings excitement and joy to my taste buds. Before leaving I had to give Chuma a hug and tell him thanks. Part of my purpose of being here is to thank these amazing people. Hopefully I am able to communicate that.

 

Today I was able to see and feel the hard work of these people to bring quality coffee to the world. There are no short cuts there can be no relaxation in concentration. Their life is dedicated to sending me coffee to brew and most of the time I’m not thinking of them when I make a pour over or a latte for a customer. I’m thinking of the long line of customers and the long to do list at my cafe. I hope I never forget them again. These people in an indescribable way love all of us coffee drinkers without ever knowing our name. They meticulously grow, process, ship, and in Mike’s case, roast coffee in order for a barista or a home brewer to make that coffee taste as good as it possibly can. Their desire to take care of their children knowing they have responsibility to their community like the community work day this morning, all of these reasons and more have me in awe tonight with not many words of poetry to recite. They simply are amazing.

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Tomorrow I get the chance to worship with a local parish and enjoy the wonderful sights of Lake Kivu before putting final preparations for the group to com in on Tuesday evening. I will be here around 13 more days so if you have any questions you’ve ever wanted to ask a coffee farmer or processor let me know and I shall ask!

Nothing is Wasted

After a quick breakfast we started to understand in a very real way all the hills that make up this country. After getting out of the city of Kigali on our way to Musanze we went up and down, left and right, luckily I don’t get motion sick very much. Even outside of the busy metropolis people line the paved streets walking, taking motorcycle taxis and even bicycle taxis always carrying something. Women have learned perfect posture and how to balance anything on their head. Some with water, others branches for fire wood, and anything else you might think of that needs to go from one place to another. Another thing that struck me about today is the necessity of nothing wasted. As we drove we passed many farmers planting and harvesting food from the edges of the pavement in the grass. We saw pipes with water pouring out from the side of a mountain being filled with yellow jugs by children in school uniforms and women in beautifully colored long dresses. No land is wasted, no moments are wasted.

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The entire ride we started planning and talking through every small detail of the group I’ll be leading next week. About half way to Musanze there was a great food stop that to many would seem like a random truck stop on the side of the road. It had a combination of breathtaking views and amazing food. We ate grilled potatoes and corn drinking some coke’s and enjoying the fresh air. The weather here is perfect. Thinking that I would be close to the equator I imagined incredibly high temperatures. Yet one of the reasons Rwanda has such good coffee is because of it’s tempered climate. Talking with Manu he told us the lowest it gets all year is 25 Celsius and the most would be around 35 Celsius. This not only makes for amazing weather while we are here but also a great climate for coffee to grow and mature developing exquisite flavors never freezing in the cold or burning in the hot.

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After our snack we went to go see Pastor Charles who is one of the leaders of the Anglican Shyria Diocese. We saw the Cathedral and were given a quick tour around town. Including a potential location for a Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Cafe. I quickly got visions of training the barista’s and getting to spend more time with these smiling joyful people. Soon after that we received a tour of Muhabura Integrated Polytechnic College. It’s a vocational school that focusses on job skills like hospitality. We saw a room in which they were practicing folding sheets and making hotel beds properly. There was also carpentry and other mechanical and engineering skills as well. We soon met Richard who was working on a gorgeous door whom the principal, Vital, described as a great carpenter. Each part of the campus is used with a purpose, nothing is wasted.

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As we walked around we discussed how coffee and barista skills could improve the quality of life for the Rwandan people I began to choke up. Something we take for granted like me knowing how to operate this computer I’m typing on or the ability to create a latte can completely change their life. Today helped me to realize why Jonathan started this company with the idea that so many resources would be directed back to the Rwandan people.

 

Joy doesn’t describe their temperament well enough, love can’t grasp their attitude towards others, and seeing this hope one can only become slightly aware of the tug on your heart strings it feels like. We said good bye to the people at the vocational school and Pastor Charles in order to go see the children Jonathan calls his sons and daughter. They are for all intents and purposes his kids though not by blood. First we met Evey at Sunrise High School. He was a spark plug of a young man with excitement in his eyes as he ran to greet us. The language barrier never hindered us from connecting. Not because we always understood the words we were using but because we knew the intent. We soon began to play soccer in a rock filled front yard of the school with the acedemic master, Evey, Manu, Jonathan Jr (Jonathan’s oldest son), and Mike. Playing together brought us together.

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We then went and toured the hotel I will be taking the group next week for 2 nights and had lunch. Meeting us there were Sophie and young Manu. Jonathan’s other 2 kids along with a friend named Peter. At lunch we talked about life in Rwanda as they taught us some Rwandan words. After lunch a soccer ball came back out community was formed. Not all of us were good, most especially me, I’m very bad. Yet it was the smiles that allowed me to see into their lives. Like Sophie, she was wearing a winter beanie and loved to show her teeth when she smiled. Young Manu we discovered can do flips and wants to do good by the people that believe in him. I was also able to learn a little karate from Manu who I still can’t tell if he’s serious when he tells us he has a black belt.

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Before we left, hugged and said good bye, we were lead in prayer by Young Manu. He spoke in his native language and I have no idea the words he used but my spirit rejoiced. I felt peace, love, hope, community. A connection that doesn’t need words. We haven’t even seen our washing station or met a farmer. We haven’t picked a coffee cherry or cupped any coffee for quality assurance. Yet the people have stolen a piece of my heart that I never want back. I have been able to experience the country of Rwanda and the people. Knowing that agriculture is 90% of their economy according to Manu makes me believe the work being done in the coffee industry is of the utmost importance. If we can take the specialty coffee given to us, Mike can roast it to it’s best potential and I along with other LOTH employees can engage our customers and other people interested in coffee with quality of coffee and story, the people here will never be the same. And like them, I will never be the same.

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Tomorrow we head up to Ruli and see our coffee washing station, meet the staff their and other farmers. Basically the coffee nerd in me is doing a happy dance and might never stop.

 

 

No Coffee, No Life

So many amazing things happened. The day started as all days should, with delicious coffee. Mike and I both brought along our areopresses. I was slightly shaken awake by the sounds of a roaster crowing. I feel like the only time I’ve heard a rooster wake me up before was on an iPhone alarm. I decided it would be a good time to prepare my mind and my heart for the day ahead. I made some areopressed coffee and read while looking out onto the absolutely spectacular scene of Kigali in the morning. As the sun continued to rise, I’m not sure if it was because I put my contacts in, but it started to reveal even more of the hill side.

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After Mike and I caught up with some coffee we headed upstairs to Jonathan’s room for breakfast. Anita awaited us with a fantastic meal. Pancakes and a cheese omelet with fresh tomato’s along with some of the most decadent mango I have ever had. The banana’s tasted sweeter and the freshly squeezed juice smoothie was just what I needed as I continue to get used to the malaria meds.

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We did some business and got paperwork together for a container of coffee to be shipped to the US. Freshly harvested and processed the Ruli Mountain coffee we offer was recently scored at a 88.6 on the SCAA scale in the cupping lab in Kigali. That might not mean much to many of you, but let me tell you, it’s awesome! From there we went to a place that both saddened and confirmed in me my purpose for being in Rwanda. Today was a large ceremony for the National Agricultural Exporting development Board (NAEB) in remembrance of the genocides 20 years ago. In honor of that we toured the Genocide Memorial in Kigali. It explained how these attacks weren’t random but had years of prejudice, violence, and decisions made that allowed the massacre to happen. This wasn’t just a civil war over an ideology, this was the attempt to eradicate an entire race and permanently scared this nation. We walked next to mass graves of the victims, many of which could have been found anywhere on the streets because there was no family to claim them. The graves were covered in concrete with simple flowers every now and then left to remember the tragedy. There was also a wall of names that is entirely incomplete due to the names only known to God.

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There was a realness to memorial. No sugar coating, but the rawness of a country and a people wanting others to know what actually happened so it would never happen again. One plaque read “When they said never again after the Holocaust, was it meant for some people and not for others?” There was exhibits of the tools of the genocide, some guns but mostly savage weapons such as machetes and hammers. There was more than just the idea of what occurred but actual bones and personal belongings of the victims. This was not meant to offend or gross anyone out but to make sure that the ideals of making sure something like this never happened again would sink in. A holocaust like event shouldn’t be something people forget or don’t know about. I serve customers everyday that have no idea the things that went on. But with the ashes I walked on and tears I shed came hope when talking with the Rwandan people.

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I met Sayiday (I hope I spelled that right, pronounced, Sigh-he-day). He is a driver for NAEB and lost over 100 members of his family in the genocide. He was in the Congo when the fighting started by came back to fight with the now president to stop the bloodshed and help rebuild Rwanda. The smiles around here always amaze me. They go further than ear to ear but connect us in joy and happiness. Sayiday before he left told us: “No coffee, No life.” Perhaps referring to the 7 cups of coffee he told me he drinks everyday. Mostly his own as he has around 500 coffee trees at his home.

 

The highlight of this incredible day was being able to talk with and get to know our agronomist Manu.

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I told him he’s famous in America, people buy coffee bags with his picture on it and we talk about him all the time. He just laughs and smiles like we’ve been brothers forever. He has been in coffee for over 10 years. Before working for Land of a Thousand Hills he said he was known as the Eastern Provence Coffee Governor. He talked about the difference between specialty coffee and ordinary coffee. Specialty Coffee in Rwanda refers to fully washed coffee which is currently all we purchase using our own washing station to process the cherries before being shipped and roasted in Roswell. Ordinary coffee is “processed” by the farmer and then sold to whoever will buy it. This is often done by taking cherries and laying them on a stationary stone and rubbing another rock on top of it thus removing the pulp and the mucilage. This isn’t regulated and could potentially take amazing coffee and turn it into mediocre or devastatingly bad coffee. I felt the passion behind his words in my soul on how he uses all of his strength and energy to make sure that only the best coffee makes it to America. He also told me “You have an important job, you must grow the business by making really good coffee so we can produce more and help more farmers.”

This is me auditioning to be a Rwandan barista as we convinced Bourbon Coffee Cafe to let me make my own cappuccino.

This is me auditioning to be a Rwandan barista as we convinced Bourbon Coffee Cafe to let me make my own cappuccino.

I’ve told my barista’s many times that the work we do is important. That people like Manu are depending on us to produce something life changing with their product in order to provide for their families. It’s one thing to say it, even to believe it’s true, but when I heard it from Manu it almost made me break down in tears. This is why I am here, this is what God has in store for me, to take the “ordinary” work of making coffee and allow Him to transform it into the Holy work of loving my Rwandan neighbors. After many hugs and even watching the USA soccer match together we said good night until tomorrow where we are scheduled to tour Musanze.

“he who saves a single life saves the world entire: – Talmud.

Muraho Rwanda

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So we’re here. Mike and I traveled over 8 hours from Atlanta to Brussels and then another 8 or so hours to land in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. Long flights normally equal nap time but the truth is there was no chance I was going to be napping for very long. I felt like the ultimate tourist and had to resist the urge to take pictures of everything. The plane rides were luckily uneventful as we crossed over the pond into Europe and then to Africa. This is when my heart started pumping.

 

IMG_3018We get off the plane nice and simple where we walked on the ground to the terminal and I couldn’t stop looking around and just feeling the night air. There was no hold up at customs and our bags were waiting for us when we found the baggage claim.

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The next few moments I tried to capture in my heart forever. I heard a whistle and probably the only white person in the crowd called out to us. It was Jonathan our CEO, he waived us down and after a quick hug introduced us to Manu. This was a moment I was very much anticipating. Manu had one the kindest smiles I have ever seen. Before shaking his hand and giving him a hug he politely bowed. I had no idea what to do and didn’t know if this was customary in Rwandan Culture so I bowed as well a little flustered. We found our car and off to the apartments we are renting we went. We talked about the country, cultural differences and what we were going to experience these next few weeks. I soaked in everything. The abundance of Motorcycles, some as taxis some as an easier way of getting around. The city buzzed with movement, shops to our left and right, restaurants and bars.  The traffic wasn’t too crazy but there were people everywhere. Club music was part of the background noise along with a beautiful countryside only slightly lit waiting to reveal itself in the morning light.

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We got settled in pretty quick and our cook for the next few weeks is named Anita. She made us some Lasagna that kind of looked like flat bread pizza but tasted delicious. Dinner was spectacular. Manu wasn’t able to join us but we talked with Anita. She made us some incredible African tea. It almost tasted like a Chai Latte but with fresh ginger and cinnamon that made my taste buds dance. Anita is a calm, beautiful woman who loves her 5 kids. She lost her husband to an ulcer about 7 years ago and other family to the genocides. She has a quiet strength, taking care of her children trying to send them to University. Throughout the whole conversation she kept going back to how God had provided and that He will continue to provide. Her reliance and confidence on God was remarkable, She served us first and then sat down to eat.

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Sharing a meal is a very sacred thing, from Christ breaking bread at the last super to this meal in front of me I have felt communion with God and others by sharing a meal together. Anita closed her eyes and said a personal blessing before beginning to eat. After more talk of what the next few days will look like Mike and I are now trying to catch up on work back home and make sense of what to expect next.

 

I’ve said many times I didn’t know what to expect, I felt like I loved this country and these people before I even got here and now it’s been confirmed in my heart. Tomorrow we will run some errands and begin to prepare for the group I’ll be leading next week. Maybe even soak up the Rwandan morning with some areopressed coffee on the patio looking at the real Land of a Thousand Hills. Until tomorrow I will be dreaming of coffee cherries, fermentation tanks, cupping labs, and the resilient spirit of these amazing people.

 

Delay’s and Patience

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I don’t know how many people can relate to this sentiment but… Patience sucks!

 

I was expecting to be napping on a plane on my way to Brussels right now. Instead I’m sitting on my couch watching Netflix wondering how my nerves are going to last until I get on a different plane tomorrow. Today was spent mostly sitting at the airport waiting for a plane that just didn’t show up on time. The closest I could get to Rwanda and the coffee fields was gate D10 at Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta. Mike our Roast master and I sat patiently waiting, checking weather reports, looking at social media, hoping to be able to let the world know we were heading to our final destination. This was instead met with the harsh reality that we weren’t going any where.

 

I’ve been told often to be careful when I pray for patience because that’s when situations might arise that require it. This is definitely one of those situations. Patience is needed, patience is expected, patience is the only option I have. The first time I ever preached on a Sunday I was a senior in High School and one of the scriptures I used was Proverbs 19:11. “A person’s wisdom yields patience it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” My first reaction was thinking, if wisdom yields patience that what might cause impatience? Stupidity of course. It’s kind of funny to think about but much harder to live out. So today I’m trying to be wise. Trying to see the silver lining of not flying in the crazy storm that was overhead, enjoy one more night with my wife and puppy. I even get to play one more softball game tonight. So for now I continue to stare at these photo’s of my soon to be friends in Rwanda, waiting to create memories.

 

I hope to update this daily, even on the days I might not actually do anything. 🙂