Thursday, July 2, 2009

good start to the day

So much of a good day seems to be highly dependent on how it starts out.  Yesterday, for example. I should've known it was going to be a good day when I came down to the kitchen to find a plate stacked with pancakes waiting for me (compliments of Hugh).  

In addition to pancakes, I started the day with a couple of my favorite people--if I dare attempt to publicize favorites! 

For starters, sitting at our breakfast table was UAC-CP graduate Andrez Flores. Andrez, who I've blogged about before, started the award-winning organic, bio-pesticides business SIEMPRE-FORJA with two of his fellow Agronomy graduates. Committed to production, research, and education, Andrez came to Carmen Pampa on official business on Wednesday to meet with people about current UAC-CP thesis students who are doing research projects with him and his crew in the Alto Beni.  For me, Andrez is always a welcome visitor. I find his insight and outlook on life to be inspiring and refreshing.

With no place to stay the night the night before, we invited Andrez to stay in the Volunteer House before making the 6+ hour journey back to his home in the Brecha B.  So, after breakfast he and Mary Murphy and I started walking up to Campus Leahy where he would wait for transport to Coroico, I would go to my office, and Mary would venture off to the garden in search of fresh veggies.

Carmen Pampa community member Don Emilio starts his morning by emptying bags of coffee to be dried in the sun. I love his smile!

Barely five minutes into our ascent, we ran into one of my other favorite people: Don Emilio. The long-time Carmen Pampa community member, who is probably much younger than I think him to be, has one of the cheeriest dispositions of anyone I know--despite the fact that I also know he suffers from severe back pain.  This morning, we found Don Emilio outside his home unloading bags of coffee beans to be dried in the sun.

"Señorita y Señora!" he called out to Mary and me. "Buenos días!" And then he called out to Andrez:  "Joven, buenos días!" Good morning, young man.

Andrez and Don Emilio greet each other. "It's so good to have you back for a visit," Don Emilio told Andrez.

"Señorita," he asked me after we exchanged a few pleasantries, "do you know this young man?" In fact, I explained, I know Andrez quite well--he served as my chief advisor and confident in the years I served as the coordinator of the food cooperatives and he served as president.
Somewhat to my surprise, Don Emilio said he also knows Andrez quite well. Apparently, Andrez explained, as a student at the UAC-CP he did a research project in Don Emilio's coffee field. The project studied the effect of broca on coffee--a small beetle that reaps havoc on the crop that, for some, is their livelihood.  

"So good to see you!" Don Emilio told Andrez. "This is a great young person," he told Mary and me with his signature smile flashing across his face. 

Andrez and Don Emilio humored me by posing for this photo.

I admit, I was loving this moment. Two of my favorite people from relatively random parts of my Carmen Pampa life know each other, I thought, and have the same great mutual respect for one another. I needed a picture!

After Don Emilio's photo shoot, we continued our climb to Campus Leahy. "What a great man, no?" I asked Andrez. He concurred.  "I love starting me day like this," I added.  "Sí, no?" he again concurred.


On last Sunday's ride into Coroico on public mobi, I introduced Don Emilio to my iPod. He loved it!

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