Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What's in the suitcase????

Soccer Boys

Here are some pictures of those Cute Soccer Boys. They were all so polite and appreciative. Each boy personally thanked Diane and it was very touching. I hope someday we can make their dream come true.

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Prior to our trip, Diane had informed us of the desire for soccer cleats and balls. Some of us asked around and were able to collect several pairs of soccer cleats and a half dozen soccer balls. Javier, a soccer coach in Balgue for 14-16 year old boys set up a time that we could meet with 3 community teams. When we arrived at the field there were about 20 boys waiting for us. Unfortunately, however, they were only the boys from Javier's team in Balgue. The 2 other communities failed to show. Javier voiced his embarrassment as he is a very energized individual wanting to help the local youth. Diane explained to the boys what was in the suitcases we had brought and though not every one would get a pair of cleats we are aware that soccer is an enjoyment of theirs and that we would do what we could to encounter more equipment. You should have seen the excitement. The boys could hardly wait for the bags to be opened. Some shoes fit and others were too small even for the smallest boys. Even the shoes that didn't fit were held close as if they might grow larger. Javiar told us the team had a dream and that was to have a brother team on Bainbridge that some day they might be able to play. We have the sizes the boys still need and will be collecting shoes that hopefully can go down with the high school delegation this spring.

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How's the Weather?

(still do not have details on the ferry sinking but I think no one was hurt in the incident, although some got wet. Also David M. returned from Managua last night and saw the sunk ferry. He said both platano trucks were still on the boat in the water. Peter A. had to stay on in Granada for his tooth work.)
I know folks up in Pacific Northwest are still getting rained on - I will be there soon now, wonder if it will still be raining in a week and some. Here, after the torrential tropical downpour of a few nights ago, it has been "cold" in the evenings. The last two nights have been, would you believe, blanket nights - by blankets I mean something just slightly thicker than a sheet, but pretty good sleeping weather, i.e. no sweating in bed. Today, Tuesday, it's back up to 90ish.

I thought folks would like to see where I am blogging from. The first photo is my little blog outcove in Red Libre central and the second is the view from the window that is overexposed in the first photo. David M. and I were just saying what a terrible place to have to compute from :) Also on the window sill you can see a just brewed cup of the Caracól (peaberry) that I roasted three days ago. What a great cup of coffee - like want to lick the bottom of the cup when it is all gone.


This morning I walked down to D&L's to see if David had returned from Managua. He was there and lots of activity, installation of a fence gate and window gratings - I forget the spanish name. Turns out Bernabé was due any minute and wanted to come up to Finca Magdalena to see the new roaster in action. We chatted for awhile and Bernabé turns up with pickup - no climb back up the hill for me and David. I roasted 2 kilos of the flatbean to show Bernabé, he was pretty impressed with the setup, the ease of the process and the big improvement for the health of the roasters. He explained that the lung problems people seem to get from wood smoke, especially the old coffee roasting method, is irreversible - David M. says it compares to a three pack a day habit.

The surprise of the day was when I got to the finca veranda, there was chain saw activity on the side wall of the main building/cocina. What's this?, I ask. "El nuevo cuarto del tostador." They are adapting a room for the roaster to be housed and coffee roasted - we have been roasting on the veranda. It's going to be perfect - two windows on the side and another window will be cut in the front wall for touristas to view the roasting and smell the beans they are then going to want to buy. I hope I can see this completed and operational before I take off. I also chatted with Bernabé about the opportunities for local economic development based on high quality roasted beans. I related the request from Di at the Iguana in San Juan del Sur to be able to serve Ometepe coffee at their restaurant, and certainly other places around the island and in the mainland parts of the Rivas district might be interested, Granada possible also. Probably enough customers to require more roasters or a larger commercial roaster. This, as other things will move slowly and probably at the pace of my expected returns, yearly or so, to Isla de Ometepe. I sure would like to see some of the coffee feeding the local economy - it somehow feels more satisfying than the export business and could even contribute to export demand as well - building the reputation of the Ometepe coffee name.

Well it's back down to D&L's and a Peter check and then hike backup in time for dinner.
buenas noches todo,

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