Monday, October 02, 2006

 

While Rome Burns

Right. We're a week from the start of harvest, and our partner in equipment purchases still hasn't filled out the triplicate forms and doesn't have the requisite three quotes on the $4 plastic buckets sold in every store in town. As usual, our crack JCFC staff is on top of the situation with resources and ingenuity. Our washing stations will be operational by the 16th, with or without our partner.

Aside from the equipment issues, we did have a very constructive meeting with our partner yesterday. For the first time ever, the Lao specialty coffee industry has a vision, a plan and the resources to execute. I suspect over the next three years, over 24 villages will have first class processing facilities and dry storage buildings - enough resources to produce the best that Lao has to offer.

The typhoon in Vietnam did some damage to the road system, so we're not sure if we can get the new pulpers that we hope to order. On the plus side, no coffee plantaions were impacted, and along with weekend rains for next year's Brazil crop, coffee prices tumbled four cents on Monday. God Bless.

Our resident rural development consultant, Emma, is visiting an ailing grandmother in the UK. Other than that the staff is well and anxious to get the payroll started for the comming harvest. I'm content with our progress and I look forward to the dragon boat festival that starts this week - the street will fill with shoppers and revelers, mostly Lao. This is a nice time to visit; the rains are still heavy but the tourists dissappear and all you see are the locals, doing their thing.

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