If you haven't any generosity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble - by Rebeca Valle Anfossi
I arrived just in time…the bus was about to leave. My friend, barista and maestro Tito was waiting for me and we planned to leave towards Jaén, a province of Cajamarca in northern Peru. Our goal? To find coffee that would represent us in the national barista championship.
The scenery was beautiful; green cliffs, wild nature and wonderful, very hospitable people.
We waited for the representatives of the cooperative CENFROCAFE, which had been contacted by our boss David Torres. They led us to the farm of Mr. Amaru, who would guide us while looking for the "ideal” coffee for our competition. During the days of our stay, Mr. Amaru and his family welcomed us like royalty; they shared everything they could give us. There was no malice in their minds and hearts, only good spirits to help strangers in the search for their goal. We shared lunch with delicious vegetables from their farm, chicken for soup and fresh eggs. They made room for us to spend the night. Mr. Amaru and his family showed us how the coffee harvesting and processing was done, without losing their patience with us.
We followed the recommendation of Mr. Amaru: go to the area known as “El Corazón” where some producers had already begun to harvest. It was an emotional farewell: Mr. Amaru’s family had welcomed us so generously - as if we were members of his own family.
I was sitting in an almost empty room, which had chairs that would soon be occupied by members and producers of the area of “El Corazón”. I must confess, I was a bit scared and I do not know why. Suddenly, the distance from home, seeing so many strangers around me, the lack of technology…it all was a bit too much. There we discussed about our need to find some good beans, which we would use to participate in the barista competition. I noticed that they were a bit suspicious, but one of the producers prevailed and ran to his house to bring us some of their harvested beans. He offered to take us to his farm to show us his harvest.
Don Luis Chingel arrived with transportation. We immediately boarded the truck and we headed towards the farm. The terrain was rugged and the "road" was very steep. At one point we had to get out of our truck and walk. I felt my heart leap from my mouth many a time. After knowing the area, which was beautiful, and talking with Don Luis, we returned to the square of” El Corazón" where Luis Chingel gave us some kilos of his green coffee beans for us to test. Now, we were ready to return to the capital.
Returning to Lima, I remembered all the generous people who had helped us along our journey: Mr. Amaru and his family, Don Luis Chingel, the people of "El Corazón". They all acted in an unselfish manner, so detached, it made me reflect upon how we act with our neighbors. We should learn from these beautiful people and take example of their effortless generosity ... being generous, after all, is an act of love.
No person was ever remembered for what she received: she will be remembered for what she gave - by Ines Ciza
In July 2013, Burundian women in coffee received a donation composed of 60 goats from an American organization called “Burundi Friends International”. Goats may seem like a strange gift, but for these Burundian women they were not just “goats”: they were a means to fertilize their coffee trees, have healthier coffee cherries and get more involved in their plantations.
As Burundi has its traditional culture to help and love each other; even Burundian women grew up with that culture. When those Burundian women in coffee from Busiga (Ngozi province) and Mparamirundi (Kayanza province) received those goats, they made an agreement in front of all the other women in coffee that didn’t get a goat.
The promise was that when it was time for those goats to give birth, they would give the kids from those goats to those women in coffee who initially didn’t get one. These Burundian women in coffee shared their donation so that other women in coffee had the chance to have the same benefits for their coffee plantations.
In September 2014, I went back to those regions with the delegation from Burundi Friends International and the President of IWCA Burundi chapter (Mme Isabelle Sinamenye) to see with my own eyes how those women in the coffee industry did indeed accomplish this promise. These Burundian women in coffee are generous and have the spirit of sharing with others. It is their real generosity toward the future that lies in giving all to the present.