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A Long Time To Rebuild

A Long Time To Rebuild



Hello and good day!

When a cacao farmer decides that they would like to join our project and start selling cacao to us, they can go to our clone garden.

Please take a look at the picture above.

My brother Brian and our business partner Noe Vasquez are discussing clones.

We've cloned a particular tree many thousands of times.

We call that tree the Mother Tree.

To this day, fifteen years after we did the testing, the Mother Tree from the farm of Don Fortunato Colala, the fellow who our company is named after, remains the purest genetic expression of pure Nacional cacao on record.

That is unlikely to change, given that the Mother Tree is 99.99% pure.

The USDA has continued to do genetic testing all over the world, and we are privy to the results because the head of the lab, Dr. Lyndel Meinhardt, is still our friend, and we stay in touch with him.

Actually, it is my dad who mostly talks to Lyndel.

My dad is from Indiana and Lyndel is from Missouri.

They are a couple of good old long talking Midwestern boys who end up in hour long conversations every time they talk.

But I digress.

Here is the point that I would like to make.

Many of the cacao farmers who join our project have to cut down industrial hybrid trees they've planted in order to replace them with Mother Tree clones from our clone garden.

This reverses a prior decision, which was to cut down native trees and pull them out by the roots, in order to farm high yield hybrids.

Every time they have to cut down a tree and pull it up in order to replant, they are making a difficult and lopsided decision.

This is what I mean by lopsided.

To remove a tree takes an hour.

It takes two or three years for a new tree to grow to maturity.

One hour to tear down.

Two or three years to build back up.

Did you ever watch a video of an old building being exploded with dynamite?

Somebody pushes a button, and the entire structure implodes.

A huge cloud of dust rises up as the once proud building crashes into a pile of rubble.

How long did it take to build that building?

How long did it serve its purpose?

And how long did it take to wipe it out?

This is the nature of creation and destruction.

Destruction is fast.

Building up is slow.

A few months ago, I took my dad and his wife to a really good local museum located about twenty minutes from our house.

It is called the Museum of Flight and I highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in the Seattle area.

It is owned and operated by Boeing, who is one of the big companies around here.

Inside the museum, you can learn about the progression of airplane technology throughout the ages.

They have a World War 1 exhibit where you can see old wood and cloth fighter planes.

In an outdoor hangar they have a refurbished Concord and a big old 787 Dreamliner that you can walk around in.

But here is the thing that I remember most from that trip.

We came across a green Vietnam War helicopter.

Most of the group, me and my wife and my kids and my dad's wife Nancy, we all walked right by it.

My dad paused to stare at it though, and he became lost in his memories.

He stood there, catatonic, just staring and staring.

My dad fought in the Vietnam War.

He served in the navy on the aircraft carrier the Ticonderoga.

Somewhere near the beginning of the war, folks on the ship became aware that Lyndon Johnson had lied the country into war by cooking up the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

But the sailors and pilots on the ship had all signed on to carry out their duty and try to win the war, so they worked their hardest to achieve their assigned missions.

My dad has told me that his own personal mission was to try to take care of his brothers in arms to the best of his ability.

He wanted to see as many of them as possible make it home alive and uninjured.

Unfortunately, he saw a lot of good friends perish in combat.

How long does it take to blow something up, to squeeze a trigger, to eliminate a life?

A second.

How long do people deal with the trauma of losing a friend?

How long does it take to build up emotional scar tissue after seeing so much death and destruction?

A soldier spends a couple of years fighting and then they spend the rest of their life trying to cope with what they've been through.

And after all that, maybe the scar tissue never fully forms.

I'm not trying to get too bleak here.

Here is a much lighter example.

I remember having knock them down drag them out arguments with my dad when I was a teenager.

We'd be yelling and doing all this macho posturing, each of us trying to establish our own desired pecking order.

The arguments got worse and worse until we were both huffing and puffing with furious rage bubbling inside of us.

And then we'd be mad at each other for weeks.

Every time we saw each other, maybe passing in the hallway, a new conflict was sure to erupt.

But the root of the initial argument was always something so dumb.

I didn't want to unload the dishwasher or take out the trash.

It was just the two of us living in that apartment.

There weren't that many dishes.

The outdoor trash cans were 10 seconds away.

Terrible arguments that have a long-lasting detrimental impact on marriages and friendships and work relationships can start over the smallest things.

A conflict arises and pride takes over.

Then people can be at each other's throats for years and years.

It's not a good trade off.

Destruction is fast and easy.

Rebuilding is slow and hard.

It is much better to avoid causing problems in the first place if you can.

This takes a keen eye and constant conscientiousness, because it isn't always easy to discern where you might be unintentionally planting landmines.

I think a good rule of thumb comes from the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, "primum non nocere."

First, do no harm.

About fifteen years ago, I decided that this would be my personal slogan, my calling card.

Somewhere along the line I forgot about it though, and I haven't thought about this saying for many years.

I am going to dust off this philosophy and take it out for another spin.


When I act, I will attempt to avoid destruction of all sorts, knowing that anything knocked down will be hell to put back up again.

Thank you so much for time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!


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