Hello and good day!
My brother Brian is out in campo getting ready for our next harvest season as I write this.
Brian moved to the United States with his family about three years ago after living in Peru for 15 straight years, and working and living out in the jungle with cacao farmers for over a decade.
We have a great team in Peru, run by our wonderful operations manager Oscar Ayala. But Brian goes back frequently to make sure that everything is in order and that our team is living up to the high standards that he established and that we continue to require.
I talked to Brian on the phone to see how everything is looking. He said that everything looks great. Brian is staying on the farm of our friend and business partner Noe Vasquez.
Brian is the Godfather to a couple of Noe's kids and their friendship transcends business.
Noe has an extraordinarily beautiful farm. There is of course a lot of cacao. He has a big trout pond. There are groves of fruit trees everywhere you look. Animals such as dogs, cats, turkeys, ducks, chicken, geese, cattle, pigs, and many more roam around freely all over the place. Noe has bee hives for honey throughout his property.
The women of the house are tremendous cooks and very gracious hostesses. It is a magical place, and Noe has always expressed his love of country life and he embraces it. You feel that when you are on his farm.
Brian mentioned that it rained hard last night. It was a full blown storm with thunder and lightening. Brian could hear the downpour clanging against Noe's tin roof. Tin roofs are the norm out in campo. They are easy and affordable to install and replace. Hard rain is mostly a harmless curiosity for our operation during the off season.
But during the harvest, when you hear hard rain like that at night, you know the next day is going to be torture, because the dirt roads out to cacao farms will be absolutely washed out. Yet, our team has no other choice but to brave it out to the farms and keep the operation going.
Meanwhile, it is starting to rain hard here in the pacific northwest. We had an extended summer, with sun and heat continuing on into late October. I don't have any plans to let up my promotional work, even though it is going to be cold and wet.
I spend 2 - 4 hours a day walking around talking to people locally, spreading the word about our shops here in Issaquah.Last Friday, I put on my giant cacao pod costume and walked around in front of our store.
It was raining pretty good and I accidentally stepped in a puddle and got my socks and feet wet. I recently bought a nice, big, new umbrella and I bet you haven't see anything as peculiar lately as a 6'4", fully grown adult male, in a giant cacao pod costume walking around under a big old umbrella.
Standing there with soaked socks, in a costume, in the rain, talking to strangers about chocolate, got me thinking that my life has not turned out as I expected.It has turned out much better than I could have ever hoped for.
Pretty much every Friday afternoon, I get to do something fun that makes people smile and laugh.What could be better?
Getting back on the topic of rain. Folks here in the Seattle area were happy to see the rain because wild fires have been wreaking havoc on our air quality.
We've been breathing in ash for several weeks. We've had the worst air quality in the entire world a few days over the last couple of weeks. Nothing could put out the fires, except for rain.
Isn't it interesting how powerful the elements are?
It is a common theme for me, but I can't help but reconsider it. Yes, it is nice that we can bounce digits off of satellites and that we have contraptions that can put those digits back together for us real fast in the form of images and audio.
But technology still hasn't solved the most primordial problems that have been plaguing mankind since the beginning of our history.A couple such problems are fire and rain.
A couple more are spirituality and purpose. And why not throw out the fact that we all age and die eventually. I'm not trying to be bleak here. Far from it.
What I'd like to point out is that human nature and life on earth are still very much what they always have been.The fundamentals still apply. The same stuff as always will make us feel happy and satisfied.
Fighting through the challenges that life and nature inevitably throw our way. This stuff isn't going away.There are no technology solutions for these things and there never will be. Unfortunately, technology makes us think sometimes that the rules of the game have changed.
And that is why when you hear rain plunking down on your roof, you ought to be willing to go out in it and get wet, and probably dirty.
The work still needs to be done.Sitting inside watching videos on a device isn't a viable solution for most things.Anyhow, thanks for letting me bend your ear for a moment today.
We are on track to put up another new product this week.It is a very delicious product that we are super proud of.
We are going to keep moving forward with our plans to make our online shop mimic our physical locations now that the weather is cooling down.
Thanks again for your time. Go out and get wet!
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!