The New York Times offers an account of international projects that are making an effort to reach out to coffee growers in Rwanda, as well as a view to how growers are launching their own bootstrap initiatives. A critical part of these projects: sharing the rewards among the workers.

“Lifting a battered tablespoon to her lips, Emerthe Mukabavugirije slurps powerfully, pulling every drop of coffee into her mouth. After swishing the beverage in her mouth a few seconds, she spits into a small plastic cup and picks up her pencil to make notes on a clipboard.

“This coffee is spicy and nutty,” the 20-year-old Rwandan coffee farmer and newly trained gourmet says, seamlessly mixing the English words “spicy” and “nutty” with her native Kinyarwanda.”

It all sounds entirely normal… enough so that it’s hard to fathom the horrors that took place in Rwanda only ten years ago. It’s particularly poignant that this growing sense of hope and normalcy should manifest even as the spectre of genocide again looms in Africa � this time in Darfur.

Green Mountain’s own Lindsey Bolger recently returned from a trip to Rwanda, where she took part in just such an educational outreach program for coffee producers. I hope to be able to offer a trip report here soon.

More: coffee | rwanda | project pearl

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