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News

It’s a major event in the life of a Ugandan village when they get a new borehole. It means so much to their health, lifestyle and success as a village. However, that is not the end of the story. Africa is littered with broken boreholes–by some estimates more than half of the boreholes are unusable. Half–this represents $360,000,000 of investment in fresh clean water which is now wasted. This represents millions of people who had health and hope and now have lost that health and hope.

Our approach has been to work with the local water authority and the village elders. We help them set up a water committee to be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the borehole they are receiving. Our manager makes it clear that the borehole belongs to them and they are responsible for keeping it operational. At this time, after more than 10 years and more than 100 boreholes, there is one which is not working and it was not a successful borehole from the very beginning. We went back, solved the difficulties of a dry and rocky place and drilled another one for them.

Drilling at Kirasa - Good Well

Partner with us to help create new solutions and new fresh water sources. Partner with us to give the gift of health and hope.

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What day is it?

I receive a calendar that lists every national “day” throughout the year. As I write this on Thursday, May 4th, it is National Hoagie Day. I do not know who designates these selections, but it seems like everyone and everything has its special day. Some do not make sense to me, like May 30th being National Mint Julep Day when the Kentucky Derby is the first Saturday in May and that is when Mint Juleps are most likely to be consumed. Or the National Eat What you Want Day on May 11th. If you are doing the cooking, I think that would be every day.

What does this have to do with our coffee farm? Well, I think everyday should be National Coffee with Compassion Day. Why should consuming coffee that gives back to others only be the focus one day a year on National Coffee Day (September 29th)? Why not make your consumption of coffee be a difference-maker in the lives of thousands every day?

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Earth Day

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The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970–almost 50 years ago. I think we take it for granted today and we ignore the effects of our everyday decisions on this fragile planet. Life is a gift; we didn’t do anything to earn it or deserve it. With the gift comes responsibility–good stewardship of the life we’ve been given, the resources we have available, and the planet where we live.

Ugandan Gold Coffee takes that responsibility seriously and when you choose our coffee, you are partnering with us in that responsibility. We appreciate your partnership and, in honor of Earth Day, our regular roast coffee, ground and whole bean, is on sale now through April 25th. Click here to get your coffee now: Buy Online

Grateful for Winter

When I was growing up in Massachusetts, the winter was always cold and the ground snow-covered. March would eventually come, still snow-covered and cold, but there would be a day or two toward the end of March and the beginning of April where there was a hint of springtime in the air. My dad drove a small Fiat Biachina which had a sun roof and on these days, he would open that roof, find a puddle to drive through and sing at the top of his lungs, “Welcome sweet Springtime, we greet thee in song, Murmurs of gladness fall on the ear..” There was a sense of excitement on those days–was Spring finally here? Would the puddle be deep enough to get us wet? Would we have a sunny Easter or a snowy one? Would there be any flowers to enjoy? When would it finally be warm enough to go without a coat?

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It was still cold, of course, but the promise and the hope of warmer days to come was in the air.

Sunshine, cheery and warm, is more appreciated after the long, cold, gray days of winter.  The colder and longer the winter, the greater the gratefulness when spring finally arrives. Can I truly be grateful for something until I have lost it for awhile? So, this year, I am grateful for the winter we’ve had, and grateful for the renewal of springtime which brings flowers, baby lambs, the hope of Easter and the promise of new life for each of us.

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DPC

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During our recent visit to Uganda, we spent one day at a Displaced Persons Camp, a DPC.   These people were part of a tribe which had been removed from land they had lived on which was due to be developed. As they didn’t own the land, they have been removed to a site nearby. The case has been in the courts for 3 years and is still undecided. And they wait patiently. We went to help The Open Door ministry group which visits once a month and treats the children for various problems like ringworm and jiggers. It was a sad and sobering day for most of us. The reality of our extremely comfortable homes here in the USA contrasted harshly with the living conditions of these people who are simply caught between a rock and a hard place. The ability to visit a doctor, hospital or clinic which is easily available to most of us is almost nonexistent there. There are millions of people around the world in DPCs–38 million in 2016 (http://www.internal-displacement.org/about-us/).

DPC6_cropped    woman at DPC

Before you go to sleep in your (probably) comfortable bed tonight, think of what you can do to make this world a little better for those less fortunate.

We conduct medical clinics at the Ugandan Gold Coffee farm for the workers and their families. Perhaps you can help us with the next one. Simply donate here: Donate

Every time you buy a bag of Ugandan Gold Coffee, you help the people who have a job on the coffee farm, enabling them to take care of their families in a way that would not be possible otherwise. Thank you!

 

Dancing and Celebrating

Do you ever get the feeling that you just don’t know how to celebrate well? Do you wonder what you’re missing out on? Watching some of the workers dance at a recent coffee farm celebration made me acutely aware that celebration is something I do poorly if I do it at all.

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Taking time out of the routine to celebrate the good things in our lives will help us cope when the bad things come. Dancing–psychically moving–to celebrate does more than increase your energy. It can increase your ability to handle setbacks and can enhance an optimistic outlook on life. Look for things to celebrate and then get out of your chair and dance!

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/imperfect-spirituality/201512/why-you-should-celebrate-everything

 

Be mindful..

Just for today, since it’s World Water Day, take a little extra care on how you use this precious, life-giving resource.

Simple ways to conserve include turning off the water while you brush your teeth, wash your hands or wash your hair. Take short showers instead of a bath.

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Do not run the dishwasher unless it’s full and if you hand wash your dishes, do not keep the water running while you rinse.

When washing clothes, do only full loads and make sure to adjust the water level for the amount of clothes in the machine.

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Keep a container of water in the refrigerator for drinking instead of running the faucet until the water’s cold.

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Fix all leaky pipes and toilets–a “running” toilet can waste more than 100 gallons a day! (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/ws/wtrcnsv.html)

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Perhaps, after doing this for just one day, because it’s World Water Day, you will be encouraged to do it everyday. You can be an example to your family and friends on the simplicity of conserving this valuable resource which we so often take for granted.

World Water Day-March 22

At least 1.8 billion people on our planet are getting their water from contaminated sources. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs391/en/)

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Almost 3.4 million people die each year from water-related diseases. (http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/takingcharge.html)

The average American uses 80- 100 gallons a day. 80 gallons would weigh about 667 pounds–can you imagine if you had to walk, pump and carry that much water each day? That chore would take 16-five gallon jerry cans to provide water for just one person. If you could carry two jerry cans at a time (84 pounds!), it would take 8 trips to the pump. If you had to walk a mile each way and stand in line to wait your turn, it could easily take you 45 minutes per trip which would consume 6 hours each and every day to provide the amount of water just one person in the United States uses.  (https://water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-home-percapita.html)

On March 22, do something about it. If you drink Ugandan Gold Coffee, you are partnering with us to do something about the water crisis. To get more involved, have a cup of Ugandan Gold Coffee and think, dream and plan about what you could do. Better yet, share some Ugandan Gold Coffee with your friends, families and neighbors and talk about what you could do as a group. Challenge each other to make a difference in this very real crisis for so many with whom we share this beautiful planet.

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Are You Thirsty?

When was the last time you were really thirsty? I don’t mean the feeling you have after a work-out or yard work in the sun. I mean the thirst you feel when it has been way too long since you had a gulp of cool, clean water, when your tongue feels like it’s swollen and stuck to your teeth, when all you can think of is the sweet sensation of crystal, cool water relieving your distress. Have you ever felt that way?

Millions of children feel that way every day–and the only relief they will get will be an unsatisfying, small cup of unclean water, carried for miles from the local watering hole which is used by both people and animals for their daily needs.

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On our last trip to Uganda, despite many bottles of water and careful efforts to stay hydrated, I felt that way. The hot, dry day, baking under the unmerciful equatorial sun, had depleted me. Trudging up a long steep hill, I desired nothing more than cool water, yet I was in a place where that resource we take for granted was just not available. I felt that awful thirst which only lasted a relatively short time before I was able to obtain the water I needed. Yet I won’t forget that feeling and it breaks my heart that millions of children rarely get relief from their thirst. I hope it breaks your heart as well–so much so that you do something about it. Partner with us to provide that necessary water to children and their families in Uganda.  Click on this link to donate now: http://www.ugandangold.com/

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Thank you!

We’re back home..

Traveling half-way around the world is not to be viewed lightly. It takes time, effort and energy. The rewards from traveling half-way around the world, however, make the time, effort and energy well worthwhile. I was privileged to visit the Wambabya coffee farm and be part of Jessca’s celebration. I know that the workers on the coffee farm are hard-working and dedicated to growing great coffee. I learned that our coffee workers are also caring, energetic and lots of fun.

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The CEED business manager, Herbert Asiimwe, planned a terrific party to celebrate Jessca’s 17 years of work with the Ugandan Gold Coffee farm as the farm manager. There was music (with a DJ!), a fantastic lunch, singing and dancing and a few speeches that were testimony to Jessca’s hard work and devotion.

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I also got my first taste of obushera–a local drink made with millet and many other ingredients. Jessca’s obushera is famous.

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Traveling half-way around the world is arduous and time-consuming, yet the people we meet and the time we spend with them will be remembered for a lifetime.