It’s about more than just resetting the clocks–the time pieces in your home and your biological clock–it’s the official signal that shorter days are upon us and winter is approaching fast.
The country of Uganda spans the equator which means there are 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, no matter what time of year it is. So, while we are preparing to snuggle in and hibernate, the coffee workers on the Ugandan Gold Coffee farm operate by a different calendar. It’s one that is demarcated by rainy seasons, dry seasons, and harvest seasons with the harvest season now approaching quickly. While we are shivering here in Pittsburgh, slogging through ice and snow, the farm workers in Uganda are toiling under the equatorial sun, reaping the benefits of a year’s work of labor.
Here, most of us are separated from the cycles of sowing and reaping, and we lose our ties to the bountiful earth, finding our sustenance in packaged goods from brightly-lit stores or ordered on-line and delivered by trucks to our doorstep. it takes an effort to remember where your food and drink has originated.
While you are savoring your cup of Ugandan Gold Coffee before stepping out into the cold November day, think of the Ugandan farmer whose labor made that cup possible and be grateful. And, remember to turn your clocks back an hour!!]]>
According to the study, if you are a black coffee drinker, you are straightforward. Latte? A people-pleaser. Cappuccino? You are a creative person. Instant coffee? You wear rose-colored glasses. And espresso? You have a take-charge attitude. (Ibid., pgs. 42-45) Which are you?
None of the traits listed included “giving-back” which is the characteristic that I am most interested in. It’s no secret that our goal is to sell as much coffee as we can so that we can give back as much as possible to the Ugandan communities that are in need. That’s why we developed the coffee farm, are working on improving food production and, perhaps our effort with the most impact, drilling and rehabbing fresh water sources. If you are a Ugandan Gold Coffee drinker, no matter how you take your coffee, you care deeply about giving back to others.
For more information, check out the following blog:
Thank you, Ugandan Gold Coffee drinkers, for participating with us in thousands of new beginnings over the last few years. And, we are just getting started!
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.
Partner with us to help create new solutions and new fresh water sources. Partner with us to give the gift of health and hope.
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?
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]]>
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.
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/).
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!
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!
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.
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.
Keep a container of water in the refrigerator for drinking instead of running the faucet until the water’s cold.
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)
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.]]>