Rwanda…Coffee Working Together

Sibomana paddles his coffee cherries to the Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee washing station.

Leaving his island coffee farm, Sibomana dipped his hand-carved wooden paddle into the waters of Lake Kivu as the sun hurried toward the horizon behind the blue and misty mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda’s neighbor to the west.

To preserve the maximum flavor and quality of the coffee cherries that weighed down his canoe, he paddled as fast as he could to the new coffee washing station more than a mile away on the mainland. His strokes were strong and sure.

With more than 50 years experience in the coffee trade, sometimes he was paid well, sometimes not and sometimes not at all. This time, he was hoping for a different experience at the new Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee station. Its good reputation among Rwandan coffee farmers had caught his attention and drew him there.

Sibomana, 65, expressed his hopefulness for the future. “I’m excited to work with Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee to achieve my dreams for my family.” Those dreams include purchasing a cow so that he can use the manure as fertilizer for his coffee trees. That will ensure organically grown fruit. “Working together…our coffee farms will look different next year.”

All photos and text ©Copyright Gary S. Chapman 2017

Sibomana holds some of his first coffee cherries of the season.

Sibomana unloads the coffee cherries from his canoe.

Sibomana is paid for his coffee cherries.

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