by David Pohl
I just returned from a wonderful trip to Finca Sofia, Equator's fledgling coffee farm in Panama. This trip was focused on three aspects of the farm: worker housing, getting Angelica, a girl on a farm with a deformed leg, on a plane to the US for surgery, and checking on the status of our coffee trees.
We now have a site cleared and leveled, ready an waiting for construction to being. Materials are being ordered this week for the foundation, and we'll take it from there. The estimated time of completion is 6 months from now, a long time we feel, but things happen at their own pace in the remote section of Panama where we find our farm. Angelica, the little girl who we have connected with Shriners hospital finally received a surgery date, so by chance Susan and I were involved in the logistics of getting her to Panama City with her mom to catch a flight to Tampa Florida. Angelica had her surgery Tuesday and will be fitted with a prosthetic limb, allowing here to play and go to school, things she has not been able to do for much of her life. Finally we walked the farm with agronomist Edgardo Miranda, seeing great progress all over the place, including even a smattering of geisha flowers. This very exciting development came a year earlier than we expected and is a positive sign that we'll have a little coffee to sample next year!
I'll be spending a month on Finca Sofia this summer, learning more about how a farm operates, seeing the worker housing to completion (we hope) and checking on Angelica's recovery.