Nothing makes me happier than turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie with all of my friends and family. While I am spending Thanksgiving a little differently this year, it has given me the opportunity to sit back and think of what I am truly thankful for. If there is one thing I have gained a greater appreciation for, it is hands down coffee. While I might love my wifi, washer/dryer, and sun a little more when I return to the states, I will always be grateful for the opportunities that I have gotten to experience here in Costa Rica.
*Side note. Everyone needs to spend one time zip-lining over the canopies of this beautiful country. It will literally take your breath away at the wonders that is nature. I am DEATHLY afraid of heights, but I am already planning a trip to do this again.
I want to share one story with you all that had a huge impact on me so far during my trip here in Costa Rica. It happened on Day 2 with Ken Lander. Ken is a compassionate, hard-working, coffee-loving man that built up what is known today as Thrive Farmers Coffee. After losing literally everything, he worked with a group of people that cared about farmers receiving fair treatment in the coffee industry and begin this business. Now, he ensures farmers are gaining a greater margin in the sales process of coffee so they support their families by serving the world a good cup of coffee. This coffee is something that I have already had a relationship with because I serve it to members of Athens every day at Chick-fil-A. There are no words to describe the experience you have when you meet farmers that have slaved over making that cup of coffee you enjoy on your way to work or during your afternoon study sessions. The marketing tactics behind this company aren’t just tactics; they represent the true value of Thrive Framers. Each story you read on your coffee sleeve is real, and everything the company does in conjunction with corporations like Chick-fil-A are always putting the farmer first. It is an extremely humbling experience to be in the presence of such selfless people, and it is something I now strive to be better at. I knew I would be learning about coffee and sustainability, but never would I have thought I would have learned that I can too make a difference in society by having the same attitude of serving others as Ken does with his farmers.
This trip has been an eye-opening experience in so many ways, and I am looking forward to heading into the end of our trip to see what else I will do and learn!