Have you ever wondered what would be like to travel the world?
Do you like learning about other cultures?
We’ve all fallen in love with places that we have only seen briefly on TV, but that we can’t get out of our heads. We think about these places constantly and picture them so vividly that we think that we are actually there.
There was once a man who was curious about exploring new places and traveling the world. Throughout his life, he enjoyed chasing eclipses.
He preferred venturing and traveling by himself. Didn’t he think it was dangerous… embarking on such journeys alone? Was he not afraid about not knowing the local language? About getting lost in the middle of the jungle? Most of us would answer yes to these questions, and probably think that this man was just crazy. But this trekker explained that when people travel with a companion, they usually share the same language and therefore they travel in a bubble that prevents them from immersing fully into the culture they are visiting.
Does it make sense to you now? It makes perfect sense, to me at least. In 2009 while traveling in Fiji, this man realized that we was only a two hour flight away from Vanuatu, an island he had once learned about back in 2005 while watching Survivor. So he just went.
Two grandmothers, four children, a goat and a few chickens picked him up and took him to the volcano he had dreamt about so many times.
There was no time to waste, so that same night, he climbed into the volcano to capture the best memories.
Local tribe members invited him to enjoy one of their traditions. Adventurous as a man that has visited 119 countries and spoken over 70 dialects, he couldn’t refuse. That night would change his life forever. The strange potion that he was offered was out of this world, like nothing he had tried before. Next thing he knew he was waking up to tribe members explaining that he had been lost, and that was last found in the middle of the jungle, dancing and singing, alone with an umbrella.
The following morning, he could barely process what had happened the previous evening, his head was pounding in such a way he couldn’t move from where he was sitting. The only thing he could do was pick up a cup of dark coffee that was placed in front of him and drink it to the last drop.
“IT WAS THE BEST COFFEE I HAD EVER TRIED”
Luckily on his way out of Vanuatu, the locals of Tanna Island were celebrating Independence Day and were selling locally made products. He came back to America with three bags of this extraordinary coffee, and an unforgettable story.
On the back of the coffee bags there was an email address. This gave the man hope to purchase an endless lifetime supply of the coffee he had fallen in love with on the island of Tanna. Unfortunately, his email bounced. After a long six months, he emailed again. No luck, the email bounced again. Nine months later, cleaning out his junk drawer he came upon an empty coffee bag.
This time around, he Googled the info, found two entries, emailed both, and was rewarded with a response from one of them. Three weeks later, he was on a flight to Vanuatu, where he met Mike Pole, a New Zealand native, who had helped finance the local co-op program to guarantee the farmers on the island received a fair price for their coffee.
Did you know that Vanuatu islanders are mostly children and older adults? From the age of 18 to 25, young men leave their country in search of jobs to send money home to help their families.
Meet the adventurous man behind this wonderful story.
Jimmy Lappin owner of Vanuatu Coffee Roasters.
For Jimmy, there is no fair trade, only direct trade. This is why Jimmy became part of the Vanuatu coffee co-op and opened a coffee shop in Rhode Island. It’s been 18 months since Vanuatu Coffee Roasters opened in Providence, and although the winter months were responsible for a rough start, today it is growing rapidly and was just awarded “Best Coffee House in Providence” by readers of the local publication, Rhode Island Monthly.
I want to invite YOU to stop by the Vanuatu Coffee Roasters located in Providence on
294 Atwells Ave. Providence, RI 02903
Ask for your GIN card to try the best coffee I have ever had!
Until my next topic…
© 2016 Gloria Isabel Nieto