Ecuador and Colombia Neiva
November 20, 2011
Once the journey is part of the day before, a Sunday misty Emilia Romagna, cold wet tired but my heart full of satisfaction, in fact there Bologna had just finished a week of great success: the eighth world record with the tablet more largest in the world, a beast from 30 square meters, which we then sold to raise money to give to flood victims in Liguria. The emotion is satisfactory was undoubtedly the award winning Choccoshow Awards for the best praline cremino classic, which is placed right in front of one of the brothers Gardini winners of last year.
After the show, me, Stephen, Peter and Sergio load the van and we move to Bologna airport from where my mission. We eat a sandwich from Burgher King (the first time for me) and will be hunger, will be fatigue, will be the cold that has flattened all my sensory receptors, but I like as well!
November 21, 2011
At 23.00 we are at the airport, we are 5 minutes together and then they take the van and they run back to Belluno, while I knew that before I can expect a long night, because My flight leaves at 7 o'clock the next morning. (I do not think the case to get a hotel to sleep for four hours, then I'd rather stravaccarmi a bit at the airport, partly because so I can start really tired and sleep better during the flight).
The night is more than expected, the chair is tough and does not let you lie down ... I feel a little a bum, just missing the cardboard. Finally at the smell of the first 4 briochies! I went down, I take one apple (my favorite) and I contain myself ... I would eat 7 more! I do not know how, but I am very tired when I need to eat sugar.
The flight is about to leave, before me Tomaki (unless I misread) a polite Japanese girl all dressed in Ducati red that's definitely a technician from Bologna airport is 5 minutes. I try to ask him a little Rossi, but I see that it does not really feel like talking, we only say that it is 3 weeks does not see it and they're doing a great job for next year already ... so ... it had to be this year ... but ...
The flight, an Iberia Regional, small plane, zero service, but so is a small flight time of 2 hours until Madrid.
At 9.30 are in Madrid, Bahrajas airport, one of the airports with the best layout, easy intuitive and fast to turn the airport although it is perhaps more largest in Europe.
The flight to Guayaquil late and a French start to get annoyed. Call the police, but he does not seem to not care at all, pronounce sentences fast from what I can only understand a few words " ta mere .... " or what " merde " let's not just the praise.
Let's go! 11 hour flight ... long! I sleep, I toss and turn and sleep, the technique "the most tiring possible " it worked.
Arrival in Guayaquil without yet knowing exactly where to sleep and if they come to get me, but luckily there is the exit dell'aeroporo Linda: a girl with a smile Durbans 50 teeth (could not have 32 like everyone ... really!). It brings me to the hotel: a decent 4 star, away from the malecon and the nightlife, but for tonight's better this way, I can only take a shower and collapse into bed.
Indeed is a bluf after just two hours on skype with Barbara are to define the work of the guys in the lab ... that sucks ...
November 22, 2011The morning express breakfast and departure to Guayaquil with Campoverde, fetch $ 100 and I realize that with the current exchange rate of the euro are not many, we go to visit Unocace who is preparing the next container that will start Fine Chocolate for between 1 week.
Unocace is association of the second level of farmers who currently works mainly with France, but that in less than 1 month will management in the center of Acopio Babahoyo, that realizate also thanks to our contribution.
I'm a little boy receives a "Gordito" and I understand now that does not understand a lot of cocoa, but unfortunately today is Freddy Quito for work. It does not matter, so I just have to see the cocoa that we have prepared. It seems nice, well fermented, it has all the channels open, the light brown color, the smell good and ask him if there is still time to put on the bag the name of Fine Chocolate (it is customary to put the bag on the buyer's name printed it does not do anything in fact but "it's cool").
We're leaving, but not before he had asked of the samples that I'll watch calmly at the hotel, across the street and I see a large number of farmers engaged in harvesting tobacco: a wonderful thing, that I had never seen before! We approach the car and ask if we can have a leaf, Mr. Eduardo, this is the name of the campesinos, gave me a bundle of tobacco leaves ... will be 50 ... I'm embarrassed, I give him $ 10 for the kindness knowing that I may have to leave the tobacco at the airport ... I do not think they will pass ...
We continue to Babahoyo talking about music and listening to new songs from Don Omar and arrived at the hotel Chachari Campoverde usually goes away. Are destroyed, the time is time is fraying and I go to sleep, but a jackhammer starts after a 5-minute break "......", so I go for a ride through the streets of Babahoyo, I take fruit and a coke, I go back to the hotel, eat something and I fall asleep.
November 23, 2011
The time is still the whims, at 3 am I'm awake like a cricket, watching movies in Spanish, I put a little on the Internet and look back at the center of Acopio we visited yesterday. Oh yeah! Did not I tell: while we were coming to Babahoyo we stopped to see the status of the work of the Centre de Acopio and with great disappointment we found that with the work I'm really back this morning to say that the encounter with the ' I'll Alcaldesa reiterate the utmost importance in proceeding shipped. Today is a full day, in addition to this meeting in the afternoon, I have to go visit an association of Campesinos de Vinces, a historic place with trees more old of all Ecuador.
Look for 3 hours in the hotel lobby and I do not know why Luis is not came to pick me up. A little annoys me, especially because I was not even warned, never mind (or rather unwell ...) I do a little tour of Babahoyo and I wait Gerard. He is sales manager dell'APOV, association of small producers of organic cocoa Vinces.
At 13 we already street toward the center of Acopio and with him is another man, that Fernando, who is working to set up an association similar to 'Apov in Doubleperipa. The trip is a hoot, they are nice and we talk about everything except the cocoa.
We arrive at the center: a stable all'Apov given in concession by the university de Guayaquil. Is not bad, has a nice car to classify seeds and are working to make a new ladyship. What puzzles me is the fermenazione which seems very approximate, they say they are doing studies with the INIAP right about this.
We're little, time to see a little bit the structure and now we move to Pepa de Oro, un'azieda truly magnificent and already the entrance with his big black gate inspires much respect. Once inside immediately tell me not to take pictures, because to Pepa de Oro there are important secrets. There are machines to switch from cocoa to chocolate and the owner does not want you to know how it is their establishment. I try to explain that they are not a competitor, and I've seen a few hundred plants (I myself have one very efficient) but to no avail. It seems to be at NASA, just missing that I do the body scanner.
We enter, and in fact is a nice little factory of chocolate. I would like to see some pictures of my own to the factory in Italy, as well to let him burn off some ass, but deep down I understand it, here you have what that he is a little as in Italy have technology Ferrero (in fact you do not even get them to Cuneo so easy!).
After the visit we pick the president of Apov Don Julio, a gentleman who looks like dad the saga of television Robinson, same haircut, same dark color of the skin and the same way of doing a little dumb.
Speaking discover, however, that is not stupid, in fact, is was president (rector) university for 20 years, knows the dynamics of cocoa and a capesinos convinced, even if in fact is an engineer agronomist.
Sometimes in these moments I think it's really true that people who really know are the most humble.
Returning to Guayaquil, let's talk a little bit politics and Berlusconi and here as well as around the world, just to name people will opens a smile that never ends.
In the hotel, I follow a little the trend of the stock exchanges and the spread. I really do not understand how we ordinary people have to think and worry about spreads, btp, bunds and all these things.
The evening collapse, yet this zone did not go down ... but maybe not the time ...
November 24, 2011
The next morning I looked in the mirror I look like a smurf, pufcioccolatino are blue in the whole body, to tell the truth already before leaving I noticed that, I try to remember what my mother told me when I was little ... Clementina blue ... blue ... it could be iron deficiency anemia ...?
At 8 is coming to get David to return to Babahoyo (since yesterday's meeting was skipped try again) I ask him if you can stop at a drugstore, later I take the iron tablets, a "caja de pastillas de hierro", 30 dolares caballeros, fuck with $ 30 take 10 galvanized iron girders is more than 30 tablets, at least we hope to count for something.
Dosage one day, my then 3 to go see.
We Babahoyo in time, partly because in place of David campoverde I seem to be opposite David Cultard. We get in the hall and we do call Luis.
Let's talk a little bit and then ask him what time to arrive the Alcaldesa, he deviates a little the speech and ask him again after half an hour. I see that Luis phone speaking in a low voice and then tells me that it is Alcaldesa felt sick and so it is at home.
That sucks, make a phone call 10 minutes with the lady where I try to spegargli the importance of the work of the Centre de Acopio resume and go forward shipped. Here in Italy we have invested heavily in this garrison and the shareholders want to End the product.
Leaving the secretary speaking with a gentleman says that is Alcaldesa already 2 days missing, well then he could tell me gosh, so I spared this second trip.
We return to almorzar with John that leads me to an Italian restaurant - Equatoriano: I think family is in fact I came here three years ago with Jorghe Felix in one of my first trips to Ecuador.
The list por favor, take a plate of " papas picante " y " noodles with cocoa and nuezes. " Lunch is great, but I remember eating that 3 years ago I took the exact same two things that are very original!
In the afternoon I do a ride to Guayaquil waiting for the evening, David has promised me that I will to see in the Malecon del Salado, a Malecon I have not yet seen and which not even know existed. Beautiful! Better than a lot of normal Malecon I knew. Within two months have installed a fountain from $ 250,000 which makes the games of water and lights ... fantastic!
We walk a little and David tells me a little bit of his life, his three cool and relationship with women; tells me that he was a cop, but that 10 years ago it investigated for fraud and this changed life.
I think I wanted to talk a little bit at the bottom while working as a hairdresser for a wealthy gentleman, while traveling and not always in nice cars yet without anything, I think the affection of the family was not able to replace it.
I am a ex esposa puta eres, loca, tenea 3 otro hombre at the same time, you know right? Well there little to understand, let's say that being close to Christmas could save him well to do the reindeer or deer horns views to be found.
November 25, 2011
Wake up early at 3, now it's off to Colombia, more precisely to Neiva. We have to meet them with the gentlemen dell'Iica an association of North American cooperation intarnazionale. The journey that I have taken is Avianca is quell'Avianca damn that left me walking 3 times out of 3. First flight on time, bell'aereo new and good service, almost can not believe it.
Now let's see the next one is on a Fokker 50, a propeller plane, surely you can not sleep since the noise is deafening.
As it turned Avianca problems = 3 hours late in a small room, smelly and full of people. It looks like a movie Fantozzi, every 10 minutes from 10 minutes to tell us that we leave.
Finally at 14.00 we are in flight, so I did not remember the Colombia beautiful, so green; from the small plane I feel a little as an Indiana Jhons that is going to a distant land and inaccessible. Colombia is concentrated residential areas, while the rest is green without even a home.
Small to Neiva airport greets me Don Pedro, the head of the cultivation department (region) dell'Houila. In this region is said to have arrived cocoa which then took root throughout Colombia, is in fact, after the second regional production with Santander.
They take me to a meeting with the regional secretary, a project manager with cocoa Andean dell'Iica, with the head of the local campesinos and with some sort of chocolate or something that produces chocolate de Mesa.
Yes, because I did not say, Colombia chocolate that is consumed is in the form of a bar that melts into the milk to make us a chocolate cup, almost like you do not know the chocolate in Europe; also the consumption of cocoa interior is so strong that practically export less than 3%.
The meeting very interesting, I'm going down a little hard because as often happens they start from the concept of having a fabulous cocoa etc etc, make me taste something that has nothing fabulous, poorly fermented, full of maggots ... a bit embarrassed, but too strong of my knowledge and tell him what hoping that I do not take it. Much to my surprise frankness leads them to respect me even more and get out of the way of those who do the best cocoa in the world. The meeting ended with them asking me more times: "Mirco por favor ajuda our people!"
These people have impressed me, I do not know why, I spend the evening with them at dinner, and since I'm hard palate, not in the sense of gourmet, but in the sense that in the many trips I made as are the kitchens and how to cook in America Latin eat patacones of plantain, a arepita and fried yuca (a tuber like a potato).
In the evening, before going to the hotel, I enjoy a little the world championship " I have more boobs redone "a parade of women of all ages with axillary asses and breasts comomero. That I do not remember ... in Colombia, women are more men and are always on the hunt, so I'm pretty sure ... strarifatte, but I wonder what fun there is to go to bed with the Michelin Man ... well maybe it is not just like that, there will be some taste ...
November 26, 2011
Wake up early, not because but because the volesi I misread the time. I get out of the hotel and the type looks at me weird, " Don mirco buenas dia que tal? ", I ask him breakfast and embarrassed I said" ustedes eres un hombre temper. " I understand that something is wrong .... is 3.30. Merd!
I no longer want to come back in the room, then I stand in the room for a couple of hour of internet.
Williams comes to pick me up at 7:30 am and begin our tour. It starts from Ribeira, a city close enough to Neiva. We start by visiting what they call the center of Acopio association, in reality is a small warehouse, not more of 30 square meters where members carry the cocoa already dry.
What shocked me a bit, because start to imagine what it means for each farmer to ferment and dry, I start to ask myself questions such as is Pedro port ... if the standard 10 kg and 20 kg Carlos finally gets woman Daisy with 40 kg, put it all in the same bag but this cocoa has 3 totally different processes.
We visit in the center de Abuono of a ladies where I see other problems, marchesine for drying with a layer of cocoa more 20 centimeters, I understand now that the work is to be done huge, but maybe doing a center of Acopio, the only problem could be the rapid solution.
We continue in the finca of Don Fernando, a finca very nice, well kept, where already intevenendo you are in cultivation with the pruning, with targeted actions against Moniglia. Li I learn one important thing I also Reproductive and the pollination of the plant.
And then Don .. Don Camillo and Peppone, from now on I refuse to learn the names!
Visit throughout the day 10 - 15 plantations, I can not remember all the names, better to focus on cocoa.
We eat, as almost always happens to me, I who unfortunately are delicate in eating, I get 3 plates full of things with a strong flavor: the first is fish (I never ate fish if not canned tuna) and I get along with the excuse that the fish gives me a little discomfort during flights and having to take flight tonight .... go with the second hot de gallina or chicken broth with lots of legs and wings .... fuck! Nooooo the only time I ate chicken in my life (and I did it because I had been offered by a friend and I do not know how to say no to me are drained) I was sick 3 days, but I do? ? I can not even say no to this ... I start to drink the broth, a tablespoon, a sip of pineapple juice, a spoon, a sip of pineapple juice. "Mirco dagale, as the pierna" or the paw ... I am looking for the table any sauce that might cover the taste and fortunately I find the guacamole, that is very good so good that for the third dish I tell him that it was so fantastic that I only eat this guacamole.
They look at me like I was crazy, but with some little story about my travels I can somehow divert the attention.
The lady arrives with a plastic cup, a sort of tapperwere, " Mirco takes issue pesacado por el vuelo de comer, traelo en la maleta comelo de mano y en la noche ". Translated: being that I had not eaten fish with the excuse of the flight was giving me a packet to take me and when I got to eat.
I take it, too kind, I know you do not eat it and that in addition will have the problem of where to throw it, but I do a thousand compliments and I take it as if it were a gold nugget.
All settled, we continue the journey. Other plantations, other stories of people, beautiful on the inside, who have a big dream and a great expectation in our trip.
Towards evening we are back in Neiva, we visit a small chocolate factory, I was expecting something better, in fact, very dirty and with a process to review all; sure is already much and are already were good at it.
Thence 5 minutes comes a journalist for another interview. My visit already is was lived with great pathos from all over the city, all are placed at my disposal as I was the messiah. This puts me great responsibility in fact.
We try to make a point on the future work and we say goodbye, or almost ... my flight is late: avianca por favor, I do not know what curse I have with this company, but I swear it the last time I travel with them!
Arrival in Bogota bent. I sleep only 3 hours and already are standing back to the airport and go to Peru.
Translated with Google Translate