Milagro y Guayaquil
August 26, 2011
little sleep but with taste, are at 6 feet, quick shower and go to the desajuno do not know how to say, but the thing that most makes me uncomfortable is a breakfast badly done, rather do not do, and the hotel Chachari say that they are not exactly tops: 3 brioche buns, 5 filters chamomile (for breakfast!) and 2 boiled eggs ... all for 20 people.
I did not realize how politely and go on the New Malecon to eat a little fresh pineapple just harvested, goodness.
At 11.30 we meet with Silvio and after a quick comida in the comedor near the hotel we go to the center acopio de cacao.
Waiting for 10 farmers who participated in the training course, interested in deepening their knowledge further, the center is far behind, still lack the structural works, and just mounted the dryer and were taken 3 bins for fermentation poorly made, with all joints in iron to the first fermentation have already all rusty.
To expect John Ginatta and technicians Universal's historic factory in Ecuador with whom we discuss the new fermentation technique that we have developed, in fact I have my reservations because until there is no proof of 9 can not be never be certain, however, the job done and important and innovative.
We ask for the opportunity Arias to have other pods to open in 1500 to brew more cocoa in order to have other benchmarks, expect 2 hours and did not arrive as expected nothing ... then a little bitter (and some sull'incazzato) we go back to Babahoyo ... quiet evening where we participate with the alcaldesa KARLA CHAVEZ in the celebrations for the inauguration of the new piece of the malecon.
August 27, 2011
Even today I get up early because I agree with Victor Hugo of Unocace to go and visit one of the best finches that are associated with them.
At 8 I take the bus to Milagro, many advise against me saying that often the buses are attacked especially when they know that on board there are aliens, but contemptuous of it and eager to make a lived experience means I get on and off to Milagro.
I think a bus like this in Italy perhaps maybe it was in good standing in the '50s, regardless of curtains, amulets, loud music all things "criolle" but a bolt of the wheel is not unscrewed not so typical ...
The most of the trip are the sellers of Mani rising during the trip by suggesting water, chocolate, plantain and Mani, a sort of restaurant service (ha ha ha)
Just arrived Miagro the thing that most impresses and see gradissimo Valdez sugar mill and above its atmospheric emissions, it seems to get in a coal-black smoke from all sides and a strong smell of molasses.
Call Don Carlo Gunauer (which is not a priest here ... Don and type a title of respect sir ...)
I ask the manager if I could do a commercial company around within the immense and sugar, although with some difficulty, I can rip a yes.
Inside and more amazing, huge with a large parade ground where they came from sugar cane; speaking with a technician tells me that their system can produce up to 50 tons of refined sugar per day, and that's only because some machines are old, would change if could exceed 200 tonnes.
We understand that, as with Fiat in Turin, this sugar for Milagro is a great source of money for the local people, between people who work in, those who grow cane, etc etc.
After an hour, Victor comes to pick me to go in the experimental finca of Don Vitaliano, an Ecuadorian Italian origin; As you approach the finca, it soon becomes clear that here as well as the business is passion, a plantation clean and tidy, with only national arriba cocoa.
I speak at length with Don Vitaliano, which tells me a lot about how it works in his finca, the most is interesting that the collection does not use the machete; it amazes me and deepen, because could lead to illness the plant and contaminate it, perhaps even with a sore of Machete, as This long knife use it to do everything, cut pods, but also dry leaves, meat etc etc.
By Don Vitaliano we have fun also to take pictures, he is a failed actor, he knows how to pose and spurs me to photograph it, I promise you that I will publish in Italy a photo.
Meanwhile, Victor prepares me then I'll take that 50 pods in Italy, almost 40 kg of stuff worries me a little ... the weight, because Iberia can bring a maximum of 23 kg, the limit shall leave at the airport.
The finca of Don Vitaliano "Sponsored" by the Japanese Government, just like you This is because the Japanese are buyers of that cocoa through the French firm KAOKA.
Of all the experiences this is perhaps been the most interesting in many years, especially for Don Vitaliano, who promised me that will be to visit me.
I'll be back in Babahoyo because is Monday I have meetings in Guayaquil I decide to take me already there so spend Sunday in a city more interesting.
Let's start with a taxi, because Silvio does not trust the bus (and perhaps also makes good) and during the trip we make a series of crap like children, we take a coconut to drink and start laughing as if in coconut instead of milk there was whiskey, taxi driver looks at us suspiciously ...
The evening step into the sea sponge eating yuca and honey chicken.
August 28, 2011Today
day of rest, however, I get up early for the grand prize of the SPA, the grand prize of the 20th year of Schumacher in Formula One.
Today should be arrived Naomi and in fact I wrote already from 6 am on facebook.
I go out for a stroll on the boardwalk, I want to get a good walk, I take a few things, passport and camera.
I almost 3 km away and I enter in the barrio to see a little how things are there, I would take some pictures of the real life of the people, the faces, the workers, but there recently, after a few meters, down a flight of steps, I am assaulted by a guy who takes me from behind, grab my camera, pull me, beat me, until shouting that the police do not get him flee.
So afraid, a graze to the arm and gasp for at least 3 hours, I'll medicate and I think that in order to defend my camera I risked my life, that I am a fool for 600 Euros machine I almost let the skin .
Return to the hotel and sad with the help of my friends I am looking for a bit to distract me, I had never felt in danger of life, the day before had killed a Paduan and butchered a taxi driver. Although Ecuador is like others a warm place where the thugs run rampant, it always seems that some things happen only to others, but when he touches you ...
The evening step in the company of my Italian friends and I must say that I need a lot, talking about something else I can think of nothing else slowly and distract the attention on the pain that I do not understand if it is physical or psychological.
After dinner, I stopped up at 3am to reflect on the world of chocolate with Silvio, we talk a lot, in the end we estimate and we both know it.
September 29, 2011This morning I returned a little
anxiety, luckily I have a day filled with many meetings, in fact, already early, Fernando calls me to tell me that at 10 I find the pick-up at the hotel which leads me to him.
In time the Swiss mustachito takes me and starts to talk about brothels, loud music, beer crown in hand ... I'm quiet because is a trusted friend Fernando (but do not know if I do well).
The meeting with Fernando wonderful, we talk about business and despite being only the 3rd time we meet, I feel that in some ways we love each other; Fernando has about 55 years, maybe 60, and he sees me in a 2nd generation, the youth sees that he knows he has no more on his side, but when it comes to grit nothing missing.
I love it a friend, a father, and above all an expert in managing large enterprise, a person who in his life has raised a number of important companies.
I am confident, I trust him about my secret doubts on the future that I never even told my wife, it will be the distance, but I trust him.
We have lunch together at an Italian restaurant in Italy that if he would have at least 2 Michelin stars, as soon as we get a photo with the chef Gualtiero Marchesi waiting, Italian TV and a song in support streaming Pausini.
I make one of the best 5 meals of my life, those of my mamy removed, and the coffee Rich ... as they say here, that is, mouth-watering (something that I look well to keep).
On the return trip speaks to me of a project where they would like to involve me in making a company to my brand in Ecuador to produce top quality pralines.
What fascinates me, he just happens to have a meeting tomorrow with his boss and then to oil the best thing I give him the last 6 tablets that I had brought from Italy ... crossing fingers and toes.
Fernando "CONFIO en ti" I am confident that your experience will involve me in a new venture! I think that before we go we meet again.
Return to the hotel, quick shower, I'm going to go out, but they give fast and furious in Spanish ... and who loses.
After 2 hours of pure adrenaline, between Toretto and O'conner, I get dressed and go down tonight Liz important meeting with the secretary of IILA to talk about a project, if it goes through, will change forever the relationship between campesinos South American and Italian chocolatiers and guess what ... I'm a keystone very decisive ... that satisfaction and an occasional pat on the back give me the really.
I go down to dinner with Liz and Naomi, but more what else we talk about work, then finished the whole thing in an atmosphere since October Fest, Liz unbuttons a little and we begin to talk about everything, our families, life professional ... could lead to a beautiful friendship.
August 30, 2011
This morning I met Annie, a sweet girl who makes beautiful cakes and wants me to teach him how to decorate in a more artistic, but first I want to hear via Skype my 3 small home, I miss them a bit.
I'll see you at 9:00 on the waterfront, but as always these Latin Americans have a time zone all over them and in fact after 45 minutes of waiting comes, let's talk a little bit and after asking me if I want to go see his pastry shop, so to give her some advice, it seems to me an excellent idea, I get in the car and go with her; the laboratory is small 20 sq. m just, you a little messed up, but the challenge of this girl convince me; she is industrial economic expert, one that knows his stuff, but in 30 years he decided to put his life at stake to do this he loved, the bakery, I give many tips and she is pinning all, simple things, practices that are trivial for me, but she is self-taught pastry halyard my eyes at every exit.
We have dinner with Joice de Ginatta, a wealthy busybody married to an Italian, a true force of nature, she is was also managing director of the Italian Embassy in Ecuador, some no longer has 20 years, but its intuitiveness and his tenacity make it a credible and interesting, she is was the first in Ecuador to support the exchange rate of currency, in short, not just any one.
After dinner we record some interviews for a local radio broadcasts where John, we ask for a little What is meant this mission, and especially because of Italian chocolate should be of interest to the world of economic cooperation.
The afternoon an afternoon of business, many meetings and dinner with one of them is Fernando.
'll Pick you up at 20:00 and is right on schedule time Fernando and his beautiful wife (of 50 years ... I do not think bad) pass me to take, I'm a little dress informal tiratissimi them, I say now "I desculpa camiseta," which would mean "I'm sorry if I'm dressed as a tramp," I a little salt of tension, especially when we get to the restaurant, an exclusive club with only 200 members (in a city with more than 3 million inhabitants) which affiliate to be able to pay $ 50,000 $ 50,000 ... you got it! And there I like an idiot.
Fernando magic, his every word enchants me, but above all know how to make you feel at ease, even though I was not dressed for the occasion, he and his wife made me feel at ease, we talked, laughed a lot, but mostly we agreed to a bargain, open my first store in Ecuador ... he and I are together! wowwwwwwwww!
August 31, 2011We
the fateful day X, the day that is one year of work, we are inaugurating today the center of acopio Babahoyo, in fact it is an opening lame because not all works are still not ready, but will be soon, later this year.
Let's start with a little late, fearing the news of truckers' strike heard on the radio, here if you're lucky you put sideways and close the road if you go wrong ... best not to think about it.
We arrive dall'alcaldesa Karla Chavez, lovely, beautiful and intelligent, a woman closer to the people who wants to do in his term of Babahoyo one of the symbol of Ecuador, we speak at length on the progress of the center and she is pinning all, Live call the supervisor to ask for explanations, is an erupting volcano.
His speech unlocks many things, people under his command rolls up his hands and begins to work, in addition to being smart and beautiful understand that he also attributes.
We arrive at the center and is already everything ready for the opening, the opening ceremonies live here always great, here is a social success to do something new.
Took the floor to the representative of the campesinos who, moved by the work that we have achieved, we would like to thank; immediately after they give me the word and I, too, a little excited, I explain to them why This project is so importantly, what it means for us chocolatiers have a direct relationship with the manufacturer, what it means to work on the quality cocoa to get a quality chocolate, my speech is a riot of applause, especially when I tell them that if they will do the right thing done, then we will give you a benefit on the purchase, which is a bonus as a percentage of the purchase price to thank them for their work.
Talk to Silvio and Liz, but the real star here is again alcaldesa Karla, she really has something more, that not even I am Spanish and I do not understand everything who says I am moved, I can not hold back the emotion in his words heard, words of hope, words of love, this is the mayor that we would all like.
Finished the whole thing, while people clinging on the buffet, Liz and I speak with Unocace, the association of the second level which will working in the center for the first period, until the campesinos babahoyensi will not be able to make do.
We return in the evening and the leisurely pace, I eat very little because morrow I expect a trip to Quito, capital of Ecuador at 2800 meters famous precisely because when you climb up there the first day is from the devastating pain in the legs, the pressure to the head, a sense of heaviness, nausea.
September 1, 2011
Date with Naomi and Liz eaten at 6:30 am, I am, Naomi as well ... but there is always someone.
We're late to catch the plane to Quito and Naomi who panics, calls 20 times a taxi driver to hurry, actually even I like to get to the last, makes me anxious.
Very turbulent flight between the Andean mountains, just off immediately we drink a coca tea, if you do not know what it is, is an infusion of coca leaves, coca is just that ... I explain that coca is not cocaine and that in many states it is allowed.
This infusion that should help in metabolizing the height, but is not it's a lot, in fact all the symptoms you propose as soon as we leave the airport.
We're going to meet with representatives of local dell'iica, in particular here the director is a Venezuelan agronomist who understands the great cocoa, so that we stop talking about assembly barlovento, Chuao, etc etc, our other stakeholders some is impatient because with him in reality we need to talk about a big project financed by CAF funds, a project by more than EUR 1 million that would see me engaged with the whole Finish to 3-4 years in 4 centers develop Acopio up de cocoa aroma in the Andean countries of Peru , Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia ... an experience that I would not let me get away.
The meeting goes well, but still better than going to the embassy where the manager welcomed us with open arms proving to be very willing to help in whatever which concerns the cocoa! Among other things, he is a big fan and knowing this, I could only bring 2 of my most tablets of success, Porcelana and arriba, just made with cocoa in the region of Esmeralda in the north of Ecuador.
The evening and the day after the passage around Quito, a little licking the wounds of the attack, some glad not to have given up going home, encounters more I made them interesting as always when I was not expecting to get them and I can safely say that this is mission was the most successful among the many now done.
Back in Italy, happy because many weeks and I will not pass here again among close friends and distant memories.
Translated with Google Translate