“The Daily Grind” was one of the first story ideas we had for the inaugural edition of Wayfare. After happening upon the Long Miles Coffee Project, we fell in love with the Carlson family. As it turns out, so did our readers. We’ve received hundred of emails asking where to buy Burundi Coffee and tweets of thanks on Twitter for sharing their story. So we thought it would be fun to give you a little more. Here, Kristy shares the spaces she visits to stay healthy, create well, and love lots.
Since moving to Burundi, East Africa, I have a new appreciation for taking time out to stay healthy. I am an introverted soul, and the closeness of Burundi often has me craving some aloneness. Let’s get something straight: By “closeness,” I mean that just when you think you are alone, you are not. We have guards outside our house, staff inside our house, and people outside our property staring and shouting “mzungu!” (white person) every time we set foot out the door. Add to that a film crew following our journey here while we’re learning a new language, raising two boys, and LIVING IN EAST AFRICA, and sometimes I want to run away screaming and pulling my hair out!
We all have challenges in life that are unique to us, but when the going gets tough, this is what helps me: making time to meet with friends who inspire me, revisiting my goals and dreams regularly so that I REMEMBER why I chose this path, exercising (REALLY), finding an uninhabited spot in nature to just “be” (this one’s tough in Burundi), enjoying spontaneous dance parties (YUP), and taking a “discovery drive” to see something great (often with a camera at the ready and kids in the back).
My kids and I love to go on “hunts” for “specimens” in the back garden. We make treasure maps, bring cameras and magnifying glasses, and sometimes wear costumes to make the hunt extra special. We find bugs, rocks, and old bottles. Making new discoveries is an adventure, which means the potential of adventure is everywhere. We live in a city with no shopping malls, movie theaters, or extensive extra circulars. It is up to us to create our own fun. Trying new things, finding new “haunts,” taking drives, and making treasure hunts out of nothing — these are the things that encourage us to be a family of adventurers.
We are not extra-ordinary people with extra-ordinary hearts. For example, when someone is begging at my car window, 90 percent of the time I say no. I am sure anyone’s track record in “window giving” is better than mine. Instead, I want to create the spaces and the environment in which my family gives. We want to help coffee farmers, but we don’t believe that pure aid is the best way. This has led us to creating business models for farming communities that will help sustain farmers and their families for generations to come. We have begun facilitating loans between coffee communities and people who believe in the good that can be done with hope, trust, and some extra cash flow. When we don’t “give,” we simply aren’t happy people.
Share the Places You Heart (#placesweheart).
*Images supplied by Kristy Carlson