Saturday, September 13, 2008

Aunt Katie and the Peach


Following is a poem written by Elaine Sommers Rich about my grandmother, Kathryn Troyer.




My Aunt Katie, on furlough from India

            after six missionary years,

Picked a peach from a tree

            in my father’s orchard,

Its slim leaves gleaming deep green

            in Indiana sunshine.

I see her silhouetted against

            our kitchen window,

Eating the peach,

            thinkingly eating the peach,

The features on her face

            etched on my childhood mind,

For she did not gobble,

            nor simply swallow.

She contemplated the response

            of her taste buds.

She savored.  She let each bite

            take time on her tongue.

At last she said,

            surprising herself,

I think I’d rather have a mango.


Now, more than half a century

            later, I wonder

Does distance sweeten

            Both peaches and mangos?


You can see that my cross-cultural roots go back two generations and I also am very fond of mangos, although I must say I have enjoyed fresh peaches this summer as well.  This also reminds me of something Grandpa Troyer used to say:  “The best place to eat a mango is in the bathtub!”

Friday, September 05, 2008

Amazing Happenings at FACIM

WOW! Something most amazing has happened in Mozambique while we have been away. Every year the country of Mozambique holds a trade convention to showcase national products that are available from Mozambique and invites local and international vendors to demonstrate their products to the public/business community.

Rachel and I went last year and knew it was a place where our virgin coconut oil should be on display. We had tried last year, but ran into many roadblocks such that we decided to postpone it to this year. The biggest challenge was that we could not be there to help set it up and assist in the promotion. Also because we were leaving for two months, the marketing and sales needed to continue while we were gone. A month before we left, we identified a person who had some marketing experience and put her in a position to do whatever needed doing for the time we were gone with oversight from Sam Grottis our boss at WR.

If you know me, you know that I was trying to help get things lined up well in advance for this presentation/convention that runs for a week. If you know Africa, you would probably guess that everything happened last minute and would be different than I envisioned or suggested. I really wondered it anything would happen at all, as even the Friday before plans were changing.

WHAT HAPPENED? Mozambican President Guebuza came to see our product, talked to our people and asked some pointed questions. Former president Chissano also came and received a 100 ml sample. Beyond these, there has been lots of interest, contacts and excitement generated.

For me, the presence of the President was more than amazing. We had been praying but didn’t imagine Guebuza would show up! Hope he doesn’t mind being on our blog!