Thursday, May 18, 2017

Coffee Week 2017

Coffee Week was such a success last year that we are offering it again this August 7-11, 2017 (Monday to Friday). I will meet the class at a designated parking area every morning at 8:30, with a van ready for the day's adventure. There will be some "class" time, but most of it will be in cafes or roasting facilities all over eastern and central Massachusetts.

Much of the itinerary shown on the 2016 map will be followed, but with some important additions in Somerville and Boston, and unfortunately some deletions. Check the draft 2017 map, subject to revision as the course date approaches and cafes/roasteries are confirmed.

The course is GEOG 400-002, available at BSU College of Continuing Studies, which can also provide answers to registration and billing questions.
See photos by 2016 Coffee Week participants on Flickr.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Somethin's Brewin' Book Cafe

My favorite coffee shop of the entire coffee week experience was Somethin's Brewin' Book Cafe located in Lakeville, Massachusetts. The reasons why I choose this coffee shop as my favorite place was because of the atmosphere, the style and design of the building, the waitresses, the shop was welcoming and warming, and of course the coffee and food were delicious. This coffee shop is a great place if you just wanted to relax, read a book, or catch up with some friends while enjoying your favorite kind of coffee beverage. If you are looking for a great coffee shop and or a local book store I recommend Somethin's Brewin' Book Cafe.

Somethin's Brewin' Book Cafe 

Inside Look


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Mandela Fellows

NOTE: This turned out not to be feasible. But I'm leaving the post up, because with this smart group of students, perhaps another idea will arise. And you all should know about the Mandela Fellows anyway!

The original version of our schedule included a vague notion of a service-related project on the final day. I was about to give up on the idea and just fill the day with cafe visits. But a new concept is coming into focus. I'll know more shortly; meanwhile I'll share what I am hoping for. If it falls through, we will figure out something else.

The idea is to serve coffee to our visitors who are participating in the Mandela Washington Fellows program. This is a program sponsored by the U.S. State Department, in which BSU is participating for the first time. 1,000 young professionals from all over Africa are at various U.S. for six weeks of professional development. BSU has 25 of them from 17 countries -- men and women in all kinds of public-sector employment, including diplomats and judges. All are under 35 years old, and they are simply wonderful people. You may have seen them on my Facebook page.

Background:
https://eca.state.gov/programs-initiatives/mandela-washington-fellowship

National Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/MandelaWashingtonFellowship/

BSU Mandela Fellows page:
http://www.bridgew.edu/mandela-washington-fellowship

BSU Mandela Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/YALIBridgewater/

So with all that as background -- here is what I have for an idea. Two of the participants are from Ethiopia, where coffee originated. When I mentioned coffee and Ethiopia during an EarthView presentation, one of them was very pleased and knew the whole story, of course. She offered to help me arrange a study tour to Ethiopia some time. So this gave me the idea of serving coffee from Ethiopia to the entire group.

We can do so in our classroom, which has six tables -- one for each of you to serve the coffee and have a discussion with 4-5 of the visitors. This discussion can include coffee but also give you a chance to ask the visiting Fellows about their home countries. How exactly this all works, we will have the week to figure out.

Our Schedule

The schedule continues to evolve. Here it is. Following my last computer crash, my daughter talked me into using a google sheet for this. Let's see how that goes.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BqiwvP9vPVZvam17RpblVl2-L0rCZMW_CTbQabyIMr4/edit#gid=1797563565

And here is the map:

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.0610881,-71.8642436,9z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!6m1!1s1wxG4iQL9jphamgFhE45YewtFFXI


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ayuda -- Ometepe

For the first time, our Nicaragua travel course will visit Ometepe in January 2017. We have a choice of three coffee producers to visit.
Our options are Zopilote (the Vulture), Puesta del Sol (Sunset Farm -- in the community of La Paloma), and Finca Magdalena.

Which one(s) should we choose?

Coffee Kids


Some of our information about current social conditions will come from Coffee Kids, which is newly reorganized.

Where We Are Going

This map shows the locations of Coffee Week activities. Zoom in to see all the spots. Some are annotated.