Gerardo, Sole, Raul, Gabriel and Ivette run El Toledo Organic Coffee Finca and it’s on our “must-do” list if you visit Atenas.
Jim and I toured the farm today under the guidance of my new best friend, Gabriel. It’s easy to become my new best friend — just laugh heartily at something I said.
With Gabriel, our deep friendship developed late in the tour. Nancy and Cat joined us after we had completed the tour, but before we headed to Gabriel’s Aunt (Tia) Cecelia’s home for lunch.
We were just hanging out, when it hit me that Gabriel had not shown Jim the grinder. I said “show Jim how you squeeze bamboo…”
“Bamboo?” Gabriel responded with a big grin.
OK, I knew it wasn’t a language issue, so I said again with confidence pointing to the grinder. “Yes, show him how you grind the bamboo…”
“…and what would we get if we grind bamboo Mark?” he said.
The moment of our deep bonding friendship came when I said. “You know, to get the sugar.”
As soon as the last syllable left my lips I planted palm to forehead.
“You mean grind the sugar cane?” he said with a laugh.
Yes, you can become my new best friend by laughing AT me. Of course anybody that thinks you grind bamboo to get sugar deserves to be laughed at!
Gabriel’s aunt Cecelia will have you to her home for lunch.
Her house is up the hill from the farm (after traipsing around the coffee you will want to drive the 500 meters.) She lives in a very modest but typical farm home. You will sit in very rustic settings amongst the chickens and dogs and cats that are everywhere in Costa Rica. On this day, Aunt Cecelia (standing middle in above photo) was serving a hearty vegetable-chicken soup and salad.
The drink was “bamboo” juice with a little lemon.
Laff. Laff. Laff.