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About

"Teo, Heather, and Fernando are traveling to Ecuador to finish a design on a chocolate factory for Kallari, thanks to a grant from Architecture for Humanity and the support of RATIO and RAYae."

There is no escaping the Ecuadorian Rooster

Alright, the roosters need to be told something. At least they have one thing going for them...they are precise...530 am...(insert rooster noise here)...15 seconds....(insert rooster noise here)...15 seconds....(insert rooster noise here)....you get the picture! Why am I the only one that can't sleep through it in our group??? At least its not the end of the day, and I feel way more coherent....

At least I got the chance to see the blue skies peaking through the clouds this morning...welcoming in our new president. This American is glad this day has arrived. I might have had to stay here, had the election gone the other way.

So, yesterday....during the day we visited the greenhouse where they raise the cacao trees from seeds and trimmings. Then off to the place where they take the fruit, ferment it, and dry it. This was Kallari's first development and it was interesting to see how they adapted their design over time to fit the process. We had about a 3 hour lesson in fermentation, drying, plant growing, organic certification, and whatever else we asked. Then off to a lagoon overlooking the rapids of a river, where we had lunch and the gringos sat on the rocks and watched the Latinos take a swim.

In the evening around 630pm we all made our way back to the Kallari office, so we could present our project to the leaders of Kallari...or so we thought...Carlos said that we should wait a few minutes because there were a couple (2) delegates from a German company that would be there...ok...so we waited a bit. About 10 minutes later 10 people arrived, and the wives of all the leaders...so we ended up presenting the project to about 25 people, totally unexpected! But we were up for the challenge. We presented the project and it seemed to go really well. I am so glad that I reconnected with Fernando, because as Oswaldo said to me during the meeting, he thought Fernando could sell his dead grandmother a new car. Fernando is amazing, he brings across the emotion that we are feeling, but maybe can't express...bravo Fernando! We had some tough questions by these people from the German company (they were from Colombia, I came to find out)...but seemed to be able to answer all they needed to know...they spoke English, so it was a little easier. Probably the best part of the meeting was when we opened the 3D model and everyone sat there with their mouths open and a few ooos and ahhs came from the room...We ended the meeting when the German company people had to leave...and after they all said goodbye, one of the volunteers (who works freelance for BBC) pulled me aside and asked me if I understood who the Germans were...I didn't...they are the money, they have been in communication with Kallari about financing the project. Holy crap! I guess the German government has some kind of program that funds project in developing countries and this is part of that....So....they made their way out of the building and the leaders of Kallari gathered us around and expressed how well they thought the meeting went, Oswaldo and Veronica were both super happy about our presentation and everyone was smiling from ear to ear. Carlos, who is normally very stoic and doesn't show much emotion, was excited. Oswaldo said that this was something that he has never seen. Carlos then invited us to his house for some "vino de cacao" (yummy by the way). Oswaldo said that this was something that he has never seen.

So it was a great coincidence that these representatives were here, because they were only here for some meetings and training of their own. It really helped to show them the direction that Kallari is headed, and the possibilities for them to invest in and organization that can do so much. Imagine...an organization in Tena, Ecuador bringing a team from America, Puerto Rico, Malaysia, and Serbia to design a chocolate factory...cool, right?

Time to get ready for the day...the roosters have stopped there crowing...jerks...

-Heather

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About the project and to make donations...

Open Architecture Network-Kallari

About those who support us...

RATIO Architects

RAY Architects Engineers