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Posted by / 22-Feb-2017 14:03

We continued on our way to the Kasese district which was absolutely gorgeous.As we transitioned from the central regions to the west the landscape changed from farms of matooke to open fields and the rolling foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains.As an economic development PCV, Sarah explained to us some of the challenges of working with the small Bukonzo Joint Cooperative.For example, some of the larger coffee companies do bait-and-switch tactics in order to get coffee farmers to quickly produce low grade coffee for seemingly larger amounts of money than Bukonzo Joint can pay; however, in the end the farmers end up losing out on a sustainable opportunity to make money for themselves in the long run as well as being duped into producing sub-standard coffee for less money than they were promised.

The pathways always change due to farming, erosion, rainy season, and various other development factors in the region.Unlike most Peace Corps camps such as BUILD and GLOW, the Kasese Coffee Camp was primarily Ugandan-run by the employees of the Bukonzo Joint Coffee Cooperative.The desire to empower the local youth in this region was so great that Bukonzo Joint provided 50% of the camp funding as opposed to the minimal amount of 25% needed for a Peace Corps grant to be approved.Before we knew it we were winding our way down a single-lane dirt road that wound its way through the verdant hillsides of Kasese.Everywhere I looked there were looming hills infinitely undulating into the horizon.

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Our final destination was Sarah Castagnola’s site in the Kyarumba village deeper in the depths of the Rwenzori foothills.

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