The middle of January we finished our first picking season and decided to have a thank you, bon voyage pizza party for everyone who helped us gather this year's crop of coffee. We started out the year with the two of us, Roberto, Jeffry and Estefany. About a week into picking Roberto told us he had 3 lady pickers that needed a place to stay, beds and a cook stove! O.K. Fortunately, Roberto's Sister and Brother-In-Law had an empty pickers shack that they were willing to rent us. We purchased foam pads which I covered and a 4 burner gas cook top and Maritza and AdaLuz started picking. We never did find out what happened to #3! They were wonderful pickers and always had a big smile and a willing attitude. As the season progressed, we were introduced to Sixto and his family and took on 3 more pickers. Jose and Maria were two Nicaraguans that would stop by our house on occasion and "chat." I use that word loosely as we all "chatted", however, I'm not sure how much was understood on either side. At one point we thought they were looking for work--No! At some point we figured out that Jose had a friend that needed a job, Sixto. We told Jose to have Sixto meet us by the Receivador and we would pick him up in the morning at 6. The next morning Don, expecting to see Sixto, was surprised to see Sixto and two women! As time passed, we figured out that the two women were Sixto's wife and his 11 year old daughter! They were wonderful! Shy at first and not sure what to make of their new Gringo employees, but put the rest of us to shame picking. They all picked and 11 year old Karen even brought sacks of coffee down the hill. She was tiny and we were amazed!
In this photo Maritza, front, and AdaLuz, back (also sisters), are sitting on the sofa. Angie and I are in the kitchen working on the Pizza and Jose and Gilberto (Angie & Errol's boys) at the counter not wanting to miss out on any pizza. Errol and Angie have the finca next to ours and have become good friends and have taught us a lot about coffee and Costa Rica. They picked some coffee for us and our pickers picked some for them so they too were invited. Next to Gilberto are three ladies and I'm afraid I do not know their names. They are Jose's sisters and arrived with him. Next to the two sisters is Sixto's daughter Karen.
Roberto is being Roberto entertaining in my apron with his arm around Sixto. Across from Sixto and Roberto is Errol and Maria is only half in the photo!
Jose and Maria and, although they did not pick for us, they introduced us to Sixto and his family and we really enjoyed getting to know them.
It was a wonderful gathering and we managed to feed 17 people pizza in our little rental and everyone seemed to have a good time! A special thanks to Errol and Angie for helping things go smoothly!