While the construction of our house goes on with just a bit of input from us, we are busy near by "picking" coffee. "Picking" because mostly our workers pick the coffee. We help at the end of the day to count each person's haul and take the coffee to the recevador.
Avelardo is our happiest picker, our friend and a full time employee of ICE, the government electric company here in Costa Rica. We are happy to have him join us whenever he has a free Saturday.
Avelado's family makes up a good percentage of our pickers this year. Starting from left to right are Sebastian, his son, Mairith, his sister-in-law and Jumary, his daughter. Juslania, his wife picks on days that Jumary does not.
Our pickers this year are all local and come mostly from two families that live in Berlin. The family above and Olga's, in the pink shirt, and her three children, Joselin, Susana and Antony. We love having them as our pickers and it makes the job much more fun for us.
Here the day is coming to an end and each picker gets their coffee measured and written down to get paid on Saturday. The coffee is counted by Cojuelos which is the metal box that the coffee is being poured into in the photo.
Mairith is taking a break at the end of the day waiting for the coffee to be counted.
Once all the coffee that has been picked a particular day has been counted and securely tied into sacks, it is loaded in the back of our Galloper. Affectionately called "POS", the Galloper is a great workhorse but has certainly spent a large amount of time in the repair shop.
Roberto carries the sacks to the car and Don adjust them. It is amazing how many sacks we can fit in that back area. I think we have had as many as 26. If we pick more than that we need to take two trips to the recevador.
If we do not need to fold the back seat forward, the pickers usually ride to the recevedor with us. If the car is too full for the many pickers and the coffee, we run the pickers home and then return and take the coffee to the recevedor. Many days we have 3 people in the front seat, 3 in the back, 2 in the way back and a couple hanging on the outside back! Oh, and we also may have a couple dogs!
Now that we have arrived at the recevedor, Cholo is untying the sacks so that the coffee can be dumped into the 1/2 Fenaga bin. We pay the pickers by the Cojuelos and we are paid by the Coop per Fenaga which is made up of 20 Cojuelos.
Olga, Juslania and Sebastian watch as the coffee is dumped from the sacks to the bin at the Recevador.
Dedier and his sister work the Recevador where we take our coffee. In the background is the abacus where Dedier keeps track of the number of times the bin is filled.
The berries being poured into the bin. Once the berries fill the bin the handles seen on the side are pulled together in the center and the bottom falls out. The berries fall onto a conveyor belt and eventually into a very large truck that takes them to Palmares to the Coop that processes our coffee.
Dedier, our happy Recevador worker is also a member of the family who sells us milk. He always has a smile and a word or two in English for the Gringo Coffee Farmers! Berlin is so small that there are connections everywhere!
Veronica, Dedier's sister, and student of English, keeps a record of the number of Fenagas each farmer brings to the Recevador and hands us a Voucher as we leave. Our calucations and theirs may be a little different at times but it all works out in the end!
And another beautiful ending to a beautiful day! The views and sunsets here are a daily occurrence and each one is different! It is difficult not to grab the camera!!