It is 14:11 local time and I am flying at 36,000 feet directly over Algiers on an Air France 777. In a few hours, the next phase of my journey will officially begin – Africa… Côte d’Ivoire!
I have spent the last week learning about UTZ Certified. The mission, the people, the successes and challenges. Overall, I am incredibly impressed with their story. At their core, they are all about the farmers. I grew up on a farm in Georgia. The farmers – they are why I am here. I want to know their story. Who are they? What does a normal day entail for them? And what about the children? Their education opportunities? Do they want to be just like Mommy and Daddy?
Ironically as I was taking my malaria medication this morning, I saw a CNN story on the news about a malaria vaccine. The story stated that over 600,000 people die each year in sub-saharan Africa. The majority of them are children. I’ve been away from Lewis and Grayson, my boys, for two weeks. To think that hundreds of thousands of children die from mosquito bites every year is sobering. As an American with an abundance of everything, I’m inspired that the work I’m doing could contribute to better lives for these children. At the same time I feel a sense of guilt and wonder if I am ready for this? We will see.