Hallie Goertz


How to help change the world one cup of coffee at a time | 

Flickr, feistyfeaster

This is a guest post by Hallie Goertz, who recently returned to Seattle after working for nearly four years in East Africa. A coffee break, of sorts, from today’s electoral frenzy. Goertz worked for Technoserve, a Gates-funded project that I wrote about last year on a visit to Rwanda and one of a number of local coffee connections to that nation.


Bells.  That’s what wakes me these dark October days in Seattle.  Not real bells mind you, but the iPhone simile of bells.

After living on the equator the past three years, first in Rwanda and then in Kenya, I’m used to getting up when the sun rises – between 6 and 7 AM all year – and these bells are a jarring reminder that I’m not in East Africa anymore.

On this morning I’m writing, the sun won’t rise in Seattle for another two hours. So in my Pavlovian reaction to the digital bells I stagger to the kitchen to put the kettle on.  While the water boils I get out my favorite mug, pour-over, filter, and coffee and line them up in front of me.  A few minutes later I’m watching my real morning wake-up call drip away, I inhale deeply and take a sip.  The day has now officially begun…

I expect that many of us start our days in a similar way.  Your alarm may sound different and you may use another brewing method, but an appreciation of a good cup of coffee, along with an ability to survive, no, celebrate, our dark, damp winter, runs deep around here.

Enjoying a cup of coffee is a nice way to think globally while acting locally every day. Continue reading