I happened to catch the most recent episode of Costas NOW which is a show on HBO featuring Bob Costas that hits on many varied issues in the sports world. In the this episode he included an amazing story on David Robinson, who is Jackie Robinson’s youngest and only surviving child. After being raised and educated in the United States, David has returned to Tanzania to live and contribute to his native continent where he feels most at home and alive. After living there for several years, he has been adopted by a Tanzanian tribe and has immersed himself in the local tribal culture. He said this about what drew him to go back to Africa (this is an amazing quote):
“a sense……an actual smell of Ethiopia has been with me my entire life. It’s a feeling of peace and contentment…..the feeling that you are on the place in which you can make what will be your life’s contribution.”
In an attempt to create a model for community economic development, he helped form a cooperative of over 300 small scale Tanzanian coffee farmers. Although the coffee industry is a billion dollar per year industry, the local coffee farmers of Tanzania remain dirt poor and with little hope of creating enough space for themselves in the world of fast paced, competitive, american big business. For more information about this co-op, check out Sweet Unity Farms. If you have HBO, I highly recommend you seek this show out.