Coffee in Nepal- A podcast interview with Andrew Russo

The latest episode of my podcast, Dispatch 7, will be a must-listen for coffee fans. In this week’s episode I interviewed Portland State University graduate student Andrew Russo about his experience as a coffee broker. We talked about how he came to enter the business, wrote a coffee tasting guide, and even worked to help a coffee estate in Nepal that was damaged by the 2015 earthquake. We also talked about his interest in the area of disaster management, and how he traveled with a class to study how Japan responded to the 2011 earthquake.

Shawn Smallman

Canadian wildfires and planning

Many years ago, I visited Fort McMurray to tour the Canadian Oil Sands. The community is in northern Alberta, perhaps a five and a half hour drive from Edmonton. A few days ago a horrific wildfire began, which has been made worse by the fact that Tuesday this week the temperature was nearly double what is normal at this time of year. The sheer scale of the blaze is hard to comprehend without viewing the videos. This slideshow by NBC gives some sense of the size of what is happening. Citizens have been videotaping their dramatic experiences escaping from the town. Many people have been traumatized trying to flee on the one main highway that connects Fort McMurray to the rest of Alberta. I have read a figure that perhaps 1,600 structures have gone up in flames, but I think that it will be a long time before anyone can know the actual figure. It is heart-breaking to hear people lamenting the loss of their homes as they drive out through a highway with a wall of flames on one side. …

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