We wake up in a beautiful clearing enclosed with bamboos.
Tents are set-up on sturdy wooden platforms. Bamboo benches have been built all around and very high trees provide a very gentle shade. This is camp Elegguá!
It is difficult to believe that this area was a wild bush just a year ago.
When we get-up, Desmond has already started his day, and we join him at the barra a community space at the heart of the plantation.
George, the assistant farm manager is opening the day by doing a role call.
George then welcomes us warmly to the farm. As Desmond’s family, he want us to feel at home, and by the end of our stay to know everyone by their first name. He then says a prayer, for peace on the day, for blessings for all. It is addressed to Allah first, and then to God.
The Cacao Elegguá farm is organised like a village.
The entrance is opened by a large driveway that leads to a little leafy roundabout.
By this roundabout sits the barra, this community space made of small walls and a roof. Everyone meets at the Barra. The workers taking a break. The women coming to cook (a cooker has been installed on a corner), children also come and play.
Very soon, the barra becomes our favourite place, we get to know Fati, a young, slender and very friendly woman that often cooks for us against a payment, as well as her little sister Sata that likes to play with our son Miles.
We later meet the village Chief, and his wife Mariama. Their daughter has been named after me. To honour Desmond of his contribution to the community.
A storage space is built by the barra as well as a kitchen connected to a large solar panel. From then, a path leads to the camp.