Friday, October 4, 2013

The Empowerment Tour - Week #5

The tour left the welcoming diversity of Louisiana and headed straight for the coast of Florida. The team hadn’t seen an ocean beach since leaving San Diego and they made it just in time to catch the sunset over the Atlantic. Florida was filled with stops that were characterized by beauty and truly wonderful conversation.

“The Discussion at Earth Origins in Clearwater was really nice because we broadened the conversation beyond Alaffia. In general, as we move further east, the discussion is often not solely about Alaffia, but more about the world, and how Alaffia, and all of us, tie in.”

The tour crew made one last stop on their way out of Florida at Earth Origins in Gainesville where they had a beautiful walk around display and served what is rumored to be THE BEST homemade apple cake and pecan pie!
Earth Origins Gainesville 

The 11 hour drive out of Florida to Tuscaloosa was long, but provided several high points.  “I was very touched by the fact that a woman drove over a hundred miles to see us in Tuscaloosa just to visit for a few moments, and to give us encouragement to go forward.” In Tuscaloosa, Olowo-n’djo was a guest with Jim Lawson of WMXB, along with Earl, the co-owner of Manna Grocery and Deli. 

 “The radio show with Jim Lawson was a high point of the trip. We were able to converse about where we are and where we were – the history of Africa over the last 800 years – and I gained an understanding on how this is viewed from an African-American perspective. It was another step in understanding the common difficulties that communities face, and finding a way to move forward.”
After the interview, the tour visited Manna grocery before heading to Atlanta to make a quick stop at Whole Foods Briarcliff, whose team was buried in year-end inventory, but not too busy to set up a beautiful black soap end-cap. Thank you for being a part of the tour!

“The hospitality people have shown in the Southeast is amazing. The conversation, the sharing of food, getting to experience regional foods, and people sharing their homes and letting us into their lives has been really nice. I am being exposed to and learning about the diversity that exists in the US from state to state; this understanding will help to serve Alaffia. There is so much warmth from everyone wherever we go – it helps to propel us forward.”

Thank you Green Goddess for such a meaningful stretch of the tour.
Many thanks to Natalie for her hospitality and kindness in Florida!


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