It’s been a whirlwind of a week!  Travel all went smoothly. Got settled at CATIE on Sunday. Then jumped right into Product Committee meetings first thing Monday. Miranda led Coffee, then Farmer’s Market, and on Tuesday, Bananas. While there were certainly new challenges that came to light in the meetings, it was clear that the committees were beginning to function and own some of their actions.

The meeting with the Board was also challenging and hopeful, as old ways of doing things (or not doing things) seem difficult to overcome. Yet commitment is high and some progress is being made in important directions. We worked through leadership responsibilities together. Also learned that Accountant reports may be able to shed light on some of the financial unknowns expressed by the Product Committees.

Lots of good ideas and actions generated on Wednesday during a brainstorming session to charge and populate the 6 Organizational Committees to help the Board fulfill the mission. While there seems to be a general enthusiasm for these efforts to build the capacity of APOT, building a more transparent, democratic,and participatory structure–overcoming the inertia of a culture used to hierarchy, not challenging authority, and avoiding conflict is no simple task. APOT members describe this struggle very eloquently. I think it most often plays out as a frustration of wanting to take action but feeling ill prepared to take leadership and to work through setbacks.

Today we met with a small delegation to plan next Monday’s outreach meeting at Grano de Oro. We’ll report on that next week. Should be a good trip.

In other news, the weather has been lovely. At times hot, but lots of sun, dramatic clouds, and some night rains. We’ve seen lots of wildlife. My family has spent most their time at the kiddie pool behind our “apartment” and at a few playgrounds around campus.

We head tomorrow to the beach for the weekend. Looking forward to walking through the national park, maybe even snorkeling!