Daylight Mind Coffee Kona Hawaii launches coffee school · 21 January 2014 by colin newell
Dr. Shawn Steiman, Chief Science Office at Daylight Mind Coffee – is proud to announce the first sessions of the Coffee School component of this new coffee business in the heart of Kona, Hawaii.
A quote from their About section: “The idea for Daylight Mind was born in the head of one person. However, as new partners joined the party, the challenge of integrating each new personality and vision for the company grew in complexity. Establishing and sticking to an identity, generating a name, and developing a logo has been a rewarding process for us, even when challenging. We value our identity as a company and we’ve found a way to express the passion that drives all of us. We want to share the insight that led us to our name with you.”
Part 2: Self-Defense 101: Curfews and Hijabs · 15 December 2013 by Madeline H.
Beautiful ceiling art of a local Mosque – Click on image for larger view
The Islamic micro-finance co-operative where I conducted my research is situated in a peculiar corner of the city of Surakarta , in a small, very traditional and extremely conservative neighbourhood with pockets of extremist factions of Islam. I had no knowledge of this information when I first moved into this neighbourhood, only discovering it half way through the research period when I began to realize that the friendly hospitality of some of my local neighbours masked their incessant, persistent yet subtle attempts to convert me to their religion.
Living in this particular community required that I abide by the rules of the neighbourhood, however the existence of such rules was only learned by accidentally breaking them. For example, I was advised by the manager of the Islamic micro-finance co-operative the morning after I had stayed out to a cultural show until midnight, that it was best for me to be home before 9:00pm; a woman staying out past this hour in this area of Surakarta was perceived to be indecent and at risk of danger.
Traditional Indonesian live theatre – Click on image for larger view
Despite my jiu-jitsu training, my life experience and my age, it was my sex that determined my curfew; the 18 year old boys who lived next-door were free to roam when and where they pleased. Out of respect for my neighbours and the manager of the co-operative, (whose reputation would be tainted should I be caught out past my curfew) and not wanting to rock the boat or cause any problems for the collection of my research data, I complied. However, for every rule, there is an exception: I discovered that attending a ladies’ group study of the Muslim holy books gave me the right and privilege to stay out until the wee hours of the morning.
As part of my research and also to build rapport and establish a relationship of trust with my neighbours and potential research participants (some of whom were, at first, skeptical of me and my project) I regularly attended community and religious events. Such events included the ladies’ Islamic study groups, Indonesia’s Independence Day celebrations, religious holiday rituals and festivities (for example the “Feast of the Sacrifice”)** and volunteering with the Mosque’s children’s program teaching kids jiu-jitsu.
The kids having fun at jiu-jitsu! – Click on image for larger view
Although most of my neighbours and all of my research respondents knew I am not Muslim, my daily involvement in these activities gave some individuals a false sense of hope: they saw it as evidence of a deeper thirst for knowledge of the truth that they claim to hold and a desire to convert. They forgot, or chose to turn a blind eye to the fact, that I am nothing more than a business woman and master’s student, there to gather data and write a thesis on an extremely fascinating business topic and with no intent or interest in converting. Yet they did not give up and the invitations to both religious events and to convert began to increase…
It certainly did not help my situation that I wore the hijab, a sign in Indonesia (NOT necessarily a sign in Islam) that one has already converted or is in the process of converting to Islam. What many in my community did not realize is that in order to conduct my research, I was required by the Islamic micro-finance co-operative to wear the hijab; it was not a matter of choice. Unfortunately, a few of my non-Muslim Indonesian friends took great personal offense to my wearing the hijab believing it to be a rejection of their non-Muslim beliefs. In hind sight I realized that these friends were also competing for my conversion; despite my assertions to the contrary, my hijab was their evidence that I had been indoctrinated. Religious tensions are high in Indonesia though they lie just under the surface of a seeming peace; sadly, my hijab caused an irreconcilable difference for one of my non-Muslim friends.
Madeline at the world famous Borobudur Buddhist Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
I found that wearing the hijab affords many benefits. It made going through customs and immigration a breeze and it offered me protection from potentially dangerous situations. One of my married friends living in Surakarta was recently sexually assaulted while on her way home from work. Being a non-Muslim she is in the minority in Indonesia, yet I suggested she adorn the hijab since, in Indonesia, a man cannot touch a woman who wears the hijab (I also suggested she start training in jiu-jitsu or some other self-defence program). Because I wore the hijab I was often told that I was a “good” and “perfect” person, despite my claims to the contrary and the fact that I am not Muslim. In Indonesia today, great respect is given to the woman who covers her head while the woman who does not is sometimes seen as immoral, loose and deserving of whatever abuse may pursue her; after all, “she asked for it” right?
Serenity: Eid al-Adha morning prayers – Click on image for larger view
Thankfully I was never in any physical danger during my time in Indonesia. However, being very familiar with the long and bloody history that haunts Indonesia to this day (as Aljazeera correspondent Step Vaessen explores one part of this long history in this telling documentary) I never went anywhere without my passport and my external hard drive with all my research data. I was always ready, if ever necessary, to leave at a moment’s notice. What I came to realize was that it was not my physical person that was at risk; my freedoms were closing in on me and it was my mind that was at risk. The control of my mind was the ever sought after prize to be won…
**One of the many religious events I attended for research purposes included “Eid al-Adha” or “Idul Adha” (in Indonesian): the “Feast of the Sacrifice” or the annual slaughtering of the cows and goats. The significance and meaning of this ritual is profoundly beautiful in that it brings the community together, young and old, women and men, working as one in order to provide food for the poor. However, the actual event as practiced in this neighbourhood and as I witnessed it brought up questions of humanity and religious brainwashing. The pictures are too unsettling to share and do no justice to the actual event which seemingly fazed not even the youngest child in attendance. I promised to tell ALL but this is one experience from the field that is best left in the field, at least for now…
Grinder for sale · 10 December 2013 by colin newell
My colleague and friend – Katie Zalazar e-mail email@example.com – is selling her near new Baratza Vario grinder – ideally in the Vancouver or Victoria area.
In her words…
Hey there readers! -
I have a Baratza Vario grinder that I am looking to sell. I won it in a competition but have hardly used it at all. I would love to sell locally in Victoria or Vancouver (or on the island).
I’m wondering if you know of anyone who might be interested in buying a used (all cleaned up!) grinder. As you know it retails for about $470, so I’m looking to sell it for about $400. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Note my e-mail above. Thanks!
Colin here – there you have it – help a gal out and get a great grinder in the process!
Getting back on the blog saddle · 9 December 2013 by colin newell
A word out to my devoted reader.
No, I am not lost for the World.
No, I have not fallen off of the Planet Earth.
No, I have not been sent off on a galactic mission to save a small sparsely populated solar system.
I am right here where I have always been – a little lazy is all.
And our regular blogging programming will soon return in earnest – with a post from Foreign correspondent Madeline – who has just returned from an academic visit to Indonesia.
So. Your patience will be rewarded.
If you are a regular visitor to these parts, feel free to shout some encouragement or obscenities in the comment field provided below.
And thank you!
Food, Fashion, and Islamic Finance in Indonesia. · 16 September 2013 by Madeline H.
My name is Madeline Holden. In June 2009, I left Canada, for 15 months, on a solo world tour. My objective was to learn about foreign cultures, strange customs, and subsistence economies through immersion. I was in the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom and understanding and attempted to achieve these by living in remote villages, studying difficult languages while observing people’s daily economic activities.
Photo above: My home away from home! Click on any of the photos for a larger view
It was when I was in Dubai that I first heard about Islamic banking and finance and it was when I was in Indonesia that I first saw it in action. I have a passion for business and I have always been very curious about religion and spirituality. In September 2012, I began my Master of Arts at the University of Victoria. Never, in my wildest dreams, could I ever have imagined doing a Master’s thesis on such a cutting edge, exciting, and controversial topic as Islamic microfinance in Indonesia.
What exactly is Islamic microfinance and how does it work? I am currently in Indonesia to find out. I am living in central Java in a busy, smoggy city called Solo (also known as Surakarta). I live in the suburbs, in a small municipality or district surrounded by rice fields. My neighborhood is bordered on one side by a fruit tree farm and on one side by a busy, two-lane road.
photo above – with some of my lady friends
The other two sides of the neighborhood continuously morph into other neighborhoods until they are interrupted by rice fields or the river. Small, single-lane roads, measuring 8 feet across, form of a north-south-east-west grid and make up the little “streets” of the neighborhood. The houses vary in size, style, and color. Some appear run down, decrepit and abandoned with chickens running through the dirt yard; seemingly the only living thing around. Other houses are fenced in with ten foot high walls protecting the lush gardens and rich, extensive interiors from the harmless buskers and food peddlers. I live in a one-story, three bedroom, unassuming, ground level house with a local, middle-class, university educated, Indonesian family.
This neighborhood is unlike any that I have ever seen in Canada. Most houses seem to have a sign above the door advertising a home-based business. For example, every couple of blocks someone is offering laundry services. For Rp. 2,500 per kilo (approximately $0.25) you can get your clothes washed, ironed, folded and ready in four days. If you are willing to pay double the price you can have next day service. Other houses have the front entrance set up to sell candy, food and toiletries. Local university students can rent a single room, known as a kost, which is built alongside up to nine other rooms, all in a row, in someone’s backyard. The enclosed veranda of one house is set up as an internet cafe where the local children pay Rp. 3,000 per hour (approximately $0.30) to play video games every afternoon (instead of surfing the net to learn about the world. I digress). If you forget to go to the gas station on the way home you need not worry. Some of the neighbors sell gasoline by the liter which is kept in clear, glass, bottles in a locked box or set up on shelves on the street.
Photo of gas vendor above – petrol by the bottle!
My host family’s adult daughter offers English and Arabic lessons for children. The business possibilities are endless.
The streets of Indonesia never sleep and the streets of this neighborhood are no exception. Peddlers drive or walk around the neighborhood dogging chickens, dogs and playing children from five in the morning until long after the sun has set. The peddlers sell everything from toys, balloons and brooms to fresh guava juice, meat-ball soup and spicy fried-rice. The food sellers have their “kitchens” set up on the back of their motorcycles, bicycles or in a cart with wheels and honk their horn or tap a spoon against a bowl to let everyone know they are in the neighborhood. There are more permanent food establishments set up along the main road bordering the neighborhood. There is a variety of food available including fried whole fish, tofu, peanut-sauced chicken, spicy vegetable salad, noodles, and rice. Fancy restaurants serving local delicacies such as cat fish or foreign foods such as steak or sushi can be found closer to the centre of town and in the popular shopping malls. About 2 miles down the main road there is a large traditional market where, in addition to live and freshly killed chicken, fish, vegetables and fruit, one can also find almost any household item imaginable including motorcycle accessories, shoes, and pots and pans. However, it is unnecessary to walk more than a half a kilometer along the main road to find many of these items as small pharmacies, stationary shops, copy shops, clothing stores, ATM’s and, of course, Islamic microfinance cooperatives are in abundance.
The Islamic microfinance cooperative where I will be spending the next three months is a 20 minute leisurely walk down this busy two-lane road from my house. The building, set back from the road, is a two story structure designed to house up to 10 businesses on the main level with the option for living accommodations or more business space above.
Photo – Food, food everywhere – from carts and motorcycles – the variety!
The microfinance cooperative is the third store along the row, painted bright yellow and green, with ample employee and customer parking in front. The cooperative is sandwiched between two mini-marts which are housed in the same building. A couple of mobile snack stands are set up just in front where the cooperative employees often go for their morning coffee break. Across the street there is a restaurant, a mobile phone store, an internet cafe, a few bicycle and motorcycle repair shops and another Islamic microfinance cooperative.
Female employees and managers of Islamic banking and finance, including Islamic microfinance, are required to wear the hijab (face is NOT covered; only the head is covered). I have agreed to do the same. Although I am not required to wear the hijab outside of the Islamic microfinance cooperative, I have discovered that doing so affords many benefits. Status is extremely important in Indonesian society and wearing the hijab generates instantaneous respect both personally and professionally. It baffles people when they see a pasty, white foreigner wearing the hijab and renders them speechless which turns to awe and delight when they discover that I am not even Muslim. Additionally, the hijab silences the daily whistling, hollering, and marriage proposals I receive when I do not wear it; it is 100% more effective than wearing a fake wedding band. Furthermore, I have found that when I wear the hijab I do not need to wear sunscreen, a hat or mosquito repellent and that I never have to worry about having a bad hair day!
All humor aside, the growing popularity in Indonesia among the young women in their 20’s and 30’s in choosing to wear the hijab of their own accord has been explored here:
In this really great film which effectively gives evidence to this growing fashion industry. Indonesians are extremely fashion conscious purchasing the latest and greatest coming out of Korea, North America and Europe. Regardless of their financial situation, fashion takes precedence. Though fashion has never really interested me I find myself mesmerized by the colors, accessories and infinite number of styles and ways of wearing the hijab. I am embracing my new found fascination and am having quite a bit of fun with mixing, matching and accessorizing while learning about Islamic microfinance in Indonesia.
You can read Chapter Two of this saga over here
Madeline Holden has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) from Memorial University of Newfoundland and has worked in accounting, finance and policy analysis. She is a fellow in residence at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria in Victoria Canada. You can contact Ms. Holden via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking coffee on CKNW with Gord MacDonald · 6 August 2013 by colin newell
Listen to the Podcast |
We were talking coffee with Gord MacDonald from CKNW – 980 from Vancouver — with some really good questions.
This podcast (interview) is around 11 minutes long – so strap yourself in.
I average around 20 radio, TV or newspaper interviews annually and this was one of the better ones – a lot of these radio hosts are affable, enthusiastic and well read before they undertake an interview – honored to chat on the subject of my passion. Coffee. Love it.
Podcast – If you cannot see the audio player above, click here for the mp3 download.