BufCoffee was one of the first projects to start after the war in Rwanda in 1994. Epiphanie Mukashyaka lost her husband and most of her family. The country was adrift in the aftermath of genocide. Epiphanie was one of the first to find the strength to get back up and start rebuilding her community.
In 2004 I was traveling in Rwanda creating virtual tours of coffee washing stations. At that stage we were using 360-degree photographs to create the immersive imaging—now, 15 years later, the technology has advanced to virtual reality goggles and 360-degree video.
In 2004 I first met with Epiphanie at her home. On that visit I rode out to the BufCoffee washing station with Epiphanie’s son Sam, bouncing along on the back of his motorbike with a tripod in one hand and camera bag over my shoulder. There’s nothing quite like the sweet warm air of the Rwandan countryside with vistas opening up around every turn.
Today Sam is the managing director of BufCoffee, representing BufCoffee to the international markets.