Sorry for the lengthy delay between posts here. There is a lot of movement around here lately but unfortunately, none of it involves bamboo.
I am still undergoing chemotherapy treatments every other week and now, as I write this in the late evening of Father’s Day 2015, we are expecting a baby any minute. I wanted to get this out now because so many of you have written lately seeking information and I have not been getting back to people.
We were done selecting this year’s bamboo by the end of February, four months ago. Since then, we’ve had to wait a terribly long time to get everything ready to ship in large part because the rural farming area in which we work is becoming more and more devoid of available labor. We only had two women (instead of the usual number of five) helping me do my selection work this year and those two same women were left to cut, clean and package every pole we selected. That took many weeks longer than normal.
Then, as we were getting ready to ship in May, the town of Aozai suffered it’s worst flooding in at least 40-years. This area is used to the river rising every May/June and topping flood-levels every five years or so. But this year’s rise was unprecedented.
This is the road in front of the house where we stay. The road is 15-20′ above the river level and here, lies about 1/2 mile from the river itself.
Here is the living room inside the house.
Thus, we not only had additional delays for the people of Aozai to take care of their immediate needs, we also lost a lot of bamboo poles that simply were flooded out of the warehouse.
Most of the bamboo lost was not the poles we had selected for rod-builders. However, we did seem to lose a good portion of….. our XL poles. This is especially hard for everyone here because we had a shortage of these poles last year. Thus, many of you had contacted me many months ago about getting on a wait list specifically for these larger poles. We now have a very limited number of them due to ship to Seattle.
In short, if you have been on the wait list for XL poles, I will do all that I can to ensure that you receive at least part of your order. I’m very sorry to say that any new inquires for XL poles will have to be put onto a wait list for 2016.
The waters have receded in Aozai and they say that the poles that remain look fine (and it was a nice looking batch this year). Whether mold from the moist conditions will be an issue I cannot say. I asked our supplier to open the bundles and have a look and he reported that they were fine but we had an issue last year and I am guessing that we may again this time around. The good news here is that, as far as I know, other than requiring a bit of elbow grease to clean some of the poles, the mold was NOT a major problem for anyone (please correct me if I’m wrong).
We are ready to finally get the show on the road here within a couple of weeks. I’ll now estimate that the container should land in Seattle by the first of August.
Please understand that I am receiving your emails and phone calls but because of a few bumps in the road, I’m still slow in my responding. I WILL get back to you and I will get more precise information up here as quick as I can.
I am terribly sorry for the delays and for the shortage of XL poles. We will continue to persevere and aim to make this a great year for cane.
I do (once again) very much appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding through all this oddness. And I am again grateful for all the thoughts and prayers for my family and I as we bring many of you along on our journey.
Best to all, -Andy