Kakao Mischa Design

10:00 a.m. in San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala. There is a dry season. A pleasant wind brushes the back of my head as I turn into the small winding alley in which the stationery store is located. Due to a lack of vocabulary, I point my finger at the items I want to purchase: compass, eraser, mini colored pencils, ruler. When I hear the price for everything together, I have to smile. 11 Quetzals, which corresponds to around €1.30. I can live well with that and am not in danger of exceeding my average daily budget of €7.

Once back in my little posada (hostel/inn), I greet everyone nicely and devote myself to my endeavor. Because of my volunteer work at the Posada, everyone knows me and I can sleep in the attic for free. A win-win situation that costs me a 30-minute cleaning session per day.

First I unpack the colored pencils and try my luck. The idea came to me a few days earlier during a meditation. 2 cocoa pods, which form a heart and immerse myself in the drink that I want to share with the world. Sounds simple, but the first attempts show: it's a long way!

I try a little more at similar scribblings when Maelig, the nice French woman, looks over my shoulder. "Ohh, very cute!" she says in a pronounced French accent. "My boyfriend really likes to draw, maybe he can 'elp?" I look up with interest and nod. I can definitely use help. Maelig runs into the kitchen to get him. Thomas comes with 2 coffee cups in his hand, he gives one to Maelig. "You need 'elp?" I feel my head nod again and Thomas takes a seat at the table next to me. I explain to him my idea and what feeling I want to convey. His eyes start to sparkle and he gets to work. Either he got a really good coffee, or he's really up for it. Less than 20 minutes later he delivers:
I'm very impressed! A great implementation of my thought bud. He came up with the idea of ​​using the leaves to underline the heart shape on his own. I give a little feedback and 20 minutes later he is standing in front of me again, this time with a grin. I look at the piece of paper in his hand and understand why:
I have to hold on to the tree trunk that forms my bench. This was the logo I dreamed of. With the perfect degree of geometry, symbolism and heart. I hug Thomas and thank him warmly. Nobody can really expect something like that, and it's all the better when it happens. Afterwards I dig out my colored pencils again and get to work. Coloring has always been my thing and so it doesn't take long until I come up with the right color scheme:
I sit back satisfied. What progress for the project that until now only existed in my head. And how effortlessly something so beautiful can come into being. But the journey of the logo is not over and the magic never ends.

That same afternoon, this time in the hammock, my phone vibrates: "Pino has sent you a message." Pino? The Pino? The amigo from 4 years ago in his studies and dormitory. Actually. What's going on with that?

Oh! Interesting, he now lives in Switzerland and works as a graphic designer. Stop - what!? We write back and forth a little and I show him the logo. I like it straight away and I can hardly believe it. I hop around the posada and dance with my mop. The astonishment of the hostel guests doesn't bother me much, and after I share the story with them, we suddenly all dance with my mop. In Guatemala you can just let go. Above all, this forgotten village in which we all find ourselves has a very special magic.

A few days later I take the boat from the next larger town, San Pedro, to San Juan, my Guatemalan hometown. I observe the gentle light reflections of Lago Atitlan (the sacred lake of indescribable beauty for the Maya). Calm and focused, the lake captivates me while I wait for departure with a few other passengers. Before I can get lost in the reflections, my pocket vibrates. I pull my cell phone out of my pocket and read Pino's name. I start to grin, should it really be that far? My right thumb slides from one edge of the screen to the other and his genius reveals itself to me. The finished logo in its full digital glory. I start to laugh out loud and get a few curious looks from locals, but I don't care at that moment because what I see upsets me:

A dream comes true and I see my self-chosen destiny in front of me. I see the love and diversity that brought me to the exact place I am. I see myself and I see the world, connected by cocoa. And since that moment the logo has accompanied me on my path. Another day it gets a name: Cocoa Kiss. Inspired by a kindred spirit explorer named Coco, who dedicated a poem with that name to Cocoa. I would like to share this with you here:

That radiance of pure warmth

I feel before you even touch my lips...

Now, as soon as you touch my hands

Your embrace, I'm wrapped up in
Gentle and sweet,

Your medicine runs deep

Soft and smooth,
I flow to the rhythm of your grooves
Like the eggs of a Dragon, your fruit...
Falling from the sky
A love so strong
Afire in the night
You've saved my life once or twice
Blissful beams of light pour through
And we radiate onwards
In the afterglow
Of your kiss...
Oh what bliss...
The Cocoa Kiss

by Coco ( https://www.facebook.com/dragonoftheorchid/ )

At this point I only have one thing left: gratitude! For everyone who supports and has supported me on this path. For all the trust that is placed in me and that gives me strength. I thank you.

Your Misha

Written by Mischa Levit
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