We are very excited to announce that years of hard work are coming to fruition this year. We finally received our small shipment of new and existing resins from our partner in Somalia. The shipment was delayed for nearly 4 months due to logistical problems from the region of the world in which these rare and ancient frankincense and myrrh resins grow.
Here is some insight into the life of resins we source directly, and the task it is to get a piece of frankincense or myrrh from a tree in Somalia to your burner in America and abroad. As a supplier and passionate user of frankincense and myrrh, I first have to find the very best resins--preferably at the source. This takes time, a lot of time... It took me 3 years to find the right person in Somalia to supply my African resin directly from the source. Three years!!! Why? First, because Somali has not had a government for more than 25 years, so as a result, there are literally no services. Internet is scarce, cell phone coverage scarcer and finding a way to advertise a product to sell to the world is impossible. Somalia's GDP is just under 7 billions dollars a year; in 2017, the United States' GDP was 19.7 trillion, for perspective. So what does all this mean?
When I finally did find a reliable supplier (man inspecting myrrh tree)in Somalia that was knowledgeable and dealt in resins, I first had to vet him. Al Shabaab, Boca haram and ISIS are all very active terrorist groups in the region and I had to make sure I was not inadvertently funding terrorism by buying local resins. So, now we had the supplier who was NOT affiliated with terrorism and we were ready to start buying. Money was sent, product was verified, and now it was time to get resins from a government-less state to America. The closest place that can ship cargo on a commercial airliner is the country of Djibouti. My contact dropped the resins off at the shipping center in Djibouti, where they proceeded to sit for three months because only two planes a month take all the packages out of Djibouti to their destinations. By the the way--the shipping is 300% more expensive than the actual resins. Four months later I got my packages, but they sat in customs for two weeks in Boston because Somalia is on their watch list--or so the 300 pound-solid muscle CBP officer who-could-kill-you-with-one-look told me. Finally, I cleared the packages and we now have the resins for you to enjoy. But wait! Only half of the product was delivered! The other half is lost somewhere in Djibouti , and I undoubtedly will never see it. In fact, I am sure the shipper in Djibouti is burning them right now ;).
I do have a new rare resin from the half-shipment that I am really excited about. White Neglecta! (Pictured below)
I am sure people are familiar with black neglecta, as it is a crowd favorite, but there is such a thing as white neglecta, as well. Although scarce, it comes from the same tree. However, it is rarely seen since the tree mostly produces the black grade. I have it on the website now for you to try. I will also be adding an amazing grade of Gum Arabic (Acacia) and a new species of Myrrh (Hagar) Commiphora erythraea.
As we fine-tune the shipping out of the horn of Africa, we will be getting more resins, new species and much, much larger quantities. In just two weeks, another 100 kilograms will be arriving, and in a month or six weeks, we will have 2000 kilograms. So, the days of "SOLD OUT" will be over; this will be for all the products.
Thank you all for bearing with me... I know in 2017 we were very low on inventory most of the year, but things are changing. We are still low right now but we do have products up, including some of the resins we just received. It seems like a hassle to go through everything I described above, but I really must say that the resins are SO FRESH and high grade, it's like nothing I have ever seen before. Just look at the blue and green freshly harvested Boswellia Carteii resin my friend in Somalia just sent a picture of which is also on its way here. AMAZING!! For my customers and myself, it's only the best directly from the source, as promised.
Please know that Somalia is extremely impoverished. Even when these hard-working people have resins to sell, buyers from the Arabian peninsula (mainly Dubai) go in and offer so little that it barely covers the cost of the harvest. This results in over-harvesting in order for the harvesters to make ends meet and the death of thousands of frankincense and myrrh trees a year in the region. It also keeps the local people poor and stranded from the world. This helps terrorism and extremism, in general, thrive. It's estimated in some parts of Somalia and Africa as a whole that as much as 85% of frankincense trees have been lost due to over-harvesting. I felt it was important to shed some light into this little known part of resins and the often-impoverished places they are endemic to.
So the next time you light your frankincense or use your essential oil from Wild Tree Essentials, just know you are not only fortifying your body and soul, but also supporting the local people that are the stewards of these ancient sacred trees.
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