Thursday, July 31, 2008

Post-vacation blues

After two days back at work I am ready to take a vacation. It is not that I don't love all my co-workers, it is just that everything is so predictable.

I have a few trip posts to write, but this post is a complete diversion - stay tuned. One on US 64 across New Mexico and one summarizing the themes of Water, Relationships and Joy is coming soon. Another one on the dynamic geography of the west is forming slowly inside me.

Today I did have the good fortune to introduce a co-worker friend to the owner of 'our' coffee shop. She is making a trip to Nicaragua in November to visit a coffee plantation that supplies some or all of the coffee we roast at Deet's Place, the on campus coffee shop. Our (meaning we eat breakfast there often) coffee shop, The Easy Chair, also buys coffee from this plantation and has sent and will send people in November also.

My friend is not a coffee person, as in a Barista. In fact, I think she might be described as a soda person, but she feels that she may try to go cold-turkey on the trip. I would not bet on that as one of the truly safe drinks in any third-world country is bottled, carbonated sweet stuff. And it is still made with real sugar instead of corn stuff, so it has a very intoxicating mouth-feel and taste. Are you old enough to remember when soft drinks in the U.S. were made with sugar? You know what I mean. I never did satisfy myself that it was the high sugar content, or the carbon dioxide or the filtered water that made it safe. I think it is just as probable that it is placebo effect. In Haiti I drank a bit of orange soda, but I only drink about one carbonated drink a month here in the U.S. where the water is pretty universally safe and clear all the way to the bottom of the glass.

So why is she going to this coffee plantation? Well, she is a marketing and graphics person and will be making photos and video to use as promotional/educational materials. Truth is, she realizes that this trip will enable her to jump off the edge of the earth and make a long-put-off European trip to countries where she can't speak or understand the native language. That will be great as she will love it and find more excuses to travel. And she will learn that language is only one communications method, and often not the best. How many times do we misunderstand one-another even when using a common first tongue?

So I worked travel into the post. Good thing, eh? It looks like I will be traveling again - this time to Florida. I just found out that the director of ECHO, a development agency, is retiring. Years ago, when I lived in Haiti, I was a board member in the 1980s and they are trying to get all the old board members there for his retirement dinner on August 23rd. I can't miss it. I missed all the major events there for 20 years, but not this time. I'll combine this with a visit to my step-dad so it will be a wonderful time. I may ride, may take the train, may drive. I can stop to see family in Atlanta as well. Heck, I may never get back home!

Lessons learned:

As I arrived at work this morning, there was not one motorcycle in the lot! What was going on? Oh, the other riders listen to the weather report! Chance of RAIN. Heck, there is a chance of rain every day, especially in the summer. So not listening to the weather gave me another nice ride to work and back. Did I get wet? Heck NO! Rained while I was in the basement, sun shining as I rode home. The lesson is: ride anyway. Lots of parking waiting for me!

Want to salivate? Read this. Get all the way to the bottom. Don't read it at bed time, you will have to get up & dirty the kitchen or lay in bed thinking about food and be sleepy all day tomorrow. You have been warned!

1 comment:

tedspeed said...

Which farm is she going to in Nicaragua?? We visited a few including of course the one my family owns. They were Silva Negra and Vida Joven.