For me, coffee is ceremony. (I have written about it before in this blog). From the process of brewing it--to choosing a mug that meets my mood--to the nutty smell that hangs in indoor air, I love it all. Of course coffee is only enhanced when enjoyed with company. On Super Soccer Saturdays, my Dad brings Starbucks Lattes to the field. The coffee warms our hands and fuels our spirits. A few weekends ago, I drank bottomless cups elbow to elbow around a table with my dear friends, with whom Pat and I volunteered at Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, a house of hospitality for migrants. Living in community with volunteers and guests, we bonded telling our stories over coffee. You could say we forged our friendship through coffee.
But there is one among us who loved coffee even more than the rest of us--Megan. After Annunciation House, Patrick and I moved to Oakland while pursuing more education. Megan happened to be attending Berkeley along with Patrick. I was fortunate enough to meet with Megan regularly to walk, talk, and drink coffee. As a less experienced coffee drinker, Megan taught me the art of gourmet coffee, while we sipped and shared our way through the best that Oakland and Berkeley had to offer.
Fast forward a couple of years to when Megan met and fell and in love with Mario, a Maryknoll lay missionary who worked at a mission in Guatemala City called: Caminando Por La Paz,. The Mission was begun and operated by Father Tom Goekler, MM and serves the educational and nutritional needs of the neighborhood children. Megan and Mario eventually got married at Mario's family home which happens to be a coffee farm in Honduras. (I told you Megan loves coffee). The couple returned to the Maryknoll Mission in Guatemala City and worked with Maryknoll lay people in the U.S. to develop a means to sell coffee as a means to support both the efforts of Mario's family farm and the goals of the Mission. Patrick, the kids, and I were super fortunate to have visited the Mission for about four days. We were made part of the family and even participated in some of the academic activities being offered. Caminando Por La Paz is a beautiful resource for the children and families in that neighborhood.
I have always enjoyed Mario's family coffee whenever I had access to it-- which was whenever I got to see Megan. But I was recently made aware that you can order easily from here. So, I did! In fact, I'm deeming Family Coffee the official coffee of Spring Bird and Spring Bird Cottage! (Cue the trumpets.) If you are a coffee drinker, I encourage you to give Family Coffee a try. It's a super easy and enjoyable way to support two outstanding projects in the world instead of a mega, enormous coffee company, which I buzz-marketed (pun intended) earlier in the blog and am a bit ashamed to have been supporting so diligently all these years. And if you are not a coffee enthusiast but know someone who is, Family Coffee is a perfect gift! Also, as a side note, our Family Coffee came shipped to us in the protection of actual popcorn--the kind you eat--which was super easy to dispose of in our compost pile! At the very least, stop by Spring Bird for a cup of coffee. I'd love to give you a sample and catch up!
PS Megan and Mario (and baby Isabel) have since moved to Durham near her parents, but they recently spent six weeks at the family farm in Honduras.
PPS The mug that I painted above was made by neighbor Danuta Loane. Check out her beautiful work for sale here!
PPPS Below is the February image for downloading on your mobile device. (Sorry it's a couple of days late. . .)
Anna Lentz, artist and writer, blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.