Champaign in Coffee Mugs

Champaigne in a Coffee Mug

This is how I like to celebrate accomplishments…and on a budget. I love champagne for moments like this. Probably because of what it symbolizes more than anything. Champagne is not my drink of choice, necessarily. Generally I prefer dry red wines, unless it is a very warm day, in which I’d go for a cold beer or chilled Sauvignon Blanc, depending on the mood. But when something great happens I really wanna hear that cork pop and see champaign gushing all over the place. It completes the moment I think. A proper climax. And it is the whole experience of drinking champagne: going to the store and picking out a foil-gilded bottle (it doesn’t matter if it only costs 6USD); standing in the checkout line while everyone around, aware of your purchase, is curious about the occasion; and finally…when the cork pops off, glasses overflow, and joyful cheers fill the air. It feels so right and so significant.

And the occasion? I got a job. A job! After 3 months of searching I have finally found an opportunity in Guatemala that I am actually passionate about. A place where I will feel useful and that I am contributing (perhaps a little) to a more just world. And better still, I felt a strong connection with the other team members. They are all passionate young people working on wages a well-educated foreigner would never imagine, yet happy to do it because they are serving others who have far less. I am looking forward to joining them this coming Monday. The job is with Habitat for Humanity, and I will be a “Logistics Coordinator”, organizing groups from North America and Europe who will be coming to build homes, and to act as their liaison to Guatemalan culture. This is something I am very passionate about — to educate foreigners on the facets of Guatemalan culture is so important for the uplift of the country. The problems Guatemalan society faces are very complex and maybe to the naked eye could cause negative images to form in ones mind: unclean public spaces, extreme poverty and malnutrition, inequality, corruption, lack of self-worth. But it is a beautiful place too, and it’s problems do not stem from a sort of inherent evilness of the individuals or culture, but rather from a complex relationship of natural riches, colonial conquest, and exploitation. I am excited to be a window to Guatemala for the volunteers whocome to help this impoverished corner of the world. The hope is that the experience the volunteers have with Habitat will open their minds and impress on their hearts an affection which will keep them caring and working for the improvement of life for the marginalized, the and advancement of equality in this destitute land. Boy, I’m so excited!

My entries will be fewer in the coming weeks, I imagine, and perhaps leaning away from culinary topics and more towards issues in Guatemala, the culture in general, and my experiences with Habitat…although my passion for food will surely weave it’s way through the conversation.

Coming soon, before I head back into the working world, a vacation into the depths of Guatemalan beauty, and a few culinary delights we experienced along the way.

Champagne in a Coffee Mug
1 bottle of chilled Champagne (we got the cheapest there is, because, well…my job doesn’t pay much. But I’m thankful to have it!)
2 coffee mugs
Peel off the foil wrapper. Unwind the wire shell. Using your thumbs, perhaps holding the top of the cork with a towel if you wish to avoid spillage, force out the cork. Serve in mugs, allowing to over-flow for dramatic effect. Toast to accomplishments, and more to come…or whatever you choose. Drink, and be merry.

One Response

  1. Yahoo–I’m celebrating with you in spirit! And, I think you’re absolutely right, champagne seems the perfect way to celebrate such an event!! Oh, huge, monstrous hugs!!

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