Exit, Stage Left

I first took my post in the Assistant Project Manager position on starship CLUSA International Programs the first week of June, 2008.

The decision to leave that comfortable and stimulating world was not an easy one, by any measure.

A final farewell

Coffee Couture

I have made an effort to document the culture  of coffee consumption as I have wondered the world, from the in house bean roasting of Minneapolis’ Dunn Brothers, to the muddy, hallucinogenic brew of Banda Aceh, to the thick magic of Hanoi’s coffee in expensive cafes and on street corners, to backpacker hideaways in southwestern China.

Washington, DC, it seems, is also capable of coffee snobbery, despite the ubiquity of Starbucks in certain neighborhoods. One of my favorite, Perigrine Espresso, next to Eastern Market in the old Capitol Hill neighborhood, mans the coffee bar with award winning barristas and brews specially selected fair trade coffees, both blends and single origins, in single serving cone filters. The cappuccinos were especially artistic.

“Listen to the people!!!”

“Listen to the people!” The woman in the cowboy hat hoisted, in one hand, a sign reading “kill the bill,” and shook, in the other, an American flag. Gathered outside the South steps of the US Capitol building was a relatively homogeneous group of people protesting the imminent passage of the health care reform legislation being debated inside.

If, however, the Congresspeople inside the Capitol heeded the protesters’ advice, they would have heard the more than 200,000 voices calling out from the National Mall just down the Hill. The gathering, a rally for immigration reform in the United States, began at the White House, parading down 15th Street and ending in front of the Natural History Museum, in between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol.

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The Great Midwest

The images of a rare trip home, lingering in my memory, haunting me with what could have been, what might be again, what is happening without me.  Were everyone be as fortunate as to have what I have, even if I am not there at the moment.