Thursday, December 16, 2010

Perks of Peace Corps

I particularly enjoy a cup (or two) of coffee in the morning. It allows me to relax, wake up, and get my caffeine fix. I was deeply disappointed when I arrived in Botswana and found out that there really wasn't any real coffee.

As a former protectorate of Great Britain, the country seems to have universally adopted drinking tea. I really have nothing against tea (and even drink it with milk and sugar) but it just doesn't compare to a steaming cup of strong, black coffee.

On any given day, I can walk into my local grocery store and find several different varieties of instant coffee. Instant coffee is particularly bad in the US, but here, the grinds are mostly chicory. The end result is a very weak drink that somewhat resembles coffee and tastes awful. I only drink it if I am truly desperate.

If I am very lucky, one grocery store in town will stock some ground (real) coffee but I find that more often than not, it is past its expiration date and doesn't taste all that good to begin with.

Then, one day last week, I found out about a coffee company in the US called Rise Up Coffee. On their blog the owner posted this:

"You can take the man out of the Peace Corps, but you can't take Peace Corps out of the man! I was a volunteer in Micronesia and feel a great debt of gratitude and respect for the purpose and practice of PC. Knowing the great significance of even the smallest "luxury" during my own Peace Corps service, we've decided to send our coffee to any PCV currently serving in the field. We've already been contacted by a couple of volunteers in is on it's way!"

I was excited to say the least and quickly sent off an email asking if they were still offering the coffee. I got a quick reply and was added to the mailing list.

My coffee arrived along with some bumper stickers yesterday and I cannot tell you how nice it is to sit and enjoy a good cup of coffee.

If you are thinking about buying coffee in the coming days or weeks, here is my shameless plug for Rise Up Coffee. Buy it here.