It has been an amazing experience of growth and realization. A journey that lasted only a week but the conversations were epic and the friendships were intense. Eugenia said to me the last day that coffee attracts a lot of weird people but I have to say it seemed to attract a lot of good, sincere, and honest people that week in particular. There were people from all over, different political views and religious views, but when it came to coffee, we were all ready to learn something. Topics were debated with an open mind and willingness to see the other side of any argument. There were no 'hipsters' or 'rock stars' demanding attention, just a solid group of characters that created something I will never forget.
I have not seen this level of camaraderie before in coffee and I feel a bit of sadness in having to let go of that moment.
Edwin Sr. says that the chemistry of groups like this is luck, they only happen every now and then when you can mix anyone into any room with another and the conversations may last all night. I will miss those group settings after meals where Sr. would sit us down for the day and tell a story or ask us to share something about the trip. The late night conversations about what if. It was like our own little family.
Looking back now, I think we were all a bit crazy, staying up all night talking, sick as a dog, discussing what we had seen and our past experiences. It seems like a long dream, a bit surreal to me in many ways.
We traveled up the mountains and back down many times through Huehuetenango, Antigua, and Guatemala City with Edwin Sr. and Eddy as our guides. They were open and honest with opinions while sharing more information than we could ever ask. They showed us the patios, the land, the plants, the city, the history, the dry mill, Anacafe, and most of all, they showed us the people there in a way I imagine few could. No matter what question was asked or how tough it may have been to answer, they told us everything we could absorb.
For those who attended that week, there will be stories told for a long time to come. Rightfully so, it was an amazing journey that made long time friends and spurred ideas and debates that will be fodder for Aaron and me for a long time to come.
I truly consider any of them a friend I would welcome any time here in Cambridge.